After another marvellous look at FELA! on Broadway last night, it occurred to me how some people just don't know where they are.
What do you wear to the theatre?
Why does it matter?
Well, it matters when you know WHY you are there.
It has nothing to do with being snobbish, or elitist.
You are at the theatre because you are invited. When you accept an invitation to partake of something, how you present yourself represents your response to that invitation: do you take it seriously or not?
You would think about what you'd wear to go to a job interview, or even a funeral, and certainly the club, so why not the theatre?
How we present ourselves shows an outward respect to where we are.
We are not in the backyard. We are in the theatre.
We are not sitting on the couch. We are in the theatre.
We are not in the park playing frisbee. We are in the theatre.
It demands a sense of respect, and a sense of occasion.
Theatre is there to create a truth, to create an escape, to create a deeper look, to create a timelessness, to create a stirring...
It is not throwing in a DVD and sitting around with friends.
The theatre demands from those on the stage, and those in the house seats.
HOW we present ourselves, shows outwardly our respect for the occasion, or the lack of it, or the simple unawareness.
No, it's not tragic in an earth-shattering way.
It is tragic when there is a dismissal of respect. This is just a simple outward sign of how casual our society has become.
Why wouldn't you want to show respect?
I mean, you don't have to be in a tux or a gown, but knowing WHERE you are should present to you a standard to which you rise to, in order to present yourself.
You don't bring your house rules to somebody else's house! You find out what THEY do and follow it, or you don't go.
You are in the house of the theatre - and the respect for THOSE rules just seems to not be there anymore.
Last night, I saw everything - from respectful and tasteful, to tacky, to rude.
Jean cut-offs, a wrinkled t-shirt, a ball cap and swimming pool flip flops?! REALLY!??!?
Again, dress for the season, and dress for the occasion.
Just like any public exposure, we SEE you first. It isn't just the actors and singers on the stage that are seen.
Our costume in the house of the theatre shows our respect, or lack of it, or even recognition of it, to where we are, and who we are in the company of.
Let's have a little pride in how we present ourselves. Let's have a little accountability of where we are and why we are there and what is expected of us.
If you are invited, respond accordingly.
If I invite someone into my home and they behave rudely, they will be asked to leave and never asked back.
Know where you are, why you are, when you are. Behave accordingly.
This isn't rocket science - it just takes some awareness and some respect. Common sense? Not so common.