Harry Potter and the Polite Theatergoer

It’s opening night for Harry Potter and the Cursed Child on Broadway! Broadway is a wonderful experience that not many get to experience, and whether this will be your first show or 31st, the MuggleNet staff and I have put together a list of etiquette tips to ensure you enjoy the show.


1. Attire

Broadway has become more relaxed in terms of attire over the past couple of years. However, it’s always nice to dress up for a Broadway show. If you’d like to wear jeans, darker colors would be preferred. Many will choose to dress up in their Hogwarts robes, and that’s fine! The heat in theaters tends to fluctuate, and it may be in your best interest to bring a sweater in case it’s cold.


2. Applause

Be respectful when it comes to applause. Don’t shout (unless it’s during bows and you’re doing some “Woo!”-ing). Standing ovations may occur, primarily toward the end of the show. Be aware of your fellow audience members and follow their lead.


3. Phones Away! (And Other Smart Devices)

It’s a big no-no to record or photograph during the show, and you will be kicked out for doing so. Once you arrive inside, do your best to put your phone away and on silent so as not to disturb others. This goes for your other smart devices – fitness trackers and smartwatches can also light up when applauding. Consider taking them off before showtime or turning down the brightness.

Note, the “no photos” rule applies to the bows! Once the stage is clear, at the end of the show, feel free to take your phone out.


4. Be Prepared and On Time

Read the FAQs on the show’s website and come prepared for the show. Have your tickets ready, and if you have a bag, have it open and ready to be searched. Make sure to arrive when doors open, or at least 30 minutes before showtime. There’s a custom at Broadway where shows don’t start exactly on time, but this one will! Once you’re through the door, head straight to the merchandise stations for your best chance of getting your size in shirts or the items you’re hoping for. They also put out new merchandise for Part Two, so make sure to check it out for both shows!

If you need to pick up your tickets for that day’s performance, please pick them up ahead of time.

Want to shop merchandise the day before or after? Stop by 213 West 42nd Street for the Harry Potter and the Cursed Child Merchandise Store. You can find the store hours here.


5. Bathroom Breaks

This one’s for the ladies! Bathroom lines are long, so be smart and make sure you arrive with an empty tank. During intermission, be patient and polite in the bathroom line. Attendants will do their best to get everyone in and out and back in their seats before the show starts back up.


6. Stage Door

One of the most fun parts is waiting to meet the actors afterward at the stage door. This will only happen at the end of Part Two. The company will not come out to sign at the end of Part One. Stay through the end of the curtain call and pay your respect to everyone who worked on the show. I spoke with a production assistant who assured me that the actors are happy to sign as much as they can. Pushing people to get in front will not do you any good. Also, think about what you want to say to the actors ahead of time. “I didn’t like the script that much when it first came out” won’t come across how you want it to.


7. Theater Attendants and Crew

I’ve said it once and I’ll say it again: Being polite and kind goes a long way. While waiting for actors to emerge from the stage door, consider the workers who deal with the large crowds day in and out. It’ll go a long way and leave you with a better overall experience.


8. Snacks and Garbage

You cannot bring in any outside snacks or drinks, but they will sell treats inside. Do your best to keep loud chewing to a minimum and at the end, take your garbage with you.


Anyone else excited to see Cursed Child on Broadway? Sound off below, and have fun!

Lizzie S.

Lizzie Sudlow joined MuggleNet in August 2015 as a Creative Editorialist, and has since transitioned to the Internship Coordinator role. Lizzie also serves as a rotating host for MuggleNet’s ‘Fantastic Beasts’ podcast, SpeakBeasty. In her spare time, this Ravenclaw enjoys cuddling with her cat and fiancé.