THEATRE ETIQUETTE 101: The Top 22 BACKSTAGE RULES YOU SHOULD FOLLOW

It does not matter if it is a SeaJo production or any other show you are a part of around the world. The success of any production, large or small, depends on everyone behind the scenes doing their part. That means the whole team from the top of management down to the greenest of performer. While the seasoned people know what it takes to pull off a magnificent, splendid, dazzling, sensational, show (it takes a diligent team people to put on the Christmas on Ice, including the cast and crew which “loads in” the production weeks before the show opens!).

 

Use this list of company – backstage rules (guidelines) to help keep your show stress- & hitch-free:

1. Be punctual for “call time” (this is the time when you’ve been directed to arrive at the theater!).
2. Follow check-in procedure so that the stage management team knows you’ve arrived and are where you’re supposed to be.
3. Stay in your designated area so the crew always knows where to find you.
4. It’s important to stay safe and injury-free while hanging out backstage. If you know you have some downtime between numbers, wear a warm-up and/or leg warmers over your next costume—keep your body warm while you wait with noiseless full-body movements.
5. Wear shoes backstage to protect your feet at all times unless otherwise stated for a number. Many accidents with toes and feet can be avoided because of wearing proper footwear. If there are skaters in the area be safe around the blades and toe-picks.
6. Let crew members know when something breaks, spills or is missing. They will help you out as soon as they can.
7. Take time to wish fellow performers and crew members a good show. Singers, Dancers, Skaters, Circus, Act and performers usually have special phrases or rituals for this but most everyone considers it bad luck to say “good luck.” We are not much for superstitious jargon but, “Break a Leg.” 🙂 Do goodies together its fun.
8. Speak softly in backstage areas. Sound travels easily to the “house” where audience members are seated.
9. Bring something to do quietly during any downtime before or during the show it helps to pass time and make conversation with like-minded people. A lot of times people find a quiet corner and sometimes the group lays games together. What ever it maybe find something to make you happy.
10. Be respectful of the way others get ready for a show and give fellow performers space or quiet if they need it. Be conscientious of any beliefs others may have as well.
11. Keep your dressing area tidy and we mean tidy. Avoid letting your stuff spill over into your neighbor’s area, and always ask to use something of someone elses. Please understand borrowing something once or twice should not become a habit. Please buy your own supplies for what you need.
12. Stay focused and calm,. Breath especially right before you go on stage and immediately after you come off stage, when nervous or excited energy is at its peak we need to calm the beast inside. We want you to experience wonderful moments on stage and we know how a crowd can boost the adrenaline in all of us. So keep a calm mind, show your special talents and gifts to the world. Stay on the music and do the right choreography and sing the right songs. What ever it is give it your all.
13. Know your show order and be ready for your cues and entrances. Everyone must bring their A-game!
14. Make sure your body is properly warmed up using the active stretching method and that you stay warm as showtime approaches. We all have a way that we trained but science says great stretching technique equals a body less likely to break down in injury.
15. If you are in charge of your own props or costumes during the show, do a check or two to make sure everything is properly pooled and set before “curtain,” when the show begins. It happens to the best of us and we forget that one important thing, so get in the groove and have a system to make sure everything is in place.
16. Do not touch or move another performer’s props or costumes. If you feel something is out-of-place, let someone on the crew know, or the performer themselves or your line captain.
17. Avoid bumping the curtains, legs, cyc and other theater drapery. The audience will see even the tiniest movement and SHHHHHHH! remember #8 they can hear you too so be very quiet on stage.
18. Be conscious of audience “sight lines” when you are onstage and off. If you can see members of the audience, they can see you.
19. Wait for an appropriate or appointed time to open any doors that lead from the stage to backstage so that light from offstage does not mess up the lighting onstage.
20. Always say “please” and “thank you!” and be kind to the stage staff and the team around you. You’re a part of a big team and we want all of our people to feel like they are a valuable part of the show.
21. Always have fun. The reason we are all here is you are one of the best if not the very best in the world at which you do. Live with Passion, Share it with the World and Give It Your All! We want you here and we want the people in the seats to cheer so loud for you that the people will tell the world to come see you too.
22. Never forget your value and that sparkle in your eye when the curtain goes up. You to will be a star so give your 120% to the world. They will share it back with you in applause.

Live with Passion and we will see you onstage! Woohoo!

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