8 Theatre Rules Everyone Must Know and Follow

8 Theatre Rules Everyone Must Know and Follow

Theatre has been a world of emotion and fascination for most people. You can find here that behind its grandeur are concealed stories behind every rule that a theatre person must abide by.

Replace your “Good luck” with a “Break a leg!”.

According to Thespians, saying “Good luck” will trigger the theatre fairies to do the opposite of what actors really want to happen. So saying “Break a leg” will surely confuse these hiding creatures.

Another widely acceptable story behind this expression explains that the “leg” does not entirely refer to a man’s body part but rather the theatre curtain that covers the backstage. This originated from the early vaudeville when all theatre performers would just simply stand backstage, waiting for their names to be called or not. Thus, a performer who could go beyond that point was no doubt a lucky one!

Don’t whistle inside the theatre.

It was way back in the 1600s when sailors started to work in theatres. In that year, theatres started to utilize mechanisms for flying props, scenery, or the actors themselves, which was why sailors were the perfect people to do this as rigging in sailing ships and the theatrical fly systems were highly similar. As sailors do on seas as well, they would communicate through whistling. So in a theatre, a whistle may signify some instructions such as the raising or lowering of scenery. To avoid misunderstanding, theatre actors don’t whistle on stage. Of course, theatre microphones are already available, but this tradition has remained.

Don’t accept gifts before the performance.

People can be very excited about giving or receiving tokens of appreciation after a theatrical show. However, everyone is discouraged from doing this before the play, seeing that doing so may welcome any forms of mischief that may cause the show to be unsuccessful.

Turn on the ghost light.

Back in the days when theatre lights were supported by gas, theatres always made sure to leave the ghost light turned on so as to release the accumulating pressure that might result in some accident. But of course, theatres are not powered by gas anymore but they have continued to believe that turning on the ghost light will also keep the theatre ghosts away!

Don’t mention “Macbeath” at the theatre.

It is also a big NO-NO to mention William Shakespeare’s cursed “Macbeth” in the theatre. Intentionally or unintentionally saying this is considered really bad luck. If you accidentally do so, go outside the theatre, spin around three times, and then spit. That way, you will be able to keep bad luck at bay.

Don’t place any peacock feather on the theatre stage.

Peacock feathers are undeniably beautiful but not for theatre stages. According to a legend, the eye formation on a peacock feather is an evil eye. Having this on stage might also cause some production problems.

Don’t wear a blue costume on stage.

Centuries ago, blue dyes were absolutely costly and thus difficult for most theatre troupes to afford. That was when they started spreading the rumor that the blue color would bring bad luck. Not unless the theatre troupes would put some silver linings on them or on their custom T-shirts for this is believed to bring the opposite kind of luck for all!

Believe in a bad dress rehearsal.

This can be a real common sense as most of the time, after several weeks of thorough practicing, theatre crew and everyone involved must support a bad dress rehearsal. After all the careful planning and hard work, all they want to aim for is a successful and perfect performance. Thus, wearing their custom T-shirts for that one bad dress rehearsal is expected to be followed by that one great opening night!

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