Top Five Tips for Theater Etiquette

This has likely happened to you at some point: You’re sitting in a theater watching a dazzling, live performance… Only to suddenly be distracted by your neighbors’ crinkling wrappers, the piercing light of their smartphone screens, or the carrying sound of their voices as they converse.

Just like you, other Smith Center patrons attend music, theater and dance shows to relax and feel entertained.

In celebration of National Kindness Day this November, please enjoy the friendly reminders below on theater etiquette, to help ensure everyone enjoys the performance.

Silence, Please

However quiet you think you are when you whisper your commentary or unwrap your snack, sound carries easily in a quiet theater and can disrupt those around you.

Once the lights go down, consider this a cue to take a break from conversation and just sit back to enjoy — and wait to fight with wrappers until intermission.

Be On Time

Sometimes life happens, and circumstances beyond your control simply make you late.

But there are many ways to help prevent this: double check your performance’s start time and review your pre-arrival email for traffic and parking updates that could affect your visit.

Try to give yourself ample time to park, find your seat, grab a snack and use the restroom.

Turn Off Technology

Live shows offer the chance to unplug and engage with a live experience — so enjoy it! Please ensure your technology is muted or turned off, and remains parked in your pocket or purse during the show.

You might be tempted to take photos or video. But unless the performer has given explicit permission, resist this urge and remember how a glowing screen affects your neighbors.

Respect Others’ Boundaries

While it’s great to relax at the theater, please respect the space of those around you. Try to keep your legs within the boundaries of your own chair and ensure any jackets, purses or other items aren’t spilling over into neighboring seats.

Take Any Issues to the Usher

If you feel your neighbors are distracting, starting a confrontation with them won’t necessarily improve the situation. Please take any complaints or concerns to The Smith Center’s trained ushers, who will address the matter appropriately.

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