Night at the Theatre: How to Plan for the Evening
Many people rush to the movies when they fancy a night out, or to a restaurant for a bite to eat. These are the ‘go to’ places for a date, or just a night out on the town. However, if you’re looking for an enticing alternative, going to the theatre is a great way to spend your evening.
Making an entire night out of going to the theatre is definitely worth considering – and with a little planning, it’s possible to turn a set of tickets into the perfect evening. Just follow our guidelines!
Check if seats are allocated
No matter where you live, you’re sure to find a theatre company that puts on regular productions. Amateur theatre companies and student drama troupes are some of the types you’ll find everywhere. Often, these shows are of a good standard, and you’re sure to have a great time.
Keep in mind that visibility could be a problem; the bigger theatres will have tiered seats, so you’ll get a good vantage point from anywhere. However, amateur theatre companies often stage their productions in community centers or town halls. These halls can be small, and the seating may not be tiered, so make sure you get down early to get a great seat.
Large theatres allocate seats, so you don’t need to worry about being the first person there to get the best seat.
Latecomers might not be admitted
Generally speaking, if you’re late to the show – you’re not getting in! This is to make sure the cast isn’t distracted by someone trying to find their seat. Remember, they’re live on stage and as such, they can probably hear you!
Make sure you’re on time for the stated time, so that you’re guaranteed to see the show that you paid good money to attend. If latecomers are not admitted to the show, there is also a high chance that you can’t leave during the performance.
The fine print often contains all the information you really need, such as seat allocation, start time, admissions policy, and returns and exchanges. Make sure you read all of these so you know what you need to do while you’re at the play.
Stage schools often have showcases
If you live near a bustling city, some of the best theatres on the planet may actually be right at your doorstep. Acting schools across the globe, from the Guildhall School of Music & Drama in London, to the Lee Strasberg acting school in New York City, and even as far off as the National School of Drama in India each showcase the work of their students.
Most acting schools will run showcases for their students every 6 months or once a year, so it’s worth having a look at the local theatre school’s event pages. If you have access to the up and coming actors of the future, it’s definitely worth checking them out.
A stage school showcase is often a great way to get a snapshot of different varieties of stage shows in an affordable way. They often put on more traditional types of productions, but at a fraction of the cost of a show in Theatreland.
Only buy tickets from official sellers
There’s no way around it; tickets to shows can get expensive. The theatre is often more costly than a trip to the movies, but that’s because of the limited run and the fact that a show can only be in one place at one time. When you think about this, and the cost of electricity, lights, and the cast and crew, it’s unsurprising that ticket prices would be expensive.
You might be tempted to buy tickets from someone selling them online for a fraction of the cost, but don’t. If you come across a ticket online for a show that’s 50% of the price it was released for, it’s probably not an official ticket. Unless, of course, you know the seller, but a stranger online selling a ticket for half price is probably too good to be true.
Official sellers, while more expensive, are guaranteed to be reliable. There’s no point in going to the effort of getting dressed up and going out for a show and being refused admission for a counterfeit ticket!
Know where you want to eat beforehand
If you’re going to the theatre and are grabbing a bite to eat or a drink before curtain call, make a reservation. If the show is sold out or it’s a busy night, you might struggle to get a table in your restaurant of choice if you just walk in.
When you know you have to be somewhere, it’s better to know where you’re going and at what time, so that you have a plan. It can be stressful trying to decide, on the fly, where the best place to get a drink or eat is. The last thing you want to worry about before you go to a show is whether or not you’ll have time to eat.
Plan ahead, tell people where to meet you and what time, and take it from there. You want a big night out without hiccups or confusion. You deserve it!
You’ve made the decision to go to the theatre, support the arts and see some live-action take place in front of you. There’s no CGI, no editing, you’re here for all the blunders and human error that is a part of the theatrical experience.
Get dressed up, treat yourself to a meal or a drink in the lobby, arrive on time so you don’t have to worry, sit back and relax. There is something special and classic about the theatre, and it’s always a great way to spend an evening.
No matter the subject matter, your mood going into the show, or the other audience members, you’re here for a good time: make sure you have one. You never know, you could be witnessing the first performance of a future star!
Article by Donna Maurer
As an aspiring theatre actress in NYC, Donna has been creatively writing her way through acting school. When she was in elementary school, Donna attended her first Broadway show, Cats, where she was blown away by the spectacle of the stage. After signing up for every theatre opportunity available to her as a child, it became clear that her passion for performance was not going to fade. She enrolled in her first acting class in high school and has continued to work on her skillset ever since. In her free time, Donna attends as many productions as possible, ranging from small, black box theatre performances to Broadway big names. She’s a firm believer that the best way to hone her own craft is by watching the performances of actors she admires.
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