Bad Behavior at the Theatre


A couple weeks ago, I read an article online about an audience member who had charges filed against him for breaking a woman's cell phone. Apparently, the lady was refusing to turn off her phone during the production and had irritated all the audience members around her.  Here's the article on the Gothamist, in case you missed it.

We've all experienced assholes at the theatre. When Matthew Gillespie and I attended House of Dancing Water last Christmas we had a guy next to us who not only left his cell phone on but answered it during the show and yelled on it in Mandarin for a good five minutes.

I also read a recent article about James McAvoy's production of Macbeth where he broke character, stopped the show and then admonished an audience member for filming him against permission. Now... I find this hilarious that Mr. McAvoy was so annoyed he stopped the whole play to yell at someone like they were an insolent child.

Are bad audiences ruining the theatre experience for all us? Should we tolerate bad behavior from our fellow audience members? Should we be brave like Mr. Williamson and go around smashing offenders' cell phones? If they take flash photography, should cameras also be flung against the walls? Should ushers take away cell phones from naughty audience members and return them at the ends of the shows, if they can't follow directions?

Now... We can't live in a perfect world where everyone sits in silence for 2 hours and actually sits engaged. This isn't the 80's. There'll always be that jerk in the 4th row who forgets to turn his phone off.

I'm just taking suggestions on what sort of punishments we deal out to people who insist on checking their Facebook statuses during the play!



How should rude theatre audience members be punished? free polls 



  • brad
    05 June 2013

    I want to kill every person who googles something during a show

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