Patti LuPone Offers Five Rules of Theatre Etiquette, Starting with “Respect”

download (19)Tony- and Olivier Award-winning actress Patti LuPone, currently back on the New York stage in the Lincoln Center Theater production of Shows for Days, has supplied The Wall Street Journal with a five-point list of theatre etiquette.

LuPone, a Tony winner for her performances in Evita and Gypsy, recently made headlines when she seized the cell phone of a woman who was using it during the July 8 evening performance of Shows for Days.

LuPone’s rules of theatre etiquette, according to the Wall Street Journal, follow:

1 R-E-S-P-E-C-T
Be aware of your theatergoing neighbor. In front of you, behind you, to your right, and left. Treat them with respect, unless you’re sitting next to a loudmouthed idiot.

2 Power Down
Turn off all electronic devices, and watch the play instead.

3 Have Dinner Beforehand
Refrain from eating and drinking in your seat. The majestic old ladies that are Broadway’s great theaters deserve your respect. The theater isn’t your kitchen. There is always intermission to imbibe.

4 Use Judgment
Don’t feel obligated to give everything you see a standing ovation.

5 Prepare For Bliss
Come to the theater with the expectation of being transported. Isn’t that why you bought the ticket?

Following the cell-phone incident, LuPone issued a statement July 9, which follows: “We work hard on stage to create a world that is being totally destroyed by a few, rude, self-absorbed and inconsiderate audience members who are controlled by their phones. They cannot put them down. When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore. Now I’m putting battle gear on over my costume to marshall the audience as well as perform.”

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