What to Know Before You Attend a Theatre Performance
If you’re new to theatre, you might not know what to expect when you attend your first performing arts show.
Don’t worry! We have you covered with 7 tips to help you look like a theatre-attending pro.
1. DO dress up if you want
Theatre can be a fun night out for the whole family! Many of our patrons like to make a night of it by dressing up and enjoying dinner out before or after the show.
2. DO arrive early
Arriving early is essential in making sure the show runs smoothly. We recommend arriving 15-30 minutes before show time to allow enough time for parking, checking in, and finding your seats. You might even want to allow a few extra minutes to check out the concession stand or promotions table before entering the theatre. Entering after the performance has begun can be distracting to both the actors and other audience members. Plan to be there early so you can enjoy every second of the performance!
3. DON'T go backstage
NTPA performers, creative team, and crew members work hard to put on a great show, and there are a lot of moving parts. Going backstage before, during, or after a performance can disturb the entire process, and is strictly forbidden. Meet and greets with cast members are typically available after the show in the main lobby area or outside the theatre.
4. DO turn off your devices (phone/watch/camera)
Having a device light up or make sound during a performance can be a disturbance to the actors and other audience members. Turning your device completely off or putting it in theatre/airplane mode is the best way to ensure there will not be any distractions.
5. DON'T make excess noise (talking/eating/singing along) during the show
NTPA performers work very hard to prepare their dialogue and music during a performance. Talking, loud eating, and singing along can take away from the hours of hard work that are put into every rehearsal. Respect the actors and other patrons around you by remaining quiet during the performance.
6. DO stay seated until intermission (unless an emergency)
In an emergency situation, we understand that you may need to leave the theatre in the middle of a performance. The best time to leave and not distract the performances or audience members is during intermission. If you do need to leave before the intermission or end of the show, it is best to do so between songs or scenes and ALWAYS through a back entrance.
7. DO praise the actors with applause and laughter at appropriate times
NTPA Performers LOVE to get energy from the audience, and it helps them have the BEST performance they can give. But when applause and laughter are given at moments when they are not expecting it, it can have the opposite effect and hurt their performance. Applause usually takes place at the end of a scene. If you’re new to theatre and unsure of when to applaud, follow the lead of other audience members.