Theatre Etiquette

Created by Kerry Hishon

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

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