A US theatre is the latest to offer 'Tweet seats' where audience members
are encouraged to post comments about the performance on the social
messaging sites without distracting others.
The Guthrie Theatre in
Minnesota, has formalised a growing trend in theatre audiences to use
their phones from within auditoria by giving obsessive tweeters a
section of their own.
Management has roped off a special
balcony-level section of the theatre "that will not be disruptive to
other patrons" for the latest run of The Servant With Two Masters, the
'Daily Mail' reported.
The Guthrie is not the first arts institution to cater specifically for, and even encourage, Twitter users.
others like The Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, Palm Beach Opera in
Florida and the Public Theater in New York have all reportedly
experimented with special sections for visitors who can't keep off their
Critics in UK are expressing mixed feelings about the
increasing tendency of audiences in London's West End to reach for their
phones during performances.
"There's little doubt that it
disturbs other audience members, and probably even cast members," wrote
David Lister in The Independent recently.
"And, of course, one
hopes that people are too busy concentrating on the action to fish their
mobile out of their pocket or bag. On the other hand, they are engaged
enough to want a post a review," wrote Lister.
In a classic case
of 'if you can't beat 'em, join 'em', theatres and auditoria offering
tweet seats make an effort to locate them in an area where smartphone
glow will not distract other customers, the report said.
Forward-thinking arts executives believe that social media could even enrich the experience offered by the production.