This weekend I had the joy of seeing two superb productions. One was of “Guys and Dolls” at Cedar Falls High School, the other one was of “The Velveteen Rabbit” at the Black Hawk Children’s Theatre (which I reviewed here..
They don’t sound like places you’d find good theater, huh?
However, the behavior of the audience members at the two shows weren’t the best. But in defense of the audience at “Guys and Dolls,” there was no curtain speech and I wasn’t surrounded by texting audience members, unlike at Cedar Falls High School’s production of “Arsenic and Old Lace.”
So, here are some thoughts on audience behavior that is specified for those two venues. These also come from the person that was sitting on the aisle, silently crying during most of act two of “The Velveteen Rabbit.”
1). I understand that at a school play chances are very likely that audience members know the actors in the play. But when an actor kisses an actress because the script requires it, you do not show you’re disdain for such an act. Especially when it looks very real and natural. The characters portrayed on stage are not the same people you see in the halls on a daily basis. If I can tell the difference between a friend of mine and the character he played in a production of “Oleanna” by David Mamet (that character is John, the professor, for the non-Mamet savvy readers), you can differentiate as well. So, please, shut the hell up.
2). I’m aware that it’s called children’s theater and that not all theaters have restrictions on how young the audience members can be. But when your child begins to cry and scream during the show, please take them out of the theater. Everyone else paid money to see the show and, hopefully, enjoy it.