Page: 1

age appropriate rating for theatre shows

A Canadian in NYC Profile PhotoA Canadian in NYC Profile Photo
A Canadian in NYC
Broadway Star
joined:4/27/15
Broadway Star
joined:
4/27/15
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#1
Posted: 7/14/16 at 1:32pm

I'm curious if there is any central source (website) that someone can go to to get a sense of what shows are appropriate for children, much like movies.  I'm only asking because I was recently at Waitress and sitting beside a mother with her 9 year old daughter.  I was cringing for the mother throughout the show and the little girl was clearly confused for a lot of it.   Then last week I was at The Spoils in London and this time there was a father with his 10 year old son sitting beside me.  Again, I cringed.    It makes me wonder if some people just buy show tickets based on star power and don't really try and determine what it's about and should I take my kid?   

Waitress is most definitely marketed as a feel good show; for goodness sake, it's advertised right now under what I'm typing as "A Little Slice of Heaven".   It most certainly has a darker side and I, as a parent, would want to know that.   Telecharge states it is appropriate for 8 and over..... really????  8 years old???  I have to disagree.  Maybe 12+

I couldn't find anything on The Spoils other than a brief synopsis of what the story line is, and again, there's no mention of how ridiculously rude it actually gets.

My daughter is grown up and I'm past the point of worrying what is appropriate or not, but it does seem to be hard to find that information if someone was looking for it.  Maybe I've missed it - IDK.   But I could see some type of central rating website to be invaluable for those taking kids to the theatre.  Telecharge tries, but certainly missed, in my opinion, with Waitress.

BTW - I loved both shows - The Spoils was amazing.  I'm very excited for future Jesse Eisenberg plays!

haterobics Profile Photohaterobics Profile Photo
haterobics
Broadway Legend
joined:3/29/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
3/29/14
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#2
Posted: 7/14/16 at 1:43pm

Telecharge has age appropriateness guidelines, and the show sites typically do as well...

That said, they recommend Waitress for 8+ 

veronicamae Profile Photoveronicamae Profile Photo
veronicamae
Broadway Star
joined:7/13/09
Broadway Star
joined:
7/13/09
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#3
Posted: 7/14/16 at 4:09pm

The ticketing websites do not generate the age recommendations - the shows do it themselves. 

(Unless the ticketing websites take it upon themselves to do it as well - I've never compared to see if there is consistency...)

If a show's website lacks the information, it's usually easy to get a response via social media.

And there is no strict set of guidelines that if it includes X and Y that equals 12+ versus 8+. There's also no "official rating party" that would be responsible for creating some type of central info repository. That is however, a great project for someone who's passionate about youth and theatre...

UncleCharlie
Broadway Legend
joined:6/26/16
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/26/16
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#4
Posted: 7/14/16 at 4:16pm

A Canadian in NYC said:   My daughter is grown up and I'm past the point of worrying what is appropriate or not, but it does seem to be hard to find that information if someone was looking for it.  Maybe I've missed it - IDK.   But I could see some type of central rating website to be invaluable for those taking kids to the theatre. Telecharge tries, but certainly missed, in my opinion, with Waitress.

 

It wasn't hard for you to find that information at all. You found it, you simply disagree with it. I'm pretty sure telecharge got that recommendation from the show itself rather than deciding on their own. So what you're really looking for is a site with recommendations more in line with what you think they should be rather than what the show thinks it should be.

You've drawn a lot of conclusions based on the facial expressions of a child you don't know and an assumption that the parent didn't do any research on the show or whether it was appropriate for her child even though it appears the child was older than the minimum age suggested by the show. Maybe you even discussed it with them but if I was at the theater with my 9 year old child and some stranger started a conversation with me about the appropriateness of my child being there, we'd have a problem. Look, I am absolutely sure your heart is in the right place and you mean well but you were able to raise your child and make decisions about your child based on what you felt was appropriate. As long as the kids aren't acting out or disturbing anyone, why not let other parents do the same.

perfectlymarvelous Profile Photoperfectlymarvelous Profile Photo
perfectlymarvelous
Broadway Legend
joined:5/21/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
5/21/07
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#5
Posted: 7/14/16 at 4:55pm

I genuinely don't understand why people think Waitress is so wildly inappropriate for children who aren't super tiny. "Appropriateness" is so individual anyway; some 8-year-olds can handle things that other 10-year-olds would balk at. It is what it is. I saw a lot of things when I was young that some people might have found "inappropriate" (Ragtime at 8, the HBO Angels in America at 14, Henry IV at 9 or 10, to name a few), but to my knowledge no one ever approached my parents to tell them they felt I was too young and I bet they would have had some choice words if they had. It's honestly none of your, or my, or anyone else's business because it isn't your kid and you don't know them at all. 

icecreambenjamin Profile Photoicecreambenjamin Profile Photo
icecreambenjamin
Broadway Legend
joined:6/7/14
Broadway Legend
joined:
6/7/14
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#6
Posted: 7/14/16 at 5:46pm

I'm pretty sure that a nine year old is mature enough for a few sex jokes.  They probably hear worse on TV.

There was a 7 year old next to me at Fun Home (a far more innapropriate show) the other day who was deeply moved by the show and said at the end that she wishes she could be in it someday.  

All I care about is that children are being exposed to great theatre instead of something like Spongebob the musical.

bwayrose7 Profile Photobwayrose7 Profile Photo
bwayrose7
Broadway Star
joined:3/18/11
Broadway Star
joined:
3/18/11
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#7
Posted: 7/14/16 at 7:11pm

I assume you're asking about something not generated by the shows, but rather like MPAA ratings in the film industry? In which case, MPAA ratings are notoriously political and biased- not something I would think the theater world wants to duplicate. For instance, a PG-13 film (which is the most commercially viable classification) is permitted precisely one use of the F bomb, and it must be in a non-sexual context. There is a lot of language in the guidelines, particularly "mature themes," which permits a much more biased ratings system. There have been many documented instances of films with gay storylines, sex scenes depicting women's pleasure (in a manner not unlike a scene in Waitress), or simply too many F-bombs being rated R, resulting in a system in which a film like The King's Speech, a stately period drama, received an R rating literally for a single scene of humorous repetitive profanity, while your average blow-em-up action movie gets a PG-13 with a cavalier attitude to violence. A simple Google search for "MPAA ratings controversy" will turn up plenty of instances. Again, I highly doubt a "regulated" system like that would benefit the theater world in any way.

The other thing I think gets overlooked is that most (or, at least many) children do not care or notice "mature" content, except in its most explicit variations. I saw kids at Pippin who were too busy thinking the circus performers were cool to pay any attention to the "With You" orgy. Sex scenes, especially those conveyed in a duet like Waitress's "Bad Idea" or Wicked's "As Long As You're Mine," probably go over their heads as anything beyond, "oh, they're singing and kissing." And if they're old/mature enough that it doesn't go over their heads, they're probably old/mature enough to see it. Just my two cents, as someone who saw/read content beyond my years for most of my life and turned out okay.

A Canadian in NYC Profile PhotoA Canadian in NYC Profile Photo
A Canadian in NYC
Broadway Star
joined:4/27/15
Broadway Star
joined:
4/27/15
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#8
Posted: 7/14/16 at 7:21pm

UncleCharlie said: "A Canadian in NYC said:   My daughter is grown up and I'm past the point of worrying what is appropriate or not, but it does seem to be hard to find that information if someone was looking for it.  Maybe I've missed it - IDK.   But I could see some type of central rating website to be invaluable for those taking kids to the theatre. Telecharge tries, but certainly missed, in my opinion, with Waitress.

 

It wasn't hard for you to find that information at all. You found it, you simply disagree with it. I'm pretty sure telecharge got that recommendation from the show itself rather than deciding on their own. So what you're really looking for is a site with recommendations more in line with what you think they should be rather than what the show thinks it should be.

You've drawn a lot of conclusions based on the facial expressions of a child you don't know and an assumption that the parent didn't do any research on the show or whether it was appropriate for her child even though it appears the child was older than the minimum age suggested by the show. Maybe you even discussed it with them but if I was at the theater with my 9 year old child and some stranger started a conversation with me about the appropriateness of my child being there, we'd have a problem. Look, I am absolutely sure your heart is in the right place and you mean well but you were able to raise your child and make decisions about your child based on what you felt was appropriate. As long as the kids aren't acting out or disturbing anyone, why not let other parents do the same.


 

OMG.  I would have to say that it is you that has drawn a lot of conclusions here - all of which are wrong.  I was merely making a comment that it might be nice to have a website or something that people can go to to check out age recommendations for all shows - a central site.  I did not find that - maybe it is out there - idk.

As for your assumptions on the people beside me - please don't even.  How dare you.  Do I have to write down the whole conversation I had with the absolutely lovely and nice mother beside me, so that you don't criticize me for something that I did not do?  I was not being critical of her at all.  We laughed awkwardly together and she had to whisper and explain what was going on a few times.  That wasn't a big deal.  She did say at the end to me that is was a great show but if she had any idea what it was going to be like she wouldn't have brought her daughter.  

Sorry if you feel that I needed to include that in my original post.

For The Spoils, which is much more graphic in language and content,  I heard the father apologizing to his son as they walked out saying he didn't know that was what it was going to be about.

So - here's me - I had two experiences within two weeks and it just got me to thinking that it would be a great idea to have a source of reference.... that's it.... 

I make absolutely NO judgement on people and what they take their kids to - I really don't.   I just feel for them when they do so and they end up with a situation they didn't bargain for.

That's it.   But thank you - for your words of wisdom and conclusions - it was really appreciated. 

 

dramamama611 Profile Photodramamama611 Profile Photo
dramamama611
Broadway Legend
joined:12/4/07
Broadway Legend
joined:
12/4/07
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#9
Posted: 7/14/16 at 7:54pm

No, to the best of my knowledge, there is no such site. But it wouldn't prove to be very helpful....if a parent wanted to find out info, they could....it takes about 90 seconds beyond the show's website to find further information.   The thing is, lots of parents won't take the extra step.  Heck, even with movie ratings people bring their kids to movies with no regard to the ratings -- and then get pissed off at the theater when its inappropriate.

 

AS a parent, I'm pretty liberal with my kids, but still made sure I always knew what we were getting into.   There were certainly shows I felt they were not ready for...so they didn't see them.   But it had little to do with their numerical age.

 

 

If we're not having fun, then why are we doing it? These are DISCUSSION boards, not mutual admiration boards. Discussion only occurs when we are willing to hear what others are thinking, regardless of whether it is alignment to our own thoughts.
Mediamaven2
Featured Actor
joined:4/28/16
Featured Actor
joined:
4/28/16
age appropriate rating for theatre shows#10
Posted: 7/14/16 at 8:11pm

Definitely wouldn't want a ratings system similar to the movies but I agree it would be helpful imho to have something  to turn to like  Common Sense Media which is geared to kids movies etc and  explains exactly why they give certain ratings/guidance. It's a great source for parents who want guidance for their kids media consumption. But they don't include theater.

One source I GLANCE at is tdf.org  If you fish around you will find the listings of all the shows on broadway, off broadway,, off off broadway, etc., and when you click on the page for the show you want, it gives you age guidance under the heading "Additional Information".  For example, for Waitress, its Age Guidance is 13.  So that would have been more appropriate in your opinion than what Telecharge says.

https://www.tdf.org/shows/14637/Waitress

Unfortunately, unlike Common Sense Media movie reviews, TDF website does NOT explain WHY they give the recommendations they do. So it is hard to know in advance if it is guidance you agree with or not for your individual child.

TDF rates Hamilton, Fun Home, and Jersey Boys all at 16! I'd agree for Fun Home, but not the others.

For Les Miz, it says age 10.  My 12 yo was more surprised and upset at the death in Les Miz than the ones in Hamilton. Both had gunfire. Mature themes. Is the difference that Hamilton had curses? Was a tad more explicit with sex, though really not that much, with the adultery and song? Was it degrees of more than one dead person? More than one or two gun scenes? Who knows. 

These really are loose loose guidelines. I look more out of curiosity and for info than as any rule to follow. Burt I do appreciate it as 'guidance" and when in doubt I have been known to at least once solicit opinion on this board.