During the Performance

Seeing a live performance is a special and unique experience. Although it is not required, many people enjoy dressing up when they attend the theater.

Unlike the passive experience of watching a movie, audience members play an important role in every live performance. The performers on stage are very aware of the audience's mood and level of engagement.

Ushers at many live performances will not allow audience members who are late to their seats to sit down and disrupt other patrons until a specific break -- such as after a song or scene has ended and before the next one starts.

Each performance calls for a different response from the audience members. Bands may wish for the audience to clap along while dancers may want the audience to focus silently on the stage and applaud only during natural breaks in the performance or at the end.

Audience members can often take cues from performers on how to respond to appropriately. For example, performers will often pause or bow for applause at a specific time. As you experience the performance consider the following questions:

  • What kind of live performance is this (a play, a dance, a concert, etc.)?
  • What is the mood of the performance? Is the subject matter serious or lighthearted?
  • What is the mood of the performers? Are they happy or somber and reserved?
  • Are the performers encouraging the audience to clap to the music or move to the beat?
  • Are there natural breaks in the performance where applause seems appropriate?

During the the performances:

  • Observe the elements of a college campus
  • Remember to show respect by using theater etiquette
  • Enjoy the performance and appreciate the talented artists
  • Begin to reflect on the experience
  • Participate in the post-performance dialogue (Cellphones are allowed for this portion)