Theater Etiquette

Theater Etiquette / Grades Pre-K-5

HOW TO ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE AT NORTHROP

Going to a theater to see a live performance is very fun. If you do the following things you’ll enjoy the show and you won’t disturb the people sitting next to you.

    • Leave your backpack at school.
    • Leave all food, drinks, and gum at school or on the bus.
    • Use the restroom before the show starts.

If you have to go to the restroom, or anywhere else, be sure to go with a teacher or an adult.

  • Turn off and put away cell phones before the performance begins.
  • Stay seated and remain still during the performance.
  • Be respectful of the performers and other people in the audience by not talking during the performance. Remember, the performers can see and hear the audience just like you can see and hear them.
  • Appropriate responses such as applause or laughter are always welcome.

Theater Etiquette / Grades 6-12

HOW TO ENJOY THE PERFORMANCE AT NORTHROP

  • Leave all food, drinks, and gum at school or on the bus.
  • Turn off and put away cell phones before the performance begins.
  • Refrain from texting during the performance.
  • Use the restroom before the performance or wait until it is finished.
  • Respect the theater. Remember to keep your feet on the floor and stay seated during the performance.
  • When the house lights dim, the performance is about to begin. This is the time to stop talking and focus on the stage.
  • Appropriate responses such as laughing and applauding are appreciated. Pay attention to artists on the stage because they will let you know what is appropriate.
  • Open your eyes, ears, mind and heart to the experience.
  • Enjoy yourself. 

GOING TO THE THEATER

Your Role as an Audience Member

  • 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?