A guide for first-time theatre-goers
At Hennepin Theatre Trust, we believe in the transformative and inspirational power of seeing live theater, and that the experience is for everyone. It’s an exciting to spend a night at the theatre, but it can also raise a lot of questions for first-timers. While we do our best to create a welcoming space for everyone, there are a few guidelines to be aware of so you can fully take in the magic of the theatre and enjoy your time.
Before you arrive at the theatre
- Plan on arriving at least 30 minutes prior to the start of the show. Doing so will give you plenty of time to find your seat and get settled before the curtain rises and the show begins. Late arrivals are often held until there is a convenient break within the show for you to reach your seat. Usually, this is during a scene break or as the crowd is applauding at the end of a song.
- Use the bathroom. Lines for the restroom can become quite long during intermission. Skip the lines and use the bathroom before arriving at the theatre. You’ll be happier you did.
- Dress thoughtfully. We welcome casual attire, but consider grabbing an extra layer to ward off cooler air, especially in summer when air conditioning is running. As always, feel free to dress up if you desire! Visiting live theatre is a special occasion. Think of what you might wear to a dinner. No need for gowns or tuxedos.
- Let us know about special needs in advance. Please contact the box office to make arrangements for wheelchair seating options or if assistance is needed for those with limited mobility.
- Download our app. The easiest way to access your tickets is in the Hennepin Theatre Trust mobile app. Visit our mobile ticketing page to download the app for IOS and Android users.
During the performance
- No photos or videos, please. There are a few exceptions to this rule, and we’ll let you know in our curtain speech before the show begins is the show you’re attending does not allow photos or videos.
- Silence your phone. There’s nothing more distracting than notifications and ringtones interrupting the show – for both you, your fellow theater-goers and the performers on stage. Please also refrain from using your phone’s flashlight to view your program. The actors on stage can see you, which can be distract them during the performance.
- Stay quiet throughout the performance. Aside from a ringing cell phone, talking during a performance is the most distracting offense to theatre etiquette. The more you talk, the more the people around can’t hear the people onstage. If you’re attending a show with music you know and love, that’s wonderful! But, save the sing-a-long for the car ride home. Sometimes at a concert, the performer will encourage the audience to sing along, and that’s the exception to this rule.
- Do show your appreciation and applaud! For musicals, it’s fine to clap after songs. For plays, it’s best to reserve clapping for intermission breaks and the final curtain.
- Unwrap cough drops and candies in advance. If you anticipate any coughing fits during the show, be sure to unwrap your lozenges before the performance starts and have them at the ready. That crinkling sound is clearly heard by your neighbors during a quiet performance. And no, unwrapping them slowly does not help.
We’re so excited to welcome you to our theatres, thank you for choosing us! We hope this visit is the first of many to come. If we didn’t answer some of your questions, please visit our FAQ page, message us on Facebook or call our Box Office.