Theatre Etiquette and Theatre Etiquette for Children

Theatre Etiquette

1. Arrive early. If you are late, you may be held out or reseated until an appropriate time for you to get to your assigned seat. People who arrive late disturb the performers on stage and audience members. It is best to arrive about 30 minutes early so that you have time to purchase concessions, find your seat, and read the program before the show starts.

2. Take care of personal needs (drinks of water or restroom) because you should not leave your seat until the intermission or until the performance ends.

3. Please sit in the seat you are assigned so you do not cause confusion for other audience members.

4. Please silence or turn off all electronic devices, including cell phones, beepers, and watch alarms. You’ll be embarrassed if it goes off in the middle of a tense moment of the show and it will break the mood for everyone. We encourage you to share your experience at Leach Theatre via social media, but please refrain from doing so or texting during performances; the glow from your device is distracting.

5. If you are on-call for an emergency situation, you may give your cell phone or beeper to the Head Usher. Tell the Head Usher your seat number so he/she may contact you if the device rings.

6. Most shows do not allow photography of any kind. Flash photography inside the theatre is never allowed as it is a distraction to those around you and a danger to the performers.

7. The overture is part of the performance. Please cease talking at this point.

8. The sound system for each show is provided by the touring production. Unfortunately, many variables exist that may occasionally hinder sound quality. Please let an usher know if you are having trouble hearing. Adjustments may be able to be made or an assisted listening device can be provided.

9. Please refrain from talking, humming, or singing along with the show, except when encouraged to do so by the artist or show.

10. Please wait for an appropriate moment to dig something out of your pocket or bag.

11. Go easy with the perfume and cologne, many people are highly allergic.

12. If you need assistance during the show, please go to your nearest usher. If additional assistance is needed the usher will get the appropriate person to further help you.

13. Yes, the parking lot gets busy but leaving while the show is in progress or before the actors have taken their final bows is discourteous. Wait until it is over and then exit with the rest of the audience.

14. No food or drink is allowed in Leach Theatre with the exception of Leach Theatre cups and sipper bottles.

15. Just be courteous and everyone will enjoy the show.

Theatre Etiquette for Children

Children and Live Theatre

Attending a live theatre performance can be a magical and memorable experience for even young children. Done well, you will be planting the seeds of appreciation in a young patron for a love of live theatre. Done poorly, you can create an awful experience for your child and the people seated around you.

First, take time to select the proper show for your child to see. It would be unfair to ask your child to behave their best if you have selected a show that would bore them or that they do not understand.

For all Campus Performance Arts Series shows and Leach Special Performances, everyone is required to have a ticket for admittance to the show – regardless of age. In some cases it might be more cost effective to hire a babysitter and make the performance a date night instead. Infants should always be left at home, as there is no distraction quite like a crying baby. 

For Family Films and School Outreach performances, children age 1 and under may be issued a free lap pass ticket for entrance to the theatre. All other children must purchase a youth ticket.

If you are unsure about children's ticket requirements for your selected performance, please check with the box office.

Here are some general guidelines that should be mentioned prior to attending a live performance to prepare your child to present the proper behavior everyone will be expecting from him or her:

  • They will be expected to be quiet, sit still in their own chair, and not disturb others around them by talking or fidgeting.
  • They will need to keep their feet on the floor, not on the seats around them. They should not kick the chair in front of them or stand during the performance.
  • They should not leave the theatre except during intermission and only with their parent(s) or guardian.
  • They should use the restroom before the performance or during intermission and only with their parent(s) or guardian.
  • They may applaud when appropriate.

Also mention to your children that the theatre will be dark at times and sudden bursts of sounds may happen.

If your child becomes restless, frightened, or very loud, please take them to the lobby, but remember that our lobby is not soundproof and loud noise will travel into the theatre. You may always ask an usher to reseat you towards the back of the theatre if seats are available.

We are all here to enjoy the show so let's do our best to make each show enjoyable for all!