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Theatre Ettiquette

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Edging slowly away from the "Ballet in Fashion" thread, I think we should discuss the way an audience should act in a theatre, in a formal setting.

In the past few years, I think that dress has become the statement of position instead of proper behavior in a theatre. We have lost the proper way of acting in a theatre, and it has influenced the way we look at ballet. Here are a few examples:

1. An usher must not look you in the eye, unless it is being friendly. How many times have I been looked in the eye by an usher in a threatening way I cannot count!

2. The audience must be seated quietly during the duration of the performance - even during the overture. I can't stand loud audience members, not to mention those cell phones which should be in an altogether different category.

3. An audience member must clap appropriately at the END of the dance only. It is distracting and unnerving for performers to have to perform to clapping instead of music.

4. At the end of the performance, the audience is immediately to stand up to applause.

5. NO FOOD AND DRINK INSIDE THE THEATRE! And even if it is allowed in the theatre, you shouldn't eat in during the performance! (Unless, you have a medical problem where you must have a drink of water or medication in specified intervals.)

6. You must be polite to the ushers, and give the appropriate "Thank you" when recieving your seat location and program.

7. You must not utter an inappropriate remark to a patron trying to leave the theatre or trying to get to their seat. Just get your stuff out of the way and stand to make room!

Anything else that I have forgotten?

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Some may find this harsh, but I think that if you are sick, and contagious, don't go to the ballet. Illness spreads very quickly in cramped places, especially if you are coughing and sneezing a lot. As SFB's season coincides with cold and flu season, there are several colds and cases of the flu I've endured that I have reason to believe came from a "cougher" at the ballet. I know it's an involuntary bodily function whose purpose it is to clear the lungs, but please cover your mouth.

Try not to hum, whistle, or otherwise join in along with the music. I came to see a ballet and hear the orchestra, not an audience member accompanying it.

If you are tall, keep your head still, and try to avoid big beehive hairdos. I'm very short, and I get tired of having an amorphous gray mass move into my field of vision when I am peering out onto the stage with my binoculars.

If you are taking a date to the ballet, that's wonderful. What's not wonderful is two lovebirds going at it while I am trying to watch a performance. This is not the movies. Get a room if all you want to do is neck all night.

[ 07-18-2001: Message edited by: BalletNut ]

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Well, yes, I agree with you on that. But it is only to be polite. But I see what you mean.


Whatever! ;)

I have come up with one more:

8. When a performance is over, and bows have finished, the audience should face either the left or right (depending on seat location) and WAIT until those in front have left the row in order to get out.

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9. Please wait until the end of the bows to go to your car. It is distracting to other audience members and demoralizing to the dancers. Show your appreciation for the performance given and clap until the end. Unless of course you hated it, then you can leave whenever you want I suppose.

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