Theatre Etiquette You Need To Know

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The word “etiquette” is defined by Google as “the customary code of polite behavior in society or among members of a particular profession or group”, which definitely applies to theatre. After all, a night at a theatre is a drastically different environment than a night at the movie theater. But as of late, there have many incidents to suggest that people often forget how to act in a theatre – from a patron trying to charge his phone using a fake outlet on stage, to Patti Lupone famously taking an audience member’s phone and scolding them for texting during a show. So today, I’m going to shed some light on the things you should and shouldn’t do while at the theatre.

Turn off your phone

You saw this one coming. As the cast of An American in Paris says during their Easter Bonnet parody of The Book of Mormon‘s “Turn It Off”, well, audiences seem to be trouble having doing just that. At most shows just before the lights dim, there will typically be an announcement reminding audience members to turn their electronics off, as they can be a distraction to those on stage. A good number of audience members will not take this seriously and completely ignore it, continuing to use their phones up until the overture starts.

What most people don’t realize is that the announcement is right; it is a huge distraction to actors on stage, and other audience members. It’s not just the sound of your default iPhone ringtone if it happens to go off, it’s the light from the screen if you’re texting. Not only can other audience members see it as clear as day, actors can too. The bright stage lights often make things beyond the stage completely dark and difficult to see, helping actors to concentrate on the scene and not so much the audience – but if there’s a phone out, actors can say goodbye to their hyper focus.

This issue has become so common in theaters around the world that a West End theater in London had considered pointing a laser in the faces of those who commit this offense in theater. Even if you’re Snapchatting how you’re at Hamilton and just have to get that last lyric quote in, it can wait. If there’s suddenly an emergency, take it to the lobby. The rest of the audience will thank you.

Don’t leave during the bows

We all understand parking is expensive and you don’t want to get swept up in the rush of people leaving at the same time to get to their cars, or you just have to be first in line to meet your favorite actor at the stage door. But leaving during the bows gives the impression that you are in a rush to get out of there and don’t really have any interest in celebrating the people who entertained you.

You spent just two hours at a show, the least you could do is spend a few more minutes rewarding the actors and band for the their hard work. Plus, pushing past others who are seated around you and want to enjoy the bows in incredible rude. Just calm down and stay put. Your car won’t miss you.

Don’t talk or sing during the show

I don’t care if this is your kid’s 20th time seeing Wicked and just wants to belt out “Defying Gravity” with Elphaba. Singing along with the show while it’s being performed is completely unacceptable in any circumstance. Those who do this take away attention from the actual performers and make it seem as though they aren’t really paying attention to the show in the first place.

The same goes for talking. It’s fine to have an audible reaction to something (like laughing or gasping), but turning to a fellow audience member to ask a question about the show or critique an actor’s looks is inappropriate during the show. If you just have to tell someone, wait until intermission or after the show.

Of course, there is an exception to the no talking/singing rule: if you’re prompted to do so by the actors. The 2013 revival of Pippin is known for its audience participation in the song “No Time At All”. Despite this cases like this, always use your better judgement and remember that there’s a time and a place for everything.


What’s an instance where you saw someone not following theatre etiquette that made you angry? Should I make another post on theatre etiquette in the future? Tell me in the comments!

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Auditions: What You Need to Know

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In the theatre world, auditions are essentially like job interviews. If you don’t do well in the interview, you won’t get the job. And just like with any job interview, people are always seeking out tips to optimize their audition experience. Practically every theatre blog, forum, and actor under the sun have attempted to give their advice in the past, so today I’m going to try my hand at it and cover some audition advice you’ve probably heard before and some you might not have even considered.

Before the audition

If you aren’t given specific audition sides by the director, chances are you’ll need to pick a song and monologue yourself. Generally, it’s best to pick a song and monologue that are similar in style to the show you’re auditioning for. For example, if you’re auditioning for a Sondheim show, it’d be best to pick song from another one of his shows that isn’t the one you’re auditioning for. It’s widely accepted that you should stay away from overdone songs that hail from popular, more recent shows like Wicked, Rent and Les Miserables. Make sure you can cut both your song and monologue to the length specified by the director. Start studying up on the show and your song and monologue to the point where you’re comfortable enough you can show the directors you’re the right choice for the part. Starting practicing at least three weeks before the audition to ensure you have everything memorized and your interpretation of the character you’re auditioning for is solid. Keeping your vocal health in check during the weeks leading up to your audition is also a must.

During the audition

As soon as you enter your audition, you should be aware of yourself. One thing that I feel a lot of people forget but find incredibly beneficial is being nice to everyone you meet, from others who are also auditioning, to the accompanist. If the directors see you’re particularly personable towards everyone, this tells them you’d be easy to work with. If your nerves start to get to you during the lead up to you going in front of the directors, let them. While this seems counterintuitive, feeling nervous can actually contribute to your adrenaline skyrocketing, which can be used to your advantage to channel into your performance. After your performance, make sure to thank everyone before you leave. Don’t stress too much while waiting for the cast list! Just know that you did your best and even if you don’t get the exact part you want that that’s okay. That just means the directors saw something in you that you didn’t! If you don’t get cast, don’t worry. Not every show is meant for everyone. Keep auditioning and practicing. Now get out there and break a leg!


What are your audition tips?  Let me know in the comments!

The Art of Playbill Collecting and Trading

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You know those yellow-topped, purse-sized magazines you get when you see a play or a musical that give you some insight into who the cast and creatives are? Those are Playbills. In my experience, there are two kinds of theatergoers when it comes to Playbills: those who read the Playbills just as something to do before the show, then just leave them on the floor when they leave, and those who are the exact opposite and cherish every Playbill they own, even going as far to a bit after the show to pick up dropped ones. The latter kind of person is most likely a Playbill collector. Today, we’re going to dive deep into the intricate art of Playbill collecting, trading, and selling – and why people are so addicted to it.

Something about the idea of having a free keepsake from a 2 hour theatre piece is what draws people in to Playbill collecting. Like most collections, it starts small, with just one Playbill. In my personal experience, I just saved every Playbill from the few shows I had seen from the start. Then the rest of my family who had brought their Playbills home pawned them off on me, and from there I made a choice to work on growing my collection. So, if you want to start a Playbill collection just by seeing shows, give it time! Remember that even the largest collections started somewhere.

If waiting isn’t your style, it’s time to do some research into the vast world of Playbill trading and selling. Want a Playbill for a certain show that features a specific cast? Chances are, you can get one by trading one of your Playbills with another Playbill seller. Through negotiation, you can work out which one of your Playbills is of “equal value” to what one you want, payment, and shipment. If you’re looking to trade, make sure you do it through a reputable platform, such as Tumblr, BroadwayWorld Forums, or the Broadway subreddit. On the other hand, if you’re looking to just get of a Playbill or snag a couple extra dollars, you can sell you playbills instead. Ebay is the most common place for this.

Despite all the fun, having a large Playbill collection comes with a literal price: storage. Most hardcore Playbill collectors have one or more official Playbill binders – which are priced from a range of $15-$40 based on Playbill capacity – to keep them safe if they plan on displaying, trading, or selling them. But if you don’t have a large collection or the funds to practically secure your Playbills in a maximum security fortress, fear not! One storage option I used when I first started out Playbill collecting is an item everyone might have laying around the house: a shoe box. It sounds odd, but a regular old shoe box is the perfect size for at least 20 or so Playbills. If you store the box in a dry, room temperature climate, it should work out just fine. Make sure to upgrade your storage once your collection gets bigger, or you decide to sell or trade. Keeping your Playbills in the best condition possible is crucial to making a successful trade.

Whether you’re brand new to Playbill collecting and trading or you’re a seasoned pro, the most important thing to remember is don’t be intimidated. You’ll learn as you go. Have fun and get collecting!


And that’s it! Those are basics when it comes to maintaining a Playbill collection, and trading and selling. Was there anything I missed? What’s your favorite Playbill in your collection? Let me know in the comments!

How to Survive BroadwayCon When You Can’t Go

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“The New Administration” panel featuring the current cast of Hamilton at BroadwayCon 2017.

In the aftermath a weekend full of non-stop Instagram posts, Snapchat stories, and hundreds of tweets, I’m going to try to do the impossible – create a guide to help you to survive BroadwayCon when you can’t make it.

Whatever the reason, not being able to be at BroadwayCon for even a few hours is absolutely crushing to a die-hard theatre fan. The second annual three-day convention for theatre lovers just concluded on Sunday, and I bet your social media feeds are still flooded with pictures and videos of anything from panels to amazing cosplays posted by those lucky enough to actually be there in person. So, what can be done to alleviate the extreme fear-of-missing-out you get when you scroll through all your social media? In all honesty, none of these methods will come close to actually experiencing BroadwayCon yourself, but hopefully they will raise your spirits.

Get caught up

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This first one may seem counter intuitive, but if you’re really bummed out about not being able to see a certain panel or actor live, check around the BroadwayCon social media and on YouTube to try and find a complete recording of what you’re looking for. Plus, scrolling through the official social media can help you get a better handle on everything that happened at BroadwayCon. Despite not being there physically, you can still stay up to date!

Immerse yourself

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One of the many joys of BroadwayCon is being around other like-minded people, from rambling on and on about Dear Evan Hansen, to meeting fellow Hamilton fans at the sing-along. If you truly want to replicate that feeling, invite some of your theatre loving friends over! You can see a show, sing along to your favorite cast albums or watch your favorite movie musicals. Hit up the online Playbill Store to snag some awesome Broadway merch. Or just see La La Land again. The best part about this is one is that there’s no set schedule to follow, and no crowds! You can decide whatever Broadway-related activities you want to participate in, at any time you want. If your friends aren’t available, worry not! You can still do all of these things by yourself. Dance like nobody’s watching.

Go local

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If you live a long ways away from NYC, there are some cost friendly alternatives to BroadwayCon. Many states have a theatre festival for high school students, as well as student rush tickets at theatres in large cities. Some places, including Chicago, have an entire week dedicated to local theatre. Or perhaps reading is more your thing? Head to your local bookstore and look around their drama section! From Shakespeare to librettos, songbooks, and good old monologue books, you’re sure to find something.

There’s always next year

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When the feeling of missing out on an event as huge for the theatre community is just too great, it’s time to start looking into to next year’s BroadwayCon. If it’s a goal of yours to make the pilgrimage in 2018, start saving up now and keep an eye out in the coming months for announcements on panels and guests so you can plan ahead to make your BroadwayCon experience as smooth and stress-free as possible.


This year’s BroadwayCon fell during a time of unprecedented amount of political strife in our country. During times like this, it’s important to be able to escape all that – even for just a little while – no matter where you live. The theatre community has always been a place of light and hope for everyone and anyone who wishes to be apart of it. BroadwayCon reminds us all that we’re not alone – even if you couldn’t be there yourself to see it. If you feel like you missed out this year, I hope some of these solutions helped you out. But of course, next year’s BroadwayCon awaits…