The Ultimate Guide to Theatre Etiquette: Dos and Don’ts for a Memorable Experience

Theatre Etiquette Dos and Don'ts

Attending a live theatre performance is a captivating experience that can transport you to different worlds, evoke emotions, and leave you with lasting memories. To fully enjoy this experience and show respect for the performers and fellow audience members, it’s essential to follow proper theatre etiquette. In this guide, we’ll delve into the dos and don’ts of theatre etiquette to ensure you have a memorable and enjoyable time at the likes of Abraham Chavez Theatre.

The Dos:

Arrive on Time:

Being punctual is a simple yet crucial aspect of theatre etiquette. Arrive early to allow time for finding your seat, using the restroom, and settling in. Late arrivals can disrupt both the performers and fellow audience members.

Silence Your Devices:

Before the show begins, make sure to turn off your cell phone, or at least set it to silent mode. The bright screen and ringing tones can be distracting and disruptive to both the performers and those around you.

Respect Dress Code:

While theatre dress codes have become more relaxed over the years, it’s still important to show respect for the event by dressing appropriately. Opt for neat and comfortable attire that aligns with the tone of the performance.

Applaud and React:

Feel free to applaud after scenes, songs, or impressive performances. Laughter, tears, and other natural reactions are also welcome—after all, your emotional responses contribute to the collective experience.

Wait for a Break to Enter or Exit:

If you need to leave your seat during the performance, wait for an appropriate break, like an intermission or scene change. Moving around during intense moments can be distracting to both the actors and the audience.

Offer Your Full Attention:

Show respect to the performers by giving them your undivided attention. Put away distractions like food, drinks, and newspapers. Engage with the story unfolding on stage.

Stay Seated Throughout:

To avoid obstructing the view of those behind you, remain seated during the performance. If you must stand, do so only during standing ovations or at moments when the entire audience is encouraged to rise.

The Don’ts:

Don’t Talk During the Performance:

Engaging in conversations during the show is not only rude but also disruptive to others trying to enjoy the performance. Save your comments for intermission or after the show.

Don’t Record or Take Photos:

Recording or taking photos during a live performance is strictly prohibited, as it violates copyright laws and can distract both performers and fellow audience members.

Don’t Unwrap Noisy Snacks:

If you’re craving a snack, opt for items that can be consumed quietly. Noisy wrappers can easily disturb those around you and detract from the experience.

Don’t Sing Along or Recite Lines:

While it’s tempting to sing along with your favorite musical numbers, remember that you’re part of the audience, not the cast. Singing, humming, or reciting lines can disrupt the performance.

Don’t Put Your Feet Up:

Keep your feet on the ground and off the seats in front of you. This ensures that everyone has an unobstructed view of the stage and a comfortable experience.

Don’t Use Strong Fragrances:

Strong perfumes or colognes can be overwhelming to those with sensitivities and allergies. Opt for a light, subtle fragrance or none at all.

Don’t Rush to Leave:

After the curtain call, it’s courteous to stay seated until the performers have left the stage. This gesture acknowledges their hard work and dedication.

Additional Tips:

Be Mindful of Rustling:

Whether it’s your program, a candy wrapper, or your own movements, be aware of any rustling noises that could disturb those around you.

Follow Ushers’ Instructions:

Ushers are there to help guide you to your seat, provide assistance, and ensure a smooth experience. Follow their instructions and ask for help if needed.

Encourage Applause, Not Yelling:

While applause is encouraged, shouting, whistling, or calling out to the performers can be disruptive. Express your enthusiasm through respectful applause.

Teach Kids Theatre Etiquette:

If you’re attending with children, take the time to explain theatre etiquette to them beforehand. Teach them to remain seated, whisper if necessary, and clap when appropriate.


Attending a theatre performance is a shared experience that brings together performers and audience members in a unique and magical way. By adhering to proper theatre etiquette, you contribute to the overall enjoyment of the show for everyone involved. Remember, showing respect for the performers, fellow audience members, and the art itself ensures that each theatre visit is a memorable and enriching experience. So, whether you’re a seasoned theatre-goer or a first-timer, follow these dos and don’ts to ensure a stellar time at the theatre.

Last Updated on 8 months by Lavania Oluban

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