I confess I don't get to go see as much theater as I'd like mostly because I am working at the theater when all these wonderful performances are going on.
But I go see shows when I can and I have to say there are some things that need to be addressed.
1. Turn off your cell phones, pagers, iPods that notify you when someone plays in your Words With Friends game. If it makes noise, turn it off. Yeah, I can still hear your phone when it vibrates so turn it off. Oh yeah when you look at the phone during a show it lights up and that is distracting too. It is distracting to the audience around you and the actors.
2. Sometimes talking to your neighbor is more distracting than that annoying noise they just made with their water bottle. Talking is loud and it requires response.
3. 90 minutes is not a long time to sit still. A lot of shows these days are made for the busy theater goer. The theater I work at has done several 90 minute no intermission plays in the last season. Here's the thing, this isn't the movies. The people around you have paid $30-60 for tickets. Do you think they want to have you get up in the middle of the play to use the restroom and then disturb them a second time when you come back? No they don't so go before and watch those pre show drinks. A 90 minute show gives you plenty of time to drink afterwards, hello.
If you think my rules of etiquette for theater are harsh you should make sure we don't sit together at a baseball game. Once at a Twins game a guy in my row heard me complaining about the people in front of us who apparently came to the game to get up and go to the bar/bathroom/hot dog stand every five minutes. He assured me his kids would only be allowed to exit and return once. He was true to his word. I also don't let my friends leave when the Twins are up to bat.
Friend: I think I want a hot dog.
Me: Really? Now? Cause we're up to bat.
Friend: OK yeah, I guess I can wait.