The best part of going to a Broadway show is waiting outside the stage door for the cast to come out to sign autographs and pictures for FREE!!! Many people actually thought your ticket comes with the meet & greet. NO WAY! It is free. Here are some fun Stage Door Etiquette tips and rules from us at New York Broadway Tours…

1. NOT SURE WHERE THE STAGE DOOR IS? No worries, ASK AN USHER. Most of the stage doors on Broadway are usually in the corners of the Theaters. Several houses are also next street from each other (for examples The New Amsterdam (where Aladdin – The Musical is playing) has their main entrance on 42nd street and the stage door is on 41st Street. Also the Imperial (where The Great Comet is playing) has their main entrance is on 45th and the stage door on 46th street).

2. GET A GREAT SPOT! As soon as the final curtain call is happening, hurry and try to get close as you possibly can so you can be one of the first few people to get your playbills/memorabilia signed.

3. SHARPIES & PENS READY TO GO!! Sometimes cast members may forget or not have one at all. Be prepared.

4. KNOW YOUR STARS! Get to know all the headshots of cast members in your show that appear in your playbills. Also people waiting think some random person is one of the main actors in the show. Double check your playbills for the headshot. Sometimes as a bonus, you can even get the performers to sign their headshot on the playbill.

5. BE PATIENT!!! The performers that have just been on stage entertaining you for almost 3 hours are exhausted. They need to catch their breath, get out of costume/wigs/makeup, etc. You do not have to yell and make a scene complaining “Why the hell this actor is taking too long?”. Other people are waiting patiently for the same performers too. It takes time for them till they get back into their street clothes. They have things to do before leaving the theater. Another good example is for those who plan to stage door over at WICKED The Musical, the actress who plays Elphaba takes the longest and most likely one of the last few people to leave. She’s in a shower for about 15-20 minutes scrubbing the green makeup off. When she does come out, you will recognize her because small parts of that green makeup gets stuck in her hairline/ears.

6. RESPECTFUL & MANNERS TO THE PERFORMERS & YOUR FELLOW STAGE DOOR GOERS! People get so excited when they see a certain face came out (that you may recognize from TV, production photos, etc), hell breaks loose! Please remember, they are also a person just like you and me. Be yourself! Please don’t push. Give your fellow stage door goers some space so he/she can get their moment to have their moment with their favorite Broadway actor/actress. It’s fair to all stage door goers so no one misses out, gets trapped, or hurt. Make plenty of room to have your hands out for the performers to sign your playbill/memorabilia & if you want to pose for a picture with the cast member. Always remember to ask, say “please”, “thank you”, and “excuse me”. Some certain big Broadway stars usually don’t stop to pose for pictures. (For example, Kristin Chenoweth after her current MY LOVE LETTER TO BROADWAY CONCERT or Idina Menzel during her time performing in If/Then Musical). Usually with the stars that don’t pose, you are able to still take photos but while they sign. Sometimes (even better), people take selfies of just themselves as the big stars pass by while signing for another person. Also, some stars are not fans of camera flashings. With Kristin, you can take the photos but the flashes have to be off so she doesn’t get another migraine. If you have a friend, they can even get the photo of you while you are talking to them. If any performer doesn’t stop to pose for a photo, don’t throw a hissy fit or tantrum at the performer saying “Oh God! Such a freakin’ diva!”.

7. DON’T DO ANYTHING CREEPY! We know it’s exciting and how much you love a certain favorite Broadway star. Do not do anything to freak the actor/actress out like attacking him/her or randomly proposing to that actor/actresses to marry you (happened with Lea Michele after the original production of Spring Awakening Broadway and Mandy Gonzalez after In The Heights). Please note, they probably have boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, and wives. Let’s face reality, they do not know you! Unless you are friends with the performer and/or both of you have a mutual friend. If you get creepy on your favorite performers, the Theater security and everyone might look at you as a psycho stalker and turn you away.

8. DO NOT BE DISAPPOINTED IF PERFORMERS DO NOT COME OUT. We know it’s disappointing when you want to meet your Broadway idol and they don’t come out. Like what we said before at # 5, the performer(s) may have some other commitments to do right after the show or they are super exhausted having to rest before doing another performance the next day. On 2 shows day depending on the demands of the role, the main performer(s) want to stay in after the matinee show to take a nap before the evening show. Give them respect and love because they just wowed you for 2 1/2 hours. If they don’t come out, do not write a nasty, rude, and mean comment on their social media page. Actors/Actresses have feelings too. It upsets them and people don’t understand how much hard work & dedication it is to do 8 performances a week on Broadway This year’s Tony winning Best Actress Cynthia Erivo did a phenomenal job defending herself after an audience member made a rude comment to the actress saying how stupid it was for her to not come out and sign after The Color Purple Musical. If you were wanting to give the performer(s) a fan gift or a letter of appreciation, give it to the security or someone working the production to give to him/her in her dressing room.

What was the best/worst time you ever stage doored after a show? Any weird shenanigans? Please share below!!

Check out this link for more tips and ideas: http://broadwayblack.com/you-thought-your-ticket-covered-meet-and-greet-your-bad

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