When teaching students who are brand new to theatre, it’s important to discuss and apply the expectations of the drama classroom and the theatrical world. How do you implement and instill theatre etiquette in your classroom and your rehearsals – before a show and backstage? A cohesive theatrical community starts with the rules and codes of behaviour both onstage and off.

Topics covered within the unit include: What is Etiquette, Real World vs Theatre World Etiquette, Audience Etiquette, Audition Etiquette, Pre-Show and Performance Etiquette. The unit ends with a culminating activity which included a rubric and reflection.


The overview lays out the details and pacing for the lessons in this unit.

1: What is Theatre Etiquette

In this lesson, students will define etiquette, refine the definition for the theatre classroom, and work on a Creativity Contract that has goals and procedures. What do students want out of the class? What are the steps they need to take to achieve those goals? What procedures are needed to make the theatre classroom a safe place where they can achieve those goals?

2: Real World vs. Theatre World

Students will learn about creating a safe and professional space in the classroom and in the theatre, and how these principles can be applied to the real world. What are the best practices for etiquette in the classroom, which can also be used in rehearsal, and which can also be used in the real world.

3: Audience Etiquette

Theatre does not happen without an audience. It’s important for students to be aware of and apply audience etiquette. In this lesson, students will explore the different ways an audience behaves depending on the event, what is bad audience behaviour, establish the rules, practice critical thinking as an audience member, and complete an exit slip to demonstrate comprehension.

4: Audition Etiquette

Students will explore the elements of the audition process, discuss the necessary guidelines of audition etiquette, and practice applying those guidelines.

5: Pre-Show Performance Etiquette

Students receive the Pre-Show Etiquette Tips and Performance Etiquette Tips (handouts).They will brainstorm and develop a warm-up exercise designed to encourage pre-show etiquette, and design series of posters (either fully done or described with sketches) to encourage and highlight performance etiquette.

Standards Addressed

Common Core

National Core Arts Standards

TH:Cr2.1: Organize and develop artistic ideas and work - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Cr2.1.HSII.b - Cooperate as a creative team to make interpretive choices for a drama/theatre work.

TH:Pr4.1: Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation - Grade HS Accomplished

TH:Pr4.1.HSII.a - Discover how unique choices shape believable and sustainable drama/ theatre work.

California VAPA Standards (2019)

Acc.TH:Pr4 Select, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.

Acc.TH:Pr4.a - Discover how unique choices shape believable and sustainable drama/ theatre work.

Georgia Performance Standards 2010 - Theatre Arts


TAHSFTII.5 - Directing by conceptualizing, organizing, and conducting rehearsals for performance
a. Analyzes the various aspects of directing
b. Recognizes directorial choices in performance
c. Describes the need for script analysis and concept development
d. Applies the process of directorial management
e. Distinguishes between effective and ineffective directorial choices
f. Formulates directorial questions (e.g., script choice, script analysis, audition and casting, planning and organizing, rehearsal, performance, evaluation)
g. Defends choice of script
h. Assesses acting and design elements of various scripts
i. Formulates a plan for rehearsal
j. Articulates the appropriate relationship between the actor, director and other theatre personnel (e.g., designers, technicians, managers)
k. Applies concepts of directorial design to performance

TAHSFTII.9 - Exploring the business of theatre
a. Lists and defines the skill sets for the various theatre arts careers
b. Charts the skills learned in theatre arts which transfer to the workplace
c. Applies the business elements of a production (e.g., creating a portfolio or resume, printing, advertising, budgeting)
d. Demonstrates awareness of the discipline, knowledge, skills, and education required for careers in theatre
e. Collects and displays samples of theatre portfolios
f. Creates and revises a cost-benefit analysis of a production
g. Critiques sample theatre portfolios
h. Demonstrates mastery of various areas of business elements of theatre
i. Performs the tasks of business theatre personnel during productions

Georgia Performance Standards 2017 - Theatre Arts

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills for Theatre Arts

MS 117.211 LI - Critical evaluation and response

C.5.A - identify and apply audience etiquette at all performances.

MS 117.213 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

B.1.E - apply knowledge of theatrical vocabulary and terminology.

HS 117.316 LII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.F - relate the interdependence of all theatrical elements.

HS 117.317 LIII - Foundations: Inquiry and Understanding

C.1.F - evaluate the interdependence of all theatrical elements.

Alberta, Canada

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - House

2 - demonstrate knowledge of appropriate safety procedures

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Stage

2 - recognize and use basic technical theatre/design terminology

Technical Theatre/Design 10-20-30 - Management - Set

5 - demonstrate knowledge of appropriate safety procedures

British Columbia, Canada

Ontario, Canada