The Ten Commandments of
The performing arts season is getting into
full swing. Audiences are set to enjoy the
entertainment and inspiration of performing ensembles of
One thing is for certain; for many, the
performances will be marred by thoughtlessness on the part of
too many people who otherwise consider themselves good
citizens. These people ignore the simple rules of
courtesy, or unconsciously destroy the peaceful environment
necessary for enjoyment of many of the wonderful performances
being offered a generally eager and appreciative audience.
Here are some rules that should be reprinted
in every program book in America. Simple common sense
and courtesy will vastly improve the serenity and happiness
of sharers in the magic of the arts.
TALK. The first and greatest
commandment. Stay home if you aren't in the mood to
give full attention to what is being performed on stage.
HUM, SING OR TAP FINGERS OR FEET.
The musicians don't need your help, and your neighbors need
silence. Learn to tap toes quietly within shoes.
It saves a lot of annoyance to others, and is excellent
exercise to boot.
RUSTLE THY PROGRAM.
readers and page skimmers aren't good listeners and gently
distract those around them.
CRACK THY GUM IN THY NEIGHBOR'S EARS.
The noise is completely inexcusable and usually unconscious.
The sight of otherwise elegant ladies and gentlemen chewing
their cud is one of today's most revolting and anti-aesthetic
WEAR LOUD-TICKING WATCHES OR JANGLE THY
JEWELRY. Owners are usually immune, but the added percussion is
disturbing to all.
OPEN CELLOPHANE-WRAPPED CANDIES.
Next to talking, this is the most serious offense to
auditorium peace. If you have a sore throat, unwrap
throat-soothers between acts or musical selections. If
caught off guard, open the candies quickly. Trying to
be quiet by opening wrappers slowly only prolongs the torture
for everyone around you.
SNAP OPEN AND CLOSE THY PURSE.
The problem used to apply only to women. But today, men
are often equal offenders. Leave any purse or opera
glasses case unlatched during the performance.
SIGH WITH BOREDOM.
If you are in agony, keep it to yourself. Your neighbor
may be in ecstasy, which also should be kept under control.
ARRIVE LATE OR LEAVE EARLY.
It is unfair to artists and the public to demand seating when
one is late or leaves early. Most performances have
scheduled time; thy to abide by them.
are other points, of course, and each reader will have a pet
peeve we have omitted. However, if these were obeyed,
going to performances would be the joy that it was intended
to be and we all would emerge more refreshed.