I attended a Christmas concert a few nights ago and was shocked at the inconsiderate behavior of the audience members. People stood up and walked around during the performance with no regard to other audience members or the performing group. This was a classical music concert – not a rock concert – which is why I’m so shocked.
I understand there are situations when you have to leave your seat. If possible, try to do so in between numbers so you don’t disrupt the experience of the performance for others. If you are are re-entering the theater, wait until you hear applause in between numbers to open the door and find your seat.
I was enjoying a beautiful arrangement of “O Holy Night” when a woman fell down a flight of stairs trying to find her seat in the dark. If she had only waited 20 seconds, the number would have ended and the house lights would have come up for intermission. Fortunately, she did not injure herself. However, the beauty and solitude of the song was interrupted with a thud and scream.
If the performers are gracious enough to provide an encore, do not leave or stand in the aisle while they are performing. Other audience members may want to enjoy the encore. I missed the most spectacular visual effects of the concert because i couldn’t see over the heads of the crowd standing in the exit ramp so they could get out ahead of everyone else.
Leaving or walking around while others are performing for you is no different than walking away from someone who is speaking to you. If you don’t want to listen to the performance or don’t have the time to stay for the entire performance, then don’t attend in the first place.
Oh, and even though the concession stand sells food items with noisy cellophane wrappers, it does not give you permission to open them during the performance. You should be quiet and make no distracting motions. No talking, texting, toe tapping or crinkling.
Take the time to slow down for a few hours and enjoy the beauty and magic of the performing arts.