BWW Readers Sound Off About the Use of Cell Phones In The Theatre
We asked, and you answered! As BroadwayWorld previously reported, discussion has been stirring about the use of cell phones in the theatre after Slave Play's playwright, Jeremy O. Harris, shared on social media that the production held the curtain briefly for pop-star Rhianna - and that she texted him during the show. With the debate in full swing, we asked BroadwayWorld readers to share their opinions on the subject with us. Check out some of the answers below!
Upon hearing the backlash, O. Harris again took to twitter to respond, noting "The patron saint of the play I wrote is literally a pop star, fashion icon, and Demi-goddess named Rihanna. Her words are all over it. She's a 9th character in the play. When Dionysus is coming you hold the curtain."
He also added in another tweet regarding cell phone use that "I've seen too many 'general audience members' do it over the last decade to care about it. I'm more interested in theatre evolving and maybe phones are part of that evolution? Who knows."
@amanda_bressler1120 on Instagram - "Cellphones should not be used at any point during a show. It's distracting and rude."
@cecilegreard on Instagram - "There's nothing to debate: turn them off! Only use them during intermission and bows."
@guidemaptothestars on Instagram - "It should be the choice of the creative team for each individual production."
@BroadwayWorld NO cell phones in the theater. Period. I don't care WHO you are. If you are SO important you cannot turn off your phone for 2 hours, then obviously your life is WAY more important than a play or musical. That's my philosophy!- John B deHaas (@TheJohnBdeHaas) September 17, 2019
@donnidstar on Instagram - "Noooooo! Ban 'em, ban 'em"
@eli.delrosa on Instagram - "It's a wall that separates us from the people, sure it can capture moments in time, but once you put the phone up, you create a wall that disconnects you from others. Phones are great to capture the moment but they cannot let you LIVE in the moment."
@justjesshandmade on Instagram - "Use before and at the end (cast call_ of the show. Never during, but more shows should be filmed."
@not_your_joke on Instagram - "Using them usually makes the actors feel uncomfortable. It happened to me a few times."
@broadwood_media on Instagram - "No cell phones ever"
@tefi.schmuth on Instagram - "I don't think they should allow it, it ruins the magic!! Just film the show before it closes"
@melissateja on Instagram - "idk I like to be able to take pictures before and after the show bc memories"
@fabianbalkhausen on Instagram - "For someone who appreciates art in a serious way, this is not even an option"
@k.atieshell on Instagram - "It's really distracting as an audience member when I see other people on their phones. Even when the brightness is low, you can still tell and it distracts from what's onstage. Theatre should transport you, take you out of reality. We're too addicted to tech. We should be allowed to see a show and live in the moment, not see a bunch of screen."
@kate.plunkett on Instagram -"I think that audience etiquette is extremely important because there should be a mutual respect between the audience and the performers. The rules shouldn't have been bent just because Rihanna is famous, and she should not have been late to the play in the first place."
@_angelinaraquel on Instagram - "Cellphones/pics during intermission and before/after show is fine, anything else no"
@lauren.christine10 on Instagram - "no way. the actors deserve ur full respect for all they do"
Absolutely not. Never. Nope. It's bad enough that people talk. And eat. Phones are the last straw. Ruining the show for others will never be acceptable.- Jo Jo (@halcyon1234567) September 17, 2019
@gingerjune2 on Instagram - "Cell phones should be allowed for pics!!! U need some memories from ur fav show!"
@marissa.marie.hein on Instagram - "No phones!!! Theatre is a place where people can put down the distractions of the world"
@broadwaylvr29 on Instagram - "You are there to see a live show, not be on your phone. Live in the moment!"
@heyitssarahp on Instagram - "NO CELL PHONES! Respect the theatre for what it is (a classic_, and live in the moment! It's disrespectful to both the performs and audience to use phones in the theatre!"
@broadwaygeek1899 on Instagram - "ooooo yesss please"
@gwen.nice_ on Instagram - "I think that they could really help promoting musicals but should not distract during the show"
They cannot have it both ways. Rihanna cannot attend @SlavePlayBway & use her phone, distracting other paying patrons, w/out criticism. Enforce the policy for all or for none. I'm excited to see Paul Nolan in this show, & I'm not going to tweet him DURING it to say so.- Shannon (@LVShannyLeigh) September 16, 2019
@iblessedthepurplerains on Instagram - "You wouldn't use a phone during a movie, so why use one during a theatre show?"
@la.alvis on Instagram - "I understand they can be distracting, but for me, it's so cool to see live bits of shows"
@madison.and.fifth on Instagram - "Absolutely none. I want there to be a way to collect them at the door."
@lilly_is_a_cat on Instagram - "I don't go to the theater to see a phone screen, it's disrespectful to everyone there"