As Long as They’re Seated Behind Me: Theater Introduces “Tweet Seats” for Social Media Addicts
Pros and Cons
As a life-long amateur musician who gets snooty when people clap between the movements of a sonata, I’m probably not the best person to be receptive to any kind of electronic introductions to a performance or screening. Usually when we hear about theater owners making concessions to people who leave their phones on, it’s in regards to a movie theater, with all their wooing of the modern audience and needing to wring profit out of every possible moment. But this case is of a repertory theater’s production of Carlo Goldoni‘s 1743 Servant of Two Masters, and while the restrictions placed on these Tweet Seats will probably keep them from annoying other audience members there’s just something about the principle of the thing that makes me hope it never happens at any theater I go to.
Says the Guthrie theater’s announcement:
A limited number of seats in the McGuire Proscenium will be designated as “tweet seats” allowing social media fans to tweet live during specific performances.
“Tweet Seats” available for four consecutive Thursday evening performances, beginning December 27
I’m going to go ahead and assume (or at least hope) that those seats will be in the last row of the balcony, so as not to irritate the folks behind them with the blazing light of their screens. Knowing that some particular performances will sanction social media use will also allow folks who’d rather not encounter that sort of thing to choose other shows. The Guthrie appears to feel that allowing folks to tweet during the performance goes right in hand with the elements of improvised comedy in their show. Guthrie External Relations Director Trish Santini: “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.”
Not for me, thanks. Or at least, I can wait until after the house lights come up. What do you guys think?