Theatre Etiquette

The fantastic thing about going to see live theatre is that it is a shared event where everyone plays an important part. You hear pre-show announcements about theatre etiquette every time you come to Kaleidoscope. Happily, the vast majority of our audience members help us make the theatre-going experience better for everyone by complying with the requests. But if you or the kids in your life have ever wondered why we ask the things we do, here are some explanations:

Please completely turn off all electronic devices including cell phones, camera, and video recorders.

Why turn them completely off? So they won’t get used. Airplane mode will stop incoming calls and messages, but it won’t stop people from using their devices to take pictures, record audio or video, read books or play games during the show.

Phone Calls and Texting are a distraction to the audience and performers, and can pose a safety hazard as well as interfere with our sound system.

The distraction factor is an easy one to explain. It is very difficult for people to ignore a lit screen. Walk through a room where a TV is on and you are going to at least glance at it. In a darkened theatre, eyes are drawn to the light. Everyone sitting anywhere behind someone looking at a lit phone will turn their attention to that phone. And the actors on stage can see the screen lighting up the holder’s face. A ringing phone or text message alert takes everyone in the theatre, on stage and off, out of the moment.

How does this create a safety hazard? Distraction can be a problem for actors and crew whose focus needs to stay on doing their work safely, especially when working on, with or around moving scenic pieces or as scenery is being lowered to the stage.

Do electronics in the audience really interfere with the sound system? Yes. You would not notice it over the speaker system in the house, but our crew is on wireless headsets, and electronic devices in the audience can cause interference. If crew can’t hear cues and communicate with each other, they can’t do their job safely or efficiently.

Also, taking photos or video is not allowed. 
We are fortunate to work with very talented performers, designers, playwrights and directors at Kaleidoscope. One of our responsibilities to these artists is to help protect their work from illegal distribution or piracy. Contractually, the use of images of their designs and recordings of their work is very specifically controlled. We appreciate that people want to capture a memory to enjoy later, but it is actually a violation of contract, and of trust between the artists and the audience.

You are welcome to take pictures in the lobby, of family and friends in their seats before or after the show. If you are not sure if a photograph is permitted, please ask. You can also share any images that you find on Kaleidoscope’s social media channels such as Facebook or Instagram.

If you are with someone who becomes noisy or restless, please be kind to your neighbours and use our quiet area which is located in the theatre lobby.

We love our audiences and want them to express themselves during the show—laughing, clapping, shouting in amazement. It’s part of the theatre experience. But everyone has moments when they just don’t want to be where they are. And sometimes they express this quite loudly. The quiet area in the theatre lobby offers a place to see and hear the show (via large television screens), while having a chance to settle in private.

Thank you for being a part of the Kaleidoscope family. If you have any questions about how to plan your visit to Kaleidoscope Theatre for Young People, please do not hesitate to contact us! We can be reached by phone at 250.383.8124 or by email.