For years at the Guthrie Theater, just before the show began, a voice has asked audiences to please turn off their cell-phones.
Are those days coming to an end?
The cast of The Servant of Two Masters
Photo by Richard Termine
Today the Guthrie announced that a dedicated section of the audience will actually be encouraged to 'tweet' during performances of the Italian comedy The Servant of Two Masters.
These "tweet seats" as they're called, will be available for four consecutive Thursday evening performances, beginning December 27. They're located on the balcony level of the McGuire proscenium stage, so as not to be disruptive to other theater-goers.
"If there were ever a Guthrie show to host Tweet Seats, it's The Servant of Two Masters," said Guthrie External Relations Director Trish Santini in a Guthrie release. "This cast is an incredible ensemble of comedians, and night after night they're riffing and improvising--it's the kind of show that makes you ask, 'Did they just say that?' Usually they did--and tweeting should be a great way to talk about it."
"Tweeting" is already encouraged in some other venues, including MPR's own "Wits" series at the Fitzgerald Theater.
So what do you think? Is this a good idea? Do you like the idea of being able to text while you're in the theater watching a stage production? Or would you prefer your concerts to be free of smart phones and other digital devices?
If I knew that I would have to be among people who were using their phones in any way, I would not attend that performance. And if texting or tweeting occurred during a performance I paid for, I would ask for my money back.
I know of cultures where rudeness is tolerated and I very much fear that this is the future here. It goes along with the new Guthrie's "look" of a combined airport terminal and cineplex.
The "New" is not always better and the texting tweeting trend will damage the theatre experience on into the future.
Lighten up, Claire. Social media is ubiquitous and doesn't necessitate a ticket refund!
Terrible idea. I'm with Claire. Where is the artistic integrity? "Hey, great show I'm not paying attention to while updating Twitter and Facebook." How insulting to the art and performers.