Audience Etiquette for Kids

Parents can help their child learn what is expected of them as audience members.
Parents can help their child learn what is expected of them as audience members.

Attending a live presentation or performance is fun. It is also a great opportunity to teach kids what is expected of them in terms of audience etiquette. 

Audience Etiquette Can Be Different

When we give kids new opportunities, we sometimes forget to prepare them on what to expect in the new situation.  Lost in our excitement we tend to give an overview but not a lot of details.   Audience behavior changes depending on the situation.  For example, at a basketball game a spectator is expected to cheer for a basket but at the ballet we don’t cheer at a beautiful pirouette. At some theater events, audience participation is encouraged and at others it’s important to wait until the end to show your appreciation. A little preparation can go a long way.

Audience Etiquette at the Theater

Now that I’m retired, I have time to give my grandkids different experiences.  Research studies show that the arts are an important part of boosting performance in all areas of life.  Art helps to create well- rounded, confident and creative people. In live theater the audience is an essential part of the performance process. Reviewing audience etiquette prior to the show along with some gentle reminders during the show may be helpful.

Important Points to Highlight

The success of a presentation depends in part on the audience members. You can show your support for the actors by remembering 3 important things: 

  • Paying Attention and Listening – The most important element of being a great audience member is paying attention and listening to the actors.  Not only does it help to understand the show it also shows respect for the actors that are working hard to entertain you.  
  • Sitting still/Eyes on stage– The actors can see and hear you so avoid activities that will distract them from their roles.  Help them by not talking, eating or drinking during the presentation.
  • Appropriate Response – If you enjoyed yourself, please feel free to clap at the end of the presentation to show your appreciation.

By attending theater events children are engaged in learning.  Along with the lifelong benefits of engagement in the arts is the fun that your child will have today. So, sit back and enjoy the show!

Coming Soon: The Positives of Theater Education on Kids

Isn’t education ALL about reaching the kids?