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How audiences are destroying Broadway

By: Ashley Saravia

Audiences laughing at the wrong times can negatively influence an actor’s performance. As Reed Birney took the stage as O’Brien, the chief torturer in “1984” at the Hudson Theatre, theater goers giggle every single time he entered the stage. Then, suddenly,  he snapped. Rudely behaved audiences have been the ‘norm’ for years, but recently it’s become unbearable due to the alcoholic drinks sold at theaters. Many actors object to sale of drinks, because Broadway is not a dinner theater. It is a place to go to immerse yourself in a mystical atmosphere created by enthralling actors and brights lights. Diva Patti LuPone for instance, during a performance of “Gypsy” noticed a woman texting and snatched her phone. One way to deal with misbehavior is to do so in character. “I don’t think I would have done what I did [at ‘1984’] if that moment with the audience wasn’t built into the play” says Birney.  Actors have adopted this new tactic to also combat the cellphone addiction and to quiet audiences them down. It is hard for audiences to receive the full experience if they are not mentally in tune with the action. 

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