A Quick Guide to Theatre Etiquette

Dear Youth Shakespeare patrons:
Thank you for supporting our young company and for buying tickets to see our shows! We would like to remind you and your family members about some critical aspects of live theatre etiquette. We ask that you keep these points in mind to improve your own experience of live theatre and the experience of other audience members (not to mention the experience of the actors on stage and all of the volunteers working backstage and elsewhere).

Buy the Tickets You Need, Return Those You Don’t

Please buy tickets, lots of them! However, if your plans change and you don’t need all of the tickets you bought, let us know as soon as you can! When a show sells out and you are a “no-show,” we may have to turn away people who could have had your seats. If we had known you weren’t coming, we could have let those people in!

Arrive on Time, Allow for Traffic and Parking

Live theatre does not have previews, or warm-up acts, or commercials! The show starts when it starts!

We always try to start a 7 p.m. show at 7 p.m. If you come at 7:10, you will miss the beginning, and we may have to ask you to wait until a convenient break before you can take your seats. If you come as late as 7:15 or 7:30, we may have sold your seats by then! We have every right to do this if other people without tickets are waiting.

We all know how bad the traffic can be in the San Jose area so please allow plenty of time to get to the theatre and park. If you come early, you can get better seats, read the program, have a cup of coffee or a cookie, and focus your mind on the performance to come. The experience will be so much better for you, and so much better for everyone else!

When you arrive late, remember that it is not just your loss: you may inconvenience all of the audience who came on time, all of the actors, and some of the theatre staff as well.

Turn Off All of Your Devices! Watch the Show, Not a Screen!

Before the show starts, turn off every electronic device that you and your family brought with you. Other audience members and the actors cannot tolerate the light from screens, the sound of typing, or worst of all, unexpected ringtones!

Holding up a device in front of you to take pictures or videos is not allowed! Even if there is no sound, the light from the screen is a big distraction to anyone sitting behind you or next to you. Enjoy the show by watching the show, not by trying to record it.

Children who want to play games or text their friends during a show have no place in a live theatre audience. These activities are not allowed, and we reserve the right to ask you to leave if you allow your children to do these things.

Sit and Stay Seated Until the Intermission

Coming and going during a show is highly distracting to other audience members and may disturb the actors as well. Please remain seated until the intermission. If you suspect that you might need to get up to look after a young child or a baby, choose an aisle seat.

If you must leave the auditorium while the show is running, at least wait for the end of a scene or a break in the action. Whenever you must leave, leave as quietly and as quickly as you can.

When the Lights Go Down, Keep Conversation to a Minimum

During the show, keep chatter to a minimum. Reserve time before the show and during the intermission to greet friends or discuss the play. Come early to the show so you can read the play synopsis in the program and help your children understand what they are about to watch.

Patronize Our Snack Bar, But Finish Your Treats Before the Show Starts

Please buy drinks and treats at our snack bar! However, if we are at The Historic Hoover Theatre, please finish them before taking your seats.

When we are at The Studio Theatre at Houge Park, you are welcome to take food and drinks to your seats, but please do not play with water bottles, crinkle candy wrappers, or eat noisily.

Thank You!
Observing the rules of live theatre etiquette can repay you and your family members in many ways. You will enjoy the show more yourself, and everyone around you will have a far better entertainment experience.