Why are some audiences so badly behaved? Are people no longer courteous enough to respect what people are doing on stage even if they do not like the performance. It seems to be happening more and more. I have noticed it a lot with school aged audiences. I recently was at a show were there was a large group of high schools students making up the audience. These students were restless, noisy and making comments (some unpleasant) through out the show. It was like they were watching television and there lies the rub. Their attention span has become shorter and the performers cannot hear the distraction. The attention span for a lot of people these days seems to have shrunk, people seem to lose attention after about 12 minutes it seems.So it looks like our future theatre audiences are going to be very hard to win over. So what can be done about it? Well it all boils down to education, these students need to be taught the value of respect. It sounds crazy but we need to train our audiences to behave in a respectful manner. so if you are a teacher and/or parent start to teach your children that there is a certain way to act when attending a live performance (rock concerts are slightly different). Venues also need to start ejecting these unruly people as well.
But it is not only the children that are bad audiences I have also seen parents behave exceedingly badly at performance, even when their own child is performing. So this is potentially where some kids learn this crappy attitude and think that it is cool to play up. It is time parents grew up and set a good example. Respect is what required, and if they do not respect others I hope they don’t expect respect back.
Unfortunately rabble audience members really look stupid, sorry but you do not win any respect from the performers or crew. We often wish you would just disappear. If the performers know you well be ready to lose a friend.