« Subscription Audience | Main | Point taken. »

November 01, 2007


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


this is one of those things that I'm not sure has a solution. and that sucks.
I was at a show last night (New Leaf's "Dining Room", highly recommended, btw), and I know that even having my cell on vibrate, the hum is loud and can easily be heard, so I shut if off entirely. Strangely enough, one of my party of 3 was running late - i stepped into the lobby, turned my phone ON, called to check in with her, then SHUT IT OFF and took my seat again.
There are PLENTY of conscientious theatre and filmgoers who know to just shut it off. Not vibrate, not "text instead of answer".... just shut it off. And for those that don't? Those that feel that the text that says "hey where R U?" needs to be answered RIGHT NOW? What can you do? This is a human nature issue. That same person, who coulnd't care less about interrupting YOUR experience by texting, is the same type of person who talks during movies, opens the candy, arrives late to theater and needs to be seated late.... it's all just a selfish state of mind, and there really isn't anything we can do to change human nature.
The only people that are allowed to answer their cell phones during ANY type of performance are ON CALL DOCTORS. They are the reason beepers were invented, and have now morphed into this.
When I was stage managing in college, I wore a theatre department provided beeper (man, I am REALLY dating myself by admitting that...), and it was used for cast members to be able to contact me about running late and not making it to rehearsals, etc. However, I shut the damn thing off when I was in class. Mostly because I felt like whatever number appeared on my little analog display would still be there when I turned it back on after Englisgh Lit III, and since I wasn't awaiting the delivery of an organ to give to one of my patients, then I could easily turn it off.

People, theatre and film and other forms of likewise entertainment are meant to take you away from your present life. And if you can't unplug yourselves from your life for an hour or 2, then maybe she shouldn't leave the house.


So far, my favorite moment of this kind was looking down while I was on stage playing Richard in TimeLine's THE LION IN WINTER and seeing the teen directly in front of me going to town on his GameBoy.

So, I changed my blocking and just stood there, directly in front of him, looking right at him, delivering all my lines towards him until he looked up. When he did, the GameBoy went off and the play resumed as usual.

If I had been just a few years older and had slightly more backbone, I would have just shouted, "Hey kid, turn off the friggin' GameBoy and get your head in the play or get the Hell out!"

But that would break the 4th wall, wouldn't it? :)


No theater goer I, but I had to cringe when I watched that scene, too. It seemed out of character.

Great episode, though. :)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Who? What?

  • Kris Vire
    I write about theater for Time Out Chicago. I write more about it here.

    Any opinion expressed here is solely that of the author or commenter. No opinion expressed here can be assumed to represent the opinion of Time Out Chicago magazine.

@krisvire on Twitter

    follow me on Twitter

    Recently Seen

    • 06/24: Cherrywood (Mary-Arrchie Theatre Company)
    • 06/20: Sweet and Hot: The Songs of Harold Arlen (Theo Ubique)
    • 06/16: Shakespeare's King Phycus (Strange Tree Group)
    • 06/12: Sketchbook (Collaboraction)
    • 06/11: Dead Letter Office (Dog & Pony Theatre Company)
    • 06/09: Itsoseng (Chicago Shakespeare Theater)
    • 06/05: Low Down Dirty Blues (Northlight)
    • 06/04: Inherit the Whole (Mortar Theatre)
    • 05/27: Hunting and Gathering (Theatre Seven of Chicago)
    • 05/25: Fuerza Bruta (Broadway in Chicago)
    • 05/24: War with the Newts (Next Theatre)
    • 05/20: Baal (TUTA)
    • 05/19: The 39 Steps (nat'l tour)
    • 05/13: A Streetcar Named Desire (Writers' Theatre)
    • 05/12: From a Fading Light (Plasticene)
    • 05/10: Neverwhere (Lifeline Theatre)
    • 05/09: The Good Negro (Goodman)
    • 05/07: Sweet Tea (About Face)
    • 05/05: The Last Cargo Cult (Mike Daisey @ Victory Gardens)
    • 05/03: The Love of the Nightingale (Red Tape Theatre)
    Blog powered by Typepad