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Friday, July 06, 2007

A much needed lesson in theatre etiquette....

As a theatre person I thought this was a great article and I just wanted to share... feel free to pass it on!!!! (PS... It applies to going to the movies too... too bad so many people are such jackasses!!!) I am considering photocoping this article and placing it inside all of our theatre programs for the next year....

08:34 AM CDT on Wednesday, July 4, 2007
By V!cki Car0line Cheatw00d / Special Contributor to The Dallas Morning News

For the sake of theatergoers, Dallas must consider passing an ordinance to fine audience members who disrupt performances with cellphones. The monies collected should be donated right to the theater.

New York City did it. Their no-cellphone law passed years ago. And, hey, isn't Dallas always trying to measure up against the big girls? Here's our chance.

For years now, theaters have been reminding people to turn off their cellphones before each performance. It's not working. The problem has, in fact, gotten worse. This isn't just people forgetting or refusing to turn off the ringer on their phones anymore. Now we have these strange, sad people who wait until the houselights go down to start typing and sending text messages.

Let's call them "text maniacs."

God help you to enjoy the show if you're seated behind one.

During the Mavs playoffs last summer, my husband and I found ourselves trapped in a theater behind a compulsive score-checking text maniac. Over and over and over during the hourlong performance, we were blinded by the light as she popped that phone open and snapped it shut.

Click! Snap! Click! Snap!At a recent performance of Wicked, a great big text maniac directly behind me spent all of Act 2 sending and receiving. Not only was she clickety-clicking those keys, she didn't bother to turn off the CHIME! that alerted her (and all of us nearby) every time she had a new message.

Last summer during the Shakespeare Festival, we were amazed to see an entire row of text maniacs, bent over like boiled shrimp, intently typing notes and playing video games during the performance. At least they were on the far back row.

Perhaps the text maniacs don't understand that their blue light shining in the darkness is just as disruptive as noise. Perhaps they don't realize that just by opening up that phone, they are immediately outed, not only to the outraged ticket buyers seated around them but also to the actors onstage, whose eyes can't help but reflexively be drawn to that little light of thine.

Kitchen Dog Theater's Tina Parker recalls looking out into a sea of blue-lit faces as she performed in another group's production of No Exit last year. "This really is hell," she thought.

It's painful to consider that perhaps text maniacs know they're diluting everyone's enjoyment and they don't much care. It's a notion that's more than possible. Take, for instance, the two text maniacs spied last year by a friend. These two men spent most of the first act sending messages to each other before they made a clumsy and disruptive exit during the performance.

Wow. That's entertainment.

Please: If you know a text maniac, or if you yourself can't refrain from sending and receiving even for an hour, please consider this alternative. Instead of ruining an expensive and rare date night for everyone seated near you, send the theater of your choice a donation equal to the regular ticket price. This way, some theater junkie gets to enjoy the show on your dime, you get a tax write-off and a chance to be alone, just the two of you, you and your little phone.

Not for you? Consider these options: get help, stay home, or duct tape mittens onto your hands before the curtain rises.

Just don't sit near me. Because the minute a "no-phone-zone" law is passed here, I'm dialing 911.


Blogger wanttobeamom said...

I would vote for this law! How do we get it passed? Petition? If you have ideas, count me in!

12:38 PM  
Blogger On The Losing Side said...

I have always considered myself very polite w/my cell phone. I never really considered the text messaging in a dark setting -- though I rarely go to movies and can't imagine texting durin gone. Good post, as usual.

3:35 AM  
Blogger Crazy Me said...

Seriously ... have some respect people. Don't people know how hard it is to be onstage without all that crap anyway?

5:39 PM  
Blogger Why i decided to begin Blogging said...

Mrs. D,
I was doing some research of recurrent miscarriages and along came you blog. Wow, i admire you so much for your strength and courage! You have inspired me to create my own Blog (i didnt even know what it was until i ran into yours). Your story has touched me and i can relate to what you are going through! I also am studying to be a teacher, so that has been fun reading about how your classes are going and how the "life of a teacher is". Anyways i keep you in my prayers!

1:35 AM  
Blogger Piccinigirl said...

because many a movie has been ruined for me because of these text maniacs. Not one broadway show in NYC. (and if it is , I always say something...hey I paid good money to be here, be a little respectful of the people who WANT to watch this show and enjoy it)


12:20 PM  

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