The Stage Door. To some, it means a chance to meet their favorite performers of theatre. To others, it means an opportunity to thank them for a beautiful show! And it’s a nice gesture to the public of having one’s playbill signed but the actors they saw. All in all, it’s a wonderful experience that one has of their Broadway experience.
However, it is not a time (nor is it ever!) to heckle the performers. After I saw an incredible performance of Hilary And Clinton performed by the wonderfully talented Laurie Metcalf and John Lithgow, I waited patiently at the stage door not knowing who was going to come out and sign since some people don’t do stage door especially if they’re a more prominent name in the industry. However, Metcalf and Lithgow graciously took the time and signed everyone’s playbills. But I couldn’t help but notice that a man standing next to me kept on calling out to Metcalf asking her all these stupid questions like if he could have her number and calling out to her. This is a huge DO NOT for the stage door.
A few years ago when Brendon Urie was in Kinky Boots on Broadway, he started out doing stage door but stopped doing it after multiple incidents where fans got too close and yelling in his face. As a witness to it, I remember being pushed up against the metal gate as fans tried to climb me. It was an experience that actually made me terrified of doing stage door again. When it was announced that Urie wouldn’t be doing stage door anymore, fans were outraged! How dare he not come out to see the fans who made him what he was! How dare he betray them like that! And most of all the one thing people said the most “Well it’s his job to do stage door! If he can’t handle it, then he shouldn’t be performing!”
What people seem to forget is that stage door is never a given. Some actors even shy away from stage door just because of people who don’t know how to control themselves just like Urie did. And it is never an actors job to do stage door, they don’t get paid for it, and it is something they take the time out of their day to do because they love the fans. It should be a delightful experience where everyone walks away happy.
Just remember to be respectful, thank the performers, and go about your way until the next Broadway show you see.