Theatre Etiquette


To give to nuebie softprops

Adapted from

Theatre Etiquette
Be consistence in your attendances. Your attendance affects the overall fluency and tempo of the rehearsal. Your missing attendance means wasting others time and effort, it will probably results in changing of rehearsal's time, cancellation of rehearsals and incomplete blocking notation.
Notify. If you have any work, sporting, family or any other commitments that clash with rehearsal notify the SM as soon as possible, preferably with 24 hrs notice.
Punctuality. All who are involved in the day rehearsal should arrive at the latest fifteen minute before rehearsal. Strolling in when the rehearsal is about to start consider late and is a strict 'no no', If others can make it on time so can you. Arriving slightly earlier allow you breathing time and get your mind to focus for what is going to happen. It is only polite to not hold others back because of your own bad time management.
Signing In. Please have the courtesy to report to the Stage Manager to inform them of your arrival or least you can do is to sign in for your attendance. It helps the Stage Management to keep track of your attendance and promote the efficiency of the rehearsals. Also, never sign in for another actor.
Being there. Once you have arrived in the rehearsal room and signed in. Please make sure that the Stage Manager is aware of your whereabouts. Don't do the disappearing act, the Stage Management will not have time to hunt anyone down. Always let the Stage Management knows where you're heading off
Okay you have arrived, what is next? Wait quietly for the rehearsal to start. Do not engage in any congregation that will result in the delay of rehearsals. If you desperately need to talk then please speak softly and be alert to when the rehearsal is going to start.
Silence is worth more than gold. Please be reminded that as soon as you are in the rehearsal venue to turn off your mobile phone, emergency messages can get to you by calling the Stage Management's number.

Stage Property. They do not belong to you. Prop table are not the usual table whether onstage or offstage. Prop chairs are not meant to be sat on when they are offstage. A 'cute' prop definitely does not qualify as a toy even if the temptation is so great. Props should not be remove from where they are set. They are where they are specifically because they need to be. The prop master will be a very unhappy person if anyone tries to mess around with his (her) responsibilities.
Onstage. Once on stage, focus your attention on both the director and the music director.. Be sensitive to the setting around you but do not shift anything unconsciously even if you mean to help. Leave the shifting and heaving to the stage crew unless you have instruction to move them.
Entrances. Be alert to your entrances and be on standby. However Stage Management will prompt you when it is your turn to rehearse. However it is your responsibility to remember your own entrances.
Miss your lines! Okay, so you have not done your homework and cannot remember your lines. Don't just freeze and stand there like a statue, call for 'LINE' and your request will be met.
Blocking. This is a crucial part of all performance. It affects the shifting of set, moving of props, the effects of light, the fly, the calling of cues (esp. visual cues) and it affects the performance of your fellow actors. It is you own responsibility to make notes of your blocking in your score. Every wrong move could pose as a danger to yourself as well as others.
After the rehearsal, return all hand props to their respective place and take notes from the director and the Stage Management. Do not leave unless the Stage Management call it a day. The ending of the rehearsal does not necessary end the day. Read the notice board for latest update and changes.
No Smoking. Respect the regulation if it is stated that there should be no smoking within the theatre building.

In the Theatre
Call time. The call time is usually 1 1/2 hour before show. Depending on how much make up individual actors need, their call time may be two hours before show. It is alright to be a little early but never be late for your call.
Signing in. All must remember to sign in. This is crucial as the Stage Management will have no other means of finding out except to run up and down to check in the respective dressing room. This is too time consuming and wasting precious time.
Dressing rooms. Use only dressing rooms that are allocated to you. You have no liberty to move into any room on your own without prior agreement with the Stage Management. The Stage Management needs to know the whereabouts of everyone.
Arrival. Use only the stage door; never come in from the auditorium. Sign in at the notice board and stay in the dressing room (let the Stage Management know of your whereabouts if you need to be away from the dressing room). Do not wonder around backstage. Switch your mobile off!! If you are expecting any urgent phone calls, divert them to the theatre’s number.
Stay backstage. Stay backstage after 6.00pm if the show is at 7.00pm. Make-up and dress up quietly and be alert to the monitor for your warm up and half hour call.
Warm up. When you are called for your warm up, you'll need to proceed immediately to do your warm up regardless of whether you're fully dressed or half dress and continue from where you left off after the warm up. (You shouldn't be half dressed in the first place if you keep your time carefully.)
Half hour call. Half hour call will be at 6.30pm if the show is at 7.00pm. Everyone has to be on stand by at half hour. Nobody is permitted to go out to the auditorium or the front of house as the audiences is starting to come in at about the same time.

The calls. There will be a half hour call, fifteen minute call will be called at twenty minute before show time, five minute call will be called ten minute before the show time and the beginners call (Places) all actors involve at the beginning of the scene have to be on standby and be ready to go onstage.
Alert. Be alert to the monitor for your cues. The Stage Manager is responsible for warnings only before acts not before individual cues once the act has begun.
Cues. Do not speak to the Stage Manager during light cues, sound cues, set changes or anytime that he is on the comms.
Stay out. Stay out of the entrance areas during entrances & exits of other actors & during crew shifts. Also; never enter the lighting or sound booths unless given express permission by the Stage Manager.
Exit. Always clear off the wings once you exit.
Side-light. Do not walk in front, across the side-lights. Shadow of moving figures will be seen by audiences.
Hand props. Please return all hand props to their respective place upon exit.
Silence. Do not talk during performance while backstage. If you must communicate, please whisper.
Intermission. Do not congregate with audiences during intermission.
Attire. Wear appropriate clothing backstage.
Housekeeping. Do your part in keeping the dressing room clean and tidy.
Visitors not allowed. No visitors are allowed in dressing rooms before, during interval or during performance.
Peeping. Do not at any time attempt to peep out to audiences from the wings. The guideline is , if you can see them they can also see you.
Danger. The theatre is a potentially dangerous place, for your own safety please refrain from loitering around backstage – always follow crew instructions.

Ask. If you have any questions or concerns at all; ask the Stage Manager.

If you have any additions or editaions .. post :)
hum..... I like it..... I need to show it to some of the actors at my school......
This is excellent... I should put it in the actor packets at my school...

Oh, one little thing that I like -

When I SM, I always give the cast business cards with my contact info, info on the ASM (if I am lucky enough to have one), and info for the PM. I hand them out at the beginning of the first rehearsal, and ask them to put the cards in their wallets right there - so they have no excuse for not calling if they're going to be late!

We have a similiar packet that we hand out to all the actors and techs at the first meeting and read through- We also send it home and have parents read and sign and reeturn acknowledement sheet. so that they realize the commitment that heir student is making.
An Actors Code of Ethics.

Part of the great tradition of the theatre is a code of ethics, which belongs to every worker on the legitimate stage. This code, while tacit, has been observed throughout the centuries and will continue long after us. It is neither superstition, nor dogma, nor a statute enforced by law. It is an attitude toward craftsmanship, a respect for associates and a dedication toward the audience. This code outlines a self-discipline, which far from robbing one of individuality, increases personal esteem and dignity through cooperation and common purpose. The result is perfection, which encompasses all that is meant by
“Good Theatre”.

The Show Must Go On!! I will Never miss a performance.

I shall play every performance to the best of my ability, regardless of how small my role or large my personal problems.

I will respect my audience regardless of size or station.

I shall never miss an entrance or cause a curtain to be late by my failure to be ready.

I shall forego all social activities which interfere with rehearsals and will always be on time.

I shall never leave a theatre building or stage area until I have completed my performance.

I shall remember that my aim is to create illusion; therefore, I will not destroy that illusion by appearing in costume and make-up off stage or outside the theatre.

I will not allow comments of friends, relatives, or critics to change any phase of my work without proper authorization. I will not alter lines, business, lights, properties, settings, costumes, or any phase of the production without consultation with and permission from the director.

I shall accept the director’s advice in the spirit in which it is given for her sees the production as a whole and my role as a portion thereof.

I shall look upon the production as a collective effort demanding my utmost cooperation, hence I will forego the gratification of ego for the demands of the play.

I will be patient and avoid temperamental outbursts, for they create tension and serve no useful purpose.

I shall respect the play and the playwright, remembering that “A work of art is not a work of art until it is finished”.

I shall never blame my co-workers for my own failure.

I will never engage in caustic criticism of another artist’s work from jealousy or an urge to increase my own prestige.

I shall inspire the public to respect me and my craft
through graciousness in accepting both praise and
constructive criticism.

I will use stage properties and costumes with care,
knowing they are tools of my craft and a vital part of the production.

I will observe backstage courtesy and shall comport myself in strict compliance with rules of the theatre in which I work.

I shall never loose my enthusiasm for the theatre
because of disappointment or failure for they are the lessons by which I learn.

I shall direct my efforts in such a manner that when I leave the theatre it will stand as a greater institution for my having labored there.

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