A Guide to Proper Theatre Etiquette


Sam Dyson, Layout Editor-in-Chief

Going to see plays and musicals can be expensive for everyone whether that be the lifelong fan or someone experiencing theatre for the first time. While expensive, it is a wonderful experience for anyone of any age. With going to see a performance, there is proper etiquette you should follow to make your experience and others experience more enjoyable.


  1. Do not use your phone during the show

Never use your phone during the performance. It is disrespectful to the actors, to the people around you who are trying to watch the show, and to yourself since you are missing something that you paid money to see. Using your phone during a show is very distracting to everyone in the theatre and the performers since they can see the brightness of your phone too. Turn your phone off, you do not need it during the show.


  1. Do not sing along during the performance

The people around you paid to see professional performers sing the songs they have been performing for multiple, not hear your rendition of the song. It is extremely rude and insensitive to the people trained in their craft.


  1. Do not talk during the show

Just like singing along, talking is something you should not do during the performance. Even at a whisper, it is distracting to those around you and everyone can hear you since theatres have a lot of sound resonance so everyone can hear the orchestra and singers from any seat. Most plays and musicals have a 10 to 15-minute intermission which is the perfect time to talk to the people you are with about your thoughts on act one, not during the middle of the show.


  1. Be considerate of those around you

The person next to you would like to pay attention to the actors on stage without having to worry about you stepping on their feet or having to worry about you invading their personal space. Common courtesy goes a long way.


  1. Dress appropriately

Theatre is a formal form of entertainment, so you do not want to show up to a performance looking like you just came back from the gym or look like you just woke up. If you see a matinée, you don’t have to dress up as much compared to an evening performance, but you should still definitely look presentable. As for evening shows, you should dress up a bit more as if you were going to a fancy dinner.  


Being respectable and courteous is never hard to do. It will make your experience with theatre much better and the people around you will be secretly thankful for your proper actions.