Theatre Etiquette – Chapter 1: Choosing a Show

A while ago I wrote an article in spanish called ‘Modales en el Teatro’ (you can find it at which translates more or less into Theatre Etiquette. Many people found it very useful as a guide to know the basics of going to the theatre. So I decided to share this piece of advice in a collection of articles that I’m going to simply call: Theatre Etiquette.

Chapter 1: Choosing a Show

CSL087While movies are now part of our ordinary life, theatre has become something we don’t do as often. Yes, price is a variant but there are plenty of shows in many cities for the same price as a movie ticket. But since it is more of an extraordinary experience for many people, it is important to make the most out of it.

The first part of having a fantastic evening (or afternoon) at the theatre is choosing the right show. Very often, when we think a show was bad it is because it didn’t fulfill our expectations. When we decide to see a show it is important to do a little research on what we are going to see. We need to know what to expect if its a Comedy or a Drama, or an experimental piece. In musicals, a show can vary dramatically if it is a show that focuses on choreography, music, singing, production or storyline. Why do some people didn’t like Cats? Because it has no story line (not a strong one whatsoever) but it is one of the most impressive productions that is based on a group of individual poems. With fantastic choreography, set and costume design and Andrew Lloyd Webber’s music at its best. But if you expect a theatre piece with a story to be told, you may be setting yourself for a big disappointment. Knowing what is special about the show you are about to see is key for you to enjoy it and appreciate it to its full.

Now, the actual acquisition of the tickets. This depends a lot on the show you are going to see, but if its a popular show in a decent sized city you are going to need to buy those tickets with some anticipation. HGershwinTheatreow much anticipation? Well it all depends so the best thing you can do is call the theatre. Where you sit will have some influence in your appreciation of the show and the good news is that in most theatres you can always get a good seat if you buy on time. On the opposite, you can get a very bad expensive ticket if you don’t. For example, on Broadway, 70% of the theatre has the same price. This means that for the same 100dlls or so you can be in fifth row or you can be all the way in the back the house, maybe even on the second balcony. The reason why is that many tourists wait until they are there to buy there tickets and producers take advantage of this because they know they are going to buy the ticket anyway. Take a look at the map of the Gershwin. You can see there where the tickets start to get cheaper. To add to this, Broadway producers are considering moving their prices according to demand, on the go. Yes, this means that actually the person right next to you could have payed much less than you did if he bought before that date became popular, and also tickets being way more expensive during vacation seasons. Just like airplane tickets.

In conclusion, this is the very first step to make a visit to the theatre remarkable and enjoyable. Theatre is expensive very often, so we might as well take advantage of it.

Please comment down here and tell me and other readers what you think! Thanks for reading and we will continue this article with Chapter 2: Before the Show

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3 thoughts on “Theatre Etiquette – Chapter 1: Choosing a Show

  1. Capo says:

    It is a total delight to read this in English as it was in Spanish some time ago
    This means it is a delight to read it and easy to understand for us, non-regular theatre-goers.
    Cheers! Keep up with this, you’re awesome!

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