The Theatregoer’s Bill of Rights

  1. No folding chairs; no patio furniture. (An exception may be made if your show is literally on a patio.)
  2. If the show runs longer than 90 minutes, it must have an intermission.
    • If the show runs longer than 120 minutes, try for two. (And add an intermission for each additional 45 minutes.)
    • If the show runs longer than 180 minutes, it better be the best thing anyone’s put on a stage since Olivier did Hamlet.
  3. If you’re holding the curtain longer than 5 minutes, tell the audience and give us an estimate of when we’ll kick off. (A vague message about “technical difficulties” is just fine.) Don’t make us sit there wondering whether someone’s died.
  4. Always end your show before 1 AM. (If only so people can catch the subway home.)
  5. Warn your audience in advance — about everything. Warn us about gunshots; wheelchair inaccessibility; audience participation; lack of parking near the venue; strobe lights; graphic sexuality; cigarette smoke; “splash zones”; anything; everything.
    These warnings should be on your website, on your social media presence, on a poster outside your venue, and anywhere else it makes sense to include them. It should be impossible to buy a ticket in a state of obliviousness.
  6. Functional, sanitary, well-maintained and accessible washrooms, inside the venue. Don’t make us cross the street to Starbucks.
  7. The venue will have some indication that it is a venue; at least tape a poster to the front window. Don’t make us tug on anonymous doors hoping we’ve found the right place.
  8. Unless it’s opening night, closing night or a fundraiser, curtain speeches are to be capped at 2 minutes; aim for 90 seconds. If the speaker hits 3 minutes, just start the show and play him off-stage.
  9. Latecomers will be seated in sensibly-located aisle-facing house seats near the doors, not wedged into the middles of rows.
  10. But seriously: NO FOLDING CHAIRS. EVER.