Theatre Etiquette

Theatre Etiquette Guidelines

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Being respectful and considerate of others is the main idea behind any "rules" of conduct. The 10 basic etiquette tips for the theater are:

1. Arrive early: to avoid being late, plan to arrive 30 minutes early. Sometimes unexpected circumstances make it impossible to arrive on time. However, if you arrive late, you will need to wait until there is a break in the act, performance. Please do not argue with the PACE Ambassador ushers, they are just doing their job.

2. Turn off cell phones, pagers, watch alarms, and other electronic devices. If you forgot to turn off your cell phone and it rings during the performance, immediately turn it off, do not take the call. You can always check for messages during the intermission.

3. Please do not talk, whisper, sing, or hum during the performance.  We’re happy you may know the dialogue or song, but your fellow audience members might not be so impressed.

4. Unwrap cough suppressants during applause, laughing, or loud musical numbers, and do so quickly.

5. Please keep feet on the floor, not on the back of the seat or balcony in front of you.

6. Performers appreciate enthusiastic applause, shouts of "Bravo" or "Brava," and standing ovations, as well as applause after a well performed song or dance during a scene, after each scene or act, and at curtain call. The conductor is typically applauded as he/she takes the podium for the Overture (at the beginning of the show) and after Intermission.

7. At the end of the performance, please do not jump and rush for the exit doors.  You may cause an injury to yourself or someone else, and it may appear rude to performers.  Also, do not assume you can go backstage after a performance.  As a rule, if the performers want to greet guests, they will do so in the Main Lobby.

8. Always check to see if performance is appropriate for your child's age.  If you bring your child to the theater, prepare them beforehand by telling them about theater manners. Explain that they should be quiet, sit still, and not disturb others around them. If it is a serious play, tell them to listen carefully and not laugh at the sad parts or other inappropriate times. They need to keep any negative comments to themselves, until they are out of the building. Performers have worked hard to prepare the show.  Have them use the restroom before the performance begins. If your child disturbs the audience, take them out into the Lobby. Some theaters prefer children under 4 not attend, unless it is a youth symphony or other children's performance.

9. Do not use cameras or videotape during the performance, unless special permission has been given.

10. Normally, theater seats are staggered so that no one is directly in front of you. However, if your view is severely blocked by a tall person in front of you, get a booster cushion for your chair, or ask the usher to find you another seat before the performance begins if the performance is not sold out.

11.  Please note that as of August 1, 2012 the Oklahoma State law of no smoking on state property takes effect.

AND - It’s usually a good idea to use the restroom at home or at the restaurant before the show, as the theater restrooms can have long lines.  Enjoy!