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Friday, May 20, 2011

The Friday Five, Pre-Fringe Edition, May 20, 2011

Ya ain't watching TV, Mofo!
by Gaëtan L. Charlebois and Estelle Rosen

Joel Fishbane outlined a pile of don'ts for Fringe companies, but what about the people in the seats. We are all aware that many who come to the Fringe are seeing theatre for the first time, and while that warms the heart and sings to the future, it can also be one giant pain in the arse. Here are five things a good Fringe spectator should not do (but many will anyway). If you meet the villains, tack a printed version of this to their heads. (Also, feel free to make additions to our five in the comments section below.)

1) Your kiddy or grand-kiddy is in a Fringe show! Ain't that grand 'cause it DOES mean they are approaching the big time! But if you want the rest of the audience to treat him or her with a whit of respect, PUT AWAY YOUR FUCKING FLASH CAMERA!

2)  No doubt your opinion on the theatre piece is valuable and interesting and will undoubtedly be enjoyed as you line up for the next show, but right here and now, during this one: SHUT UP!

3) All that exotic food you got at the Street Sale? A tiny theatre during a play is where the delicious aroma of garlic becomes the pong of garlic. PUT AWAY THE GODDAM PICNIC!

4) If the production is so bloody awful you cannot contain the giggling, DON'T STAY! Even if it means walking across the stage, it is more acceptable than shrieking with laughter during a death scene.

5) Aisle seats are great, especially in the confines of a miniscule Fringe theatre - stretch your legs into the aisle, houselights down....comfy cozy. Hmmmmmm. Then comes the latecomer and a lawsuit for bridgework. DON'T TREAT YOUR THEATRE SEAT LIKE A LA-Z-BOY!


  1. Treat the fringe volunteers with respect!

    Every year I witness or hear about volunteers being verbally abused by fringe patrons. Often because the patron arrived late for the show, and is demanding entry or an immediate refund. This behavior undermines perhaps the most important element of any fringe, the volunteers.

    Please remember, ticket prices are extremely low because the vast majority working at the fringe receive no payment for their time! Verbally abusing a volunteer who is simply applying the rules is totally unacceptable.

    I make it a policy of thanking the volunteers at my venue before and after every show. Patrons should do the same. Without these volunteers, ticket prices would be double if not triple the price.


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