Audiences Behaving Badly? Depends on Whom You Ask

Talking, eating loudly and answering mobile phones: These are all behaviors that can be considered inappropriate for a theater audience. While some people prefer to speak out against audiences behaving badly, others — like Kit Harington, the Game of Thrones star who appeared in Doctor Faustus at London’s Duke of York’s theatre — suggest that criticizing young fans could kill theater.

The Guardian‘s Amelia Hill reports that Harington recently said: “I am afraid that, if the theatre is going to die of anything, it will be from exactly this type of stereotyping and prejudice aimed towards a new and younger generation of theatregoers.”

The article quotes Gary Sullivan, a theater producer and director, who shares that theaters should be more active in helping younger theater audiences brush up on better etiquette: “If a play attracts younger audiences, then you have to accept that they’re probably just starting to learn about the theatre experience. Why are theatres so shy about helping them learn? Cinemas don’t have scruples about showing two or three short films about not using phones and that even the light of the screen is disturbing to others. Theatres should be equally robust.”

Goldstar did its own research on theater etiquette by surveying more than 1,000 members as well as theater experts. Read some of the results below:

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