We’re in the age of social media and, in an effort to keep current, many theatres are turning toward trend. Live tweeting, which, as described by Twitter is “to engage on Twitter for a continuous period of time—anywhere from twenty minutes to a few hours—with a sequence of focused tweets” is being implemented in theatres across the country. The curtain goes up and the phones come out, negating traditional theatre etiquette.
Some theatres have begun experimenting with the inclusion of “tweet seats.” Tweet seats are an area of the house where audience members are permitted to use their mobile phones to tweet about the show. According to USA Today, these seats have been adopted by several theatres, including the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, N.C., the Dayton Opera in Dayton, Ohio, and the Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, Conn. In NYC, the new musical Rated P for Parenthood plans to offer tweet seats on its Blogger Night.
This plan is likely geared toward young people—an effort to attract new audiences to the theatre. But tweet seats have garnered quite a bit of negative attention. While some champion the idea, calling it a way of generating awareness of other audience members and their real-time thoughts on the presented work, many feel that tweet seats cheapen the experience. You can’t wholly devote yourself to the performance if you’re glued to your phone.
Regardless, Twitter and the like is a force that can’t be ignored. And the ideal is that people will want to tweet about the theatre and, more importantly, want to be at the theatre. The orb of glowing light might be the price to pay.
What do you think about Tweet Seats?