If you’ve never been to the theater before, or if it’s been a while since your last visit, you might have a few questions about logistics and what to expect on the day.Most of these will have pretty straightforward answers, so we are here to help you prepare.
Check out our list of nine common questions about going to the theater below, so you can prepare for your trip accordingly.
1. Where should I sit?
Depending on the theater you go to, there could be as many as six to seven seating options for you to choose from.
Where you choose to sit will depend on a number of factors, including availability, budget, how you feel about heights and the size of your group.But although we can’t tell you exactly where to sit, we can give you some advice on some of the best options.
Ground-level seating is called the Stalls, and if you can get in the center of this, these seats offer some of the best views in the whole theater. Alternatively, if you go one level up into the Dress Circle, you can still get clear views and a bit of extra height, so you’ll be just slightly looking down on the stage.
Of course, while some seats are deemed better than others, for most, the joy of just being at the show is enough. Therefore, all seats have their own merit, and if you really want to see the show, it doesn’t really matter where you sit in the end.
2. How early should I get there?
Most theaters will have a bar or nice foyer area where you can wait for the performance to start. So in reality, you could get there up to an hour early, depending on the amenities.
However, it is generally recommended that you arrive at the theater at least 30 minutes before the performance starts and certainly no later. This gives you a chance to get a drink, find your seats and use the toilet if you need.
It also ensures that the staff can make sure everyone is seated in the correct place before the show starts.
3. Will there be an interval?
Most performances that are over an hour long will have an interval. However, every show will differ, and you’ll be told at the time you purchase your tickets if there is an interval and how long for.So, if you know you will need a break in the middle, particularly in longer performances, always check when booking.
4. What should I wear?
When it comes to dressing for the theater, we often associate this type of event with being dressed to impress. However, the reality is, you can wear whatever you want to the theater as long as you’re happy and comfortable.
So yes, this does include jeans and a T-shirt if that’s what you feel happiest wearing, but by all means, if you want to make an event of it, you might wish for your best suit, dress or anything else that makes you feel glamorous. This can be a fun way to make more of the day, especially if you’re going to an evening show before or after dinner.
Not only this, but you might also wish to wear a themed dress if the occasion calls for it. For example, immersive experiences like the Rocky Horror Picture Show encourages all guests to dress up and be a part of the experience.
That’s not to say you have to, even when attending this type of show. Ultimately, what it comes down to is what you want to wear and what makes you happiest and most able to enjoy the show.
5. What if I have a problem with my ticket?
If there are any issues with your ticket in the build-up to the day, the best thing to do is speak to the vendor that sold you the ticket.
However, if you arrive on the day and are experiencing trouble, find a member of the front desk or theater staff and ask for help. They might be able to find you on the system or help you to sort out difficulties with your seats.
6. What if I’m late?
Being on time to the theater is important, not just because you don’t want to disturb the performance, but also because you don’t want to miss out on any of the action. However, if you are late, it’s best to understand the protocol.
In most cases, the theater staff will take you towards your seats, but they won’t let you in until a suitable moment in the show, one that will cause the least disruption. This means that, in some cases, you might miss more of the show.
So as we say, it’s best to leave yourself plenty of time to get to the theater in case an issue should arise.
7. Are there age restrictions at the theater?
Some performances and plays will have age restrictions due to the themes and language expressed in the show. Often, these will be given as recommendations when you book your tickets so you’ll know in advance.
But in the case of some shows or very young children, the theater can put restrictions in place that won’t allow young guests to enter. For example, most theaters won’t allow children under four.
8. Is there disabled access?
Disabled access will very much depend on the theater you’re going to. Though most will do their best to accommodate all guests, some very old theaters can be trickier to navigate if you are disabled.
So, before you book tickets, it’s best to check out the venue’s website and see what access is like. You might also be required to enter earlier or later than other guests to make this easier for yourself, but theater staff will be able to advise on this.
9. Can I take photos and videos?
In most cases, you are not allowed to take pictures or recordings during the performance. If you are caught doing so, you might be asked to leave by a member of staff.
Some shows will offer guests the opportunity to take photos of the cast at curtain call, but for the most part, it’s best to just live in the moment, enjoy yourself and leave your phone in your bag.