Tag Archives: live theatre

Silence is Golden

This has nothing to do with jiu jitsu, but I need to get this off of my chest.

I went to the ballet yesterday with my mother, her friend, and the friend’s 4 yr old grand daughter (The performance was “Peter Pan” and a matinee, so naturally there were a lot of small children). Sitting next to us however were several young women who may have been interns, or in some capacity working with the ballet company. I know this because they would.not.stop.talking. and I was privy to the conversation regarding the performers, casting, etc.

Ok, listen. There are few things in this world that annoy me, but if there is one thing that will putting me into a table flipping rage it’s people who talk during a performance. Do what you like at home, but when in a public setting there is the expectation of silence, or at least the bare minimum of talking. I don’t care if this is the 80th time you have seen this performance, you are sitting next to people who may have never seen it before, and that should be respected. I understand they were not the only ones committing this transgression, so was our 4 year old companion. But she is a toddler, and her conversation mainly pertained to questions regarding the events transpiring on stage. In my mind, she had an excuse: it was a ballet, so events, dialogues and backstory were offered in pantomime rather than outright explanation. Add in a couple of pirouettes and people flying around on wires, and the experience can be confusing for a small child.

The young women sitting next to us however had no such excuse. They were certainly not toddlers, and with the level of certainty and nonchalance I heard from them, I am assuming they have watched this ballet at the very least once before. Also, in a sort of ironic fashion, one of the girls commented how a baby should be taken out of the venue because it was making noise and being disruptive.

America, this is why the arts are dying. Because people don’t know how to shut their traps, and yet blame others for being a nuisance. Seriously, no one needs your commentary mid-performance. It’s unnecessary, and frankly pretty rude. It is almost as bad as heckling a performance: you are “breaking the fragile magic” as put by a director I once worked with.

Ok, that’s all I have to say on the subject. Just please, pretty please, don’t talk when you are in a theater, for the benefit of everyone else attending. Thank you.

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