Student audience shamefully disrespectful during Shakespeare

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Courtesy Photo

During the play, SHS students erupted inappropriately during two actors' romantic embrace.

The behavior during the Montana Shakespeare in the School’s production of “Macbeth” was shocking and disappointing. Not paying attention to the play is one thing, but deliberately disrupting the performance is rude and disrespectful. The Montana Shakespeare in the School’s company encourages the audience to be involved in the performance, however there is a time and place for this behavior. Knowing when to show enthusiasm and excitement is the key to audience participation.

Students hooted and hollered in the wrong places including a scene when a little boy was brutally murdered by Macbeth. When Macbeth and his wife kissed, the audience reacted as if they have never seen a married couple kiss. The audience “ooooohed” and “ahhhhed” and blurted other childish remarks at the embracing couple. Macbeth had to shoot the audience a less-than-friendly look in order to hush them.

Clapping between scenes and acts is an appropriate way to be involved in the performance. If the hero of a play wins an intense battle, cheering is a correct response. However, when a child is killed and the mood of the play is obviously sad, it is not appropriate to cheer and holler.

In addition to inappropriate audience reactions, students in the front row had their cell phones out and were attempting to record the actors. Many of the cell phone users were freely surfing the internet. Not only is it rude to use cell phones during a performance, it is against the school policy to even use cell phones during a class period.

The student body should be embarrassed. Sitting in a dark auditorium watching a play with language that is a challenge to comprehend can be draining, but it is no excuse to behave as elementary school children. Anyone who enters the doors of Sheridan High School should be treated with the utmost respect at all times by its student body.

Traditionally, Sheridan High School is one of best behaved audiences in the state. Unfortunately, during this performance, the student body did not live up to its usual standards. Next year, if the Montana Shakespeare in the Schools even wants to return to our school, there should be a total behavior change. Students should be respectful, actively watch, and enjoy the production.