• Oct : 9 : 2013 - The Lyceum Theater is the oldest on Broadway (opened in 1903).
  • Sep : 20 : 2013 - The Tony Award-winning play with the shortest title was Da (1978).
  • Sep : 15 : 2013 - In 1912 New York City theaters became desegregated.
  • Sep : 10 : 2013 - Most New York City Broadway theaters omit the row “I” in their seating to avoid confusion with the number one.
  • Sep : 6 : 2013 - The Actors’ Equity contract was signed on September 6, 1991 after an actors strike right before curtain call lasted almost a month.

Stage Dooring. This is a serious point of contention for many people, performers and audience members alike. There are fans that appear at the stage door after every performance they see regardless of whether it is their first time there or their fiftieth. In the same breath, there are fans who never go to the stage door and are perfectly content seeing a show and heading home to soak it in without seeing the actors afterward.

The opportunity to get up close and personal with actors after a performance is something unique to Broadway and theatre in general. Matt Deangelis of Hair and American Idiot put it very simply, “You can’t go see a movie and meet Tom Hanks. [Stage dooring] creates a level of closeness with the audience.” And most actors find that appealing! At least, it appears they do from the respond we got to the poll we put out last week.

This all actually started because of a post on another theatre website’s forum. There was a fan very angrily complaining about the fact that a certain actor, who shall remain nameless here, did not come out of the stage door following the performance she saw. Now, everyone else made it a point to let her know he usually does come out, many people have had the experience of meeting and talking to him, so perhaps he was just having a bad day? Did not sound acceptable to this fan, she continued to say how it was rude and distasteful to her. This got me thinking—what does everyone else think? I polled my followers and got responses from a ton of you as well as some awesome Broadway performers.

Most of the responses I received from actors were positive. Like Anthony Lee Medina of Spring Awakening for example, “Before touring I stage doored every show I went to. It was a ritual that I loved! Seeing these actors out of costume being completely normal people and just being so thankful that people are waiting to see them.” Many others expressed similar sentiments saying things like, “We have to remember that we were once the people at the stage door or the people in a small town listening to soundtracks and collecting playbills,” which came from Kate Pazakis of South Pacific.

However, I think some of the most telling responses were the stories about negative experiences at the stage door. Wait, before you get any ideas, these are NOT fans having negative experiences, these are ACTORS. Josh Lamon of Hair could not say enough good things about the experience of meeting fans at the stage door, but he did add, “, I think the most important thing is to be respectful.” Why? Well, because of stories like this one from a cast-mate of his:

“I have had a few issues with people being not incredibly nice at the stage door… which sometimes made it hard for me. There was this one kid who used to stage door Hair a lot and had made a habit of insulting me every time we spoke. For example, ‘did they airbrush your stomach on that billboard?? Cause you looked WAAAAY skinnier than you do now.’ Things like that. Which made it hard for me to ever want to stop and talk to him since I knew something like that was coming.”

That came from Cailan Rose. Have you seen that girl? She’s tiny! Why anyone would tell any actor that they didn’t look as good in person (hello, all live theatre is in person!) is beyond me, but especially that girl. But that’s not the only story. While Brynn Williams of Bye Bye Birdie first said, “If fans are willing to stand outside in the New York weather (blistering heat, freezing snow, pouring rain. etc) for over an hour waiting, then the least I can do is sign some programs and take a few pictures. I love talking to people who were in the audience, especially little kids, but I do feel it’s part of the job.” She also added a bonus story that had me absolutely floored with anger.

“In-between shows at the stage door of Bye Bye Birdie, I once had a lady DEMAND that I go inside and bring John Stamos out to sign. I was making my way down the line, I reached out for her program and she snatched it away and said “Oh please, I don’t want YOUR autograph. But if you wanna do something, go inside and make Uncle Jesse come outside. And run, I’ve been standing here for over an hour!”… John wasn’t feeling well that day and the lady should’ve been happy that he was performing at all!”

Anthony Lee Medina had a similar (though admittedly not as horrifying) story: “Personally, I really enjoy coming out and saying hello to fans! I mean that honestly! It reminds me that what I do is appreciated. The only thing I can say to those who stage door is try to know the actors real name and don’t rip a pen out of their hand because someone you like more is coming out. It makes us feel cheap. I can’t even begin to count how many times I was mid signing a playbill at Spring Awakening and then Jake Epstein (Love Ya Jakey!) walked out and I suddenly became unimportant to the fan.”

Speaking as a theatre fan as well as a human being, these stories make me sad and I would urge anyone who does “stage door” to be respectful! I think Andrew Keenan-Bolger of Newsies put it best, “I don’t think it should be taken for granted that actors sign at the stage door following a performance but I do think it’s courteous. An actor’s life is often very busy outside of their show. We’re often running to coachings or auditions in between shows or have to get home to prepare sides or practice for readings and concerts. That being said, I think it’s important to be cognizant of a little thing called gratitude. Especially being a part of a show like NEWSIES I’m able to recognize that we would have never made it to Broadway with out our fans demanding that this be given another life. We’ve only had a couple of performances but I couldn’t imagine anyone not wanting to greet the audience that has given us so much passion and support.”

The fans had a lot of interesting things to say which for most people could be summed up as: actors do not have a responsibility to stage door, but fans really love it when they do. Well, that is pretty much a given. I think the most shocking answers were the people who said they did think it was part of the job for performers. Morgan James of Godspell said “It’s not actually in my job description, but it IS still my job.” It may not be in her job description, but it actually is in the contract for some bigger name performers. We won’t mention who, but it’s not always done out of common courtesy to the audience (but who knows, maybe those performers end up loving it?).

But back to the fans! There were a few who not only said they felt it was a performer’s responsibility to come out of the stage door, sign autographs and take photos they said that they liked them more if they did than if they didn’t. I find this a hard pill to swallow. As a self-proclaimed theatre person, I will go on record as saying I think this is the wrong attitude to take. I think Anthony Lee Medina said it best when describing a time he might not stage door, even though he most often does, “The only time I felt I didn’t want to sign stuff was when I was sick or having a bad day or felt I personally didn’t have a good show. I think that’s very hard for “stage doorers” to comprehend. But when it comes down to it after work don’t you just sometimes have days where you just want to crawl in bed and not talk to anyone?”

I think we can all relate to that.

Casting Director Daryl Eisenberg gives us a completely different perspective, “If it would in any way interfere with their ability to perform (they’re sick, the weather conditions are horrible, hugging slimy/germ-infested kids ;) , etc) – I would prefer they NOT stage door so they CAN fulfill their actor responsibilities – giving a 100% performance on stage at every performance. However – do I think stage dooring is a good idea?  Absolutely.  It fosters good will with your audience, brings a level of personal experience to the audience (which creates more loyal/excited theatergoers for years to come), and helps generate a fan-base.  Actors with huge fanbases are SO useful to me when I’m casting.  Having a built-in ticket-buying audience can make an actor VERY attractive.” And she summed it up well adding, “So obligation – no way.  A smart thing for an actor to do?  Heck yes.”

Anyway, BroadwaySpotted has babbled far too much on this controversial topic. I will leave you with a few quotes from other actors below and ask you: What do you think? Comment below!

 

“The people in the audience have paid so much money to see a Broadway show, they’ve often traveled in from out of town, and if it makes their experience more special, then I’m honored to meet them.  You can see how much it means to people and it only adds 10 minutes or less to my “work day,” so I think its totally worth it. Personally, I love meeting the folks at the stage door. It keeps me in touch with the joy that theatre can bring to people.  That makes it all worthwhile.” Jared Gertner  of Book of Mormon

“Responsibility? No. They have a responsibility to perform
 every show at 100%, not to visit after. But people who see theater are often moved or taken on a journey and they want to voice their enthusiasm for what they just saw/experienced, and it makes them happy to share their joy with us and THAT makes us happy! I love seeing people at the stage door.” Ellyn Marsh Priscilla Queen of the Desert

Categories: Features

43 Responses so far.

  1. Christopher says:

    I am in awe of every Broadway show I see. I have the utmost respect for every performer and every crew person who makes the shows reality. I recognize that only a fraction of my ticket price goes to their salaries, and that they all work far harder than we know for paychecks that are far lower than people think. I always stop at the stage door, even though I almost never ask for an autograph. It is a way for me to see all the people who make it happen, and for them to know that, as an audience member and fan, they have given me a night I will never forget.

    I appreciate the show people who stage-door, because they understand that the audience is also part of the experience.

  2. Shay says:

    I think one of the most interesting stage door experiences I had was when seeing Godspell, and Hunter Parrish came out. He was obviously the biggest star in the show, and he was who EVERYONE was waiting for. He must have spend at least 45 minutes talking to everyone, making sure everyone had their programs signed, and taking pictures with everyone who asked. He stayed until everyone had left the stage door.
    That really warmed my heart, because although I’m sure he had other things to do and places to be, he made sure everyone’s theatre experience was that much more special.

    • Tara says:

      I agree with Shay about Hunter Parrish in Godspell. He is SOOOO sweet! I got pulled up on stage for one of their parables…. afterwards (an hour and a half later) when I was at the stage door, he came out– talked to every fan, and when he got to me, he said “Tara.. right?!”. He was so sweet and kind. God bless him! He is just fabulous!!!!

  3. Aaron says:

    I love stage dooring after shows, getting to meet the talented actors who just performed for you is really exciting. There are sometimes that I wait for actors who end up not coming out, but I get that they have a lot on their plate and sometimes aren’t able to come out. I love what Andrew Keenan-Bolger said about actors having busy lives and still taking the time to take pictures with us and sign Playbills because it couldn’t be truer, and that makes the whole experience that much more special (Just saw him in Newsies on Sunday and got to take a picture with him after, such a nice guy). So, I guess what I’m saying is that it is wrong to demand that they come out and to just appreciate those who do

  4. Aaron says:

    And my most interesting experience stage dooring was probably when I went to see Carrie. I was with a friend who wasn’t interested in stage dooring, so we went to Starbucks after the show instead. Then they went home, and as I was heading for the subway, I had to pass the theater anyway. I saw Christy Altomare, so I went over and asked to take a picture with her. When she said she’d do it, I tried handing my phone for someone to take the pic, and it turned out to be Jenn Damiano (!). Then when I asked to take a pic with her and she graciously said yes (even though she wasn’t even in the show) and I handed my phone to someone else and I freaked bc it was Wesley Taylor (also not in the show!!). Definitely was an epic night :)

  5. peg says:

    I don’t take it for granted that any actor will stage door. But, if they do, I really love it! Some of my favorites have been John Gallagher, Jr. (especially while in Jerusalem), Mark Rylance (who made my 50th birthday extra special!), Ben Thompson (who gives the BEST hugs) and the ENTIRE cast of Godspell who even held a sign so I could take a picture to send to my daughter in North Carolina to let her know what her gift was! I hope I am always respectful and grateful for the time the actors spend with us!

  6. Heidi says:

    I absolutely do NOT think it is an actor’s responsibility to greet fans after the show. As a theatre fan, I can say that it is always very exciting to meet the performers and to express my gratitude for sharing their talents with me; however, I also understand that sometimes there are days when they just want to go home. I have days like that, too. I also want to say a huge thank you to every single one of you performers out there for taking the time to meet your fans. Seriously, just a smile to let us know that you know we exist can make our day. I don’t think non-theatre-goers quite understand how a theatre fan’s heart explodes when they see a show, and for the actors to take time out of their day to say hi is the greatest feeling ever! I must commend the Newsies cast for responding on Twitter as often as they do. It’s incredible to see a cast who is as excited about their show as the fans are! I can’t wait to see it!

  7. daynabroadway says:

    I, personally, NEVER stage door. I feel that actors put so much of themselves into a show and they work so hard that at the end of a performance they most likely want nothing more then to get out of work, because let’s face it, this is their job. When I get out of work, I don’t want to stop outside after leaving the office for an hour. Do they stop and smile, take photos and sign things for the fans, most do. Does that mean they want to? I can’t answer that for them. I just know that for me I feel as if the time after a show is their personal time that I don’t want to invade.

  8. Meghan says:

    Honestly, I love stage dooring and I really feel like it adds to my overall experience. Do I get angry at performers who don’t come out? No. I may be disappointed because I often stagedoor at performances that really moved me, but there are other ways to tell someone you appreciated a performance especially now with Twitter and fanmail.
    My best stage dooring experiences were always with the 1stNT of Spring Awakening because my friend and I often traveled to see the show and even flew across the country to see their final show. I felt like I got to share that experience with them so it was great to tell them how much I loved the show.

    Shout out to Anthony Lee Medina who was always friendly and gracious at the stage door, as were the rest of his castmates.

  9. none says:

    I would love to know more about this:

    It may not be in her job description, but it actually is in the contract for some bigger name performers.

    as I don’t believe it. That is some poor agenting or some poor AEA clause that would include being forced to sign autographs and pose for photos every night as a part of someone’s acting contact. I just don’t believe you. Sorry.

    • BwaySpotted says:

      You don’t have to believe anything haha, but it is true. It’s part of the appeal of having big name performers/celebrities in shows. People want to get close to them.

  10. Ellen Burns says:

    This is a great chance to give some shout outs to casts that have really been wonderful at the stage door:
    Priscilla Queen of the Desert (they really get a big gold star – even the stage door manager is wonderful)
    Mary Poppins
    Godspell
    Book of Mormon
    Jesus Christ Superstar (more kudos to their stage door manager as well!)

    There are so many individual actors that have been great and I couldn’t possibly list them all – but it is hard to overstate the good will that is created during a fun stage door meeting…I remember them all and am so grateful!!

  11. Gina says:

    I am fully aware that not one penny of my ticket is paying for the stage door experience. It is a complete perk for any fan to meet one of the performers after the show. I can honestly say that every single actor I have met has been incredibly gracious and grateful to their fans. It makes the theatre experience that much more wonderful !
    Unfortunately we live in an extremely selfish society today and seem to think the actors “owe” them. Well they certainly don’t. I am thrilled when I have been entertained and have the opportunity to say “thank you” to so many incredibly talented men and women !

  12. Bruno says:

    Check this out!

    http://www.blurb.com/bookstore/detail/222118
    You will never think of stagedooring the same way after reading this book.

  13. Cara says:

    I stagedoor a majority of the shows I see. I don’t believe that it’s part of the job for the actors, and I fully appreciate when they come out. It makes the experience of live theatre even more thrilling. And I would rather them not come out if they aren’t feeling well or are in a bad mood. I’ve experienced some really rude people at stagedoor (both actors and fans), so I understand how frustrating it can be to deal with the rudeness. Everyone has a bad day. I’d rather be disappointed that an actor didn’t come out than be disappointed that they were rude for whatever reason.

  14. Vicky says:

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that so many actors don’t mind stage dooring, and some enjoy it!

    My questions for discussion are these: Is there an “appropriate age” for fans to stage door? Is it more acceptable to stage door when you are younger? Is there a “teeny bopper” stigma attached to stage dooring? When you stage door the same show multiple times, does it ever get creepy? Do actors ever get tired of seeing the same person and just want to be left alone? Do people ever stage door when they HAVEN’T seen the show that night?

    The first time I stage doored, I was 13 and it was for Wicked in Chicago. I had just heard about the idea of “stage dooring” and I was ridiculously excited. I can still remember the experience, because I didn’t even own my digital camera yet. Seeing these amazing people in person was absolute MAGIC to me. I ended up stage dooring Wicked a ridiculous number of times.

    Fast forward to when I was 16 and I was in LOVE with Jersey Boys Chicago. I rushed & stage doored to the point that the actors knew me by name. But by the time I turned 18, I began to wonder if I was too over the top, you know? I never thought of myself a fangirl, but maybe I was going at it a little too hard.

    Also when I was 18, I began to think I was getting too old to be stage dooring. Actors like seeing little kids who were enthralled by the performance, not 18+ girls and adults. I thought, “Shouldn’t I be at the age that this doesn’t matter to me anymore? Shouldn’t I now have my own life to tend to?”

    Now I’m 20 and to avoid any awkward feelings, I don’t stage door as much as I used to. I only stage door a show if there is an actor I REALLY want to meet or if I’ve seen the actor before (like Jeremy Kushnier!), etc.

    Lastly, I would like to ask this question: Is it ever acceptable to ask an actor if another actor has already left for the night/is planning on coming out the stage door that night?

    I don’t mean doing it in a way like the aforementioned Uncle Jesse fan did. I mean, going up to an actor, getting your autograph and chatting, and then asking, “Oh, by the way… do you know if X has left yet?”

    • Kat says:

      To answer one of your questions… I went to New York two years ago and saw our shows. Before the third one I didn’t know what stage dooring was (strange I know but we don’t get to do that where I’m from. We don’t really get shows). So my last day I actually went from the show that I just saw to the first show I saw cause that one had some people I really wante to see. So yes sometimes people stage door a show they didn’t see that night.

  15. Renee says:

    I agree. Stage-dooring really adds to the whole “theatre experience”. If an actor doesn’t choose to come out, for whatever reason, that’s their decision. But when someone DOES come out, and truly interacts with the fans, chatting, making eye contact, it just is magical for the theatre-lover.

    My daughter has quite a collection of autographed show posters, framed and hung across the family room wall. She can tell you the interaction she had with the cast at each show. I know part of those experiences led her to decide to major in theatre with the hopes of becoming a director some day.

    My two favorite experiences recently were with the cast of “Bonnie & Clyde”, as we lamented with them of the poor critic response but wonderful audience appreciation, and meeting the cast of “Newsies”- with all their joy and enthusiasm. We could share with them that we returned because we loved them at the Paper Mill and had to see them again!

  16. Calen says:

    I stage door a lot at the tours that come to Seattle. I am an actor and a theatre student in college, and so I make sure to ask for EVERYBODY’S signature. looking into my future, I see a number of years in the ensemble, and some of the most gratifying stage door experiences I have had were with ensemble members who were just happy to be recognized.

  17. Karen says:

    Great job on a very sensitive topic. I vary with stage door visiting. A lot depends on my own schedule or the transportation I need to get to.

    Thanks for a good read!

  18. Antoinette says:

    I’ve only discovered stage-dooring about 4 years ago and my luck when it came to watching shows, always happened during the most terrible weather conditions (snow, intense rain, intense humidity). Out of all the shows I’ve seen, most of the cast came out and the crowd was pretty respectable which I think makes it easier for the cast and crew who are already tired to come out and not deal with crazy audience members. But I love being able to thank the people in person for their hard work and putting on such a great performance. I think that as long as there is no claim of entitlement for the performers to come out, then stage-dooring is fun and you won’t get disappointed.

  19. Maddie says:

    I do not feel that it is their obligation to come out the stage door, as someone who loves to be on stage but is very uncomfortable off-stage, I don’t think I, personally, would handle something like that well at all, I’m sure that goes for plenty of other people as well. When I saw Promises, Promises back in 2010 (… I think) someone was very upset about Kristin Chenoweth not coming out of the stage door (she was sick that day!) I admit, I kind of wanted to slap them. They were going on and on about how they came to see her and it was outrageous that she wasn’t coming out. I don’t make it a habit of going to the stage door, but if I was really impressed with a performance I may express that to the actor(s).

  20. Ann says:

    Years and years ago, in high school, I saw Debbie Reynolds in a matinee of “Irene” with a group. When she came out, he had her teenage daughter Carrie with her (yes, I’m old) and would not stop. She had a couple of people with her shepherding her and Carrie through the crowd. However, she waved graciously, said hello, politely declined autographs, and managed to answer everyone as she went by, leaving us all feeling happy. Carrie’s surly look clearly told us that she hated having to walk through curious crowds just to go to lunch. That one experience showed me what a thrill it is to see close an actor I just saw perform. It also brought home the truth that actors have lives off stage, and deserve to be allowed to go about them. Some people in our group were crabby that they couldn’t get an autograph, but most of us loved just seeing her.

  21. Chris says:

    I’ve traveled alone from Wyoming to NYC twice just to see Broadway shows, and a huge part of the trip for me is stage-dooring. When I saw Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson the week it opened on Broadway, Driving Miss Daisy was right next door and there was a mob waiting to see James Earl Jones. Only a few of us were there for BBAJ. The cast members were so cool and genuine to us and overwhelmed that we wanted to meet them. It was really gratifying to see a cast so gracious to have fans. As a theatergoer who travels a long way just to be able to see these people, I don’t think it’s too much to ask for an autograph or a picture, but I completely understand if they don’t. As a local actor, I could never get tired of meeting people after shows.

  22. Gabby says:

    I am a huge Broadway fan and I’m the type that fan girls over the most unknown actor in the world of they do something I like. After the show I don’t leave until I go to the stage door and get to meet them. I’m also an actress and as an actress I feel it’s important to go to the stage door because who wouldn’t want to meet the wonderful people supporting you. Of corse, if you have someone rude or you’re having a bad day, it kind of turns you off a little but you’re always going to have days like that so I think it’s best to try not to ruin the experience for other fans that have waited and haven’t been rude at all. My biggest pet peeve is when I go to the stage door specifically to see someone and before he comes out, someone else does and says “That’s everyone, no on me else is coming out.” You feel really dissapointed.

  23. Car a W says:

    I have been on both sides, in some respect. As a performer, it is very rewarding to have the interaction with audience members. I have also been very sick…and basically required (it was a childrens theater tour) to greet people, when I should have been resting, and not exposing myself to more germs!

    As an audience member, I hardly ever visit the stage door unless I know someone in the show. Just knowing how taxing some shows can be, I just feel like hardcore fans should have the performer’s time, if anyone should, and then the performers should be left alone to go home and rest (or go out, and have fun!).

    With stars, it is different. The demands placed on them, from managers, agents, PR people, family, and others, can be huge. Even when I am a fan of a big star… I wouldn’t seek them out after a show. Privacy can be the best way to say ‘well done!’.

  24. bekah says:

    My sister and I stage door a lot of the shows we see. We live in the Boston area and love going to Providence so we see shows in both cities all the time. What I like about stage dooring is that when you get a connection with an actor, even if it is for two minutes, it’s an amazing feeling. My sister and I were apart of the Guilty Ones during Spring Awakenings run in Providence and we got to go to the cast party and mingle with the cast in a way that most fans don’t get to. Since then we have seen Krystina Alabado in American Idiot 3 times (once on Broadway and twice on tour), Julie Benko in Les Mis tour and Gabby Garza waiting at the stage door and all three performers remembered us from the Guilty Ones. And recently we have seen Addams Family and was talking with Cortney Wolfson at the stage door in Boston. We talked for a bit, mostly how I was upset that when I saw Legally Blonde when it opened in Providence, I was never able to get a picture with her and now I was finally able to complete my PMS picture. She thought that was funny and was glad she was able to help. As she was leaving she said come see us in Providence!! So we did! My sister and I were not able to see Addams Family in Boston for a second time, and since Providence isn’t far away, we took a ride down for the night. And when Cortney came out of the stage door and I told her, you told us to come to Providence so here we are!! She seemed happy to see us. She gave us both a hug and we talked again for a bit. And she was kind enough to take another picture with us.

    So what I am trying to say is the reason that I go to the stage door is I think its great that the actors try to remember the fans that come back again and again to see them!!

  25. Cat says:

    I stage door a lot in the West End, though only really to see performers I’ve liked for a while, i don’t often go to meet anyone new. I would never think less of a performer for not stopping after an evening show or not coming out on a matinee day, but I’d totally lying if I said that having a good experience with someone at stage door didn’t make me like them more. My favourite performers I love firstly beccause of their talent that I was drawn to enough to make me want to meet them in the first place, but also because they’re always so lovely and generous with their time.

    I have to mention the last night of Ghost in London for Caissie Levy and Richard Fleeshman, they hung around for close to an hour after the performance even though I’m sure they had somewhere better to be, but they didn’t grumble once and made sure everyone got what they wanted from them. Caissie’s my number one favourite performer, not only is she supremely talented with a voice to die for, but she is the sweetest, kindest most genuine person I’ve met in what must be a very strange situation.

  26. Evan says:

    I attend as many shows as I can. Living in the midwest, they are mostly tours, but several theaters launch their own professional productions. We see excellent shows.

    I admit, I would always like to have stars come to meet their fans, take a picture, allow us to tell them how wonderful we think they are. But I’m a realist. While the price of our tickets are high, I don’t believe we are necessarily guaranteed a meet & greet.

    Especially considering how hard they work. Wow! 8 shows a week? I don’t even like to work 5 days a week.

    I am appalled that fans are rude to performers, but I’ve seen it first hand. Sure, we want say we met the star performer. Sure, that makes US feel good. But you know what? If you ask for the autograph of the 3rd cowboy from the right, that might just make HIS/HER day.

    And that might carry over to the next performance.
    evan

  27. lindsaym313 says:

    I’ve been stage dooring since I was a kid and it’s one of my favorite parts of seeing a Broadway show! While I don’t feel as though the actors are obligated to come to the stage door, I do feel as though it is a great way to connect with and acknowledge their fans.

  28. Amber says:

    I definitely don’t think actors have to come out the stage door, but when they do I am very appreciative. My first Broadway show was Book of Mormon last fall, and after we left a friend insisted we stage door to get the true Broadway experience. The cast was so friendly and happy to talk to fans that it made my first Broadway experience extra special. Since then I’ve stage doored at several shows and had great experiences each time. My latest experience was at The Best Man. Eric McCormack came out and chatted with everyone about the play (which I highly recommend). The person I wanted to see the most (Candice Bergen) didn’t come out at the matinee and only signed for on side of the people when I went back to try again later. I definitely understand having to be somewhere/not feeling like signing, but I really hope to get my playbill signed and tell her how much I love her work. However, even if I don’t, I still loved her performance in the show and still had a positive stage door experience.

  29. Well, here’s a new perspective (but no specific details): There was a wonderful show (now closed) that had a lottery every night for the front row. I saw this show over and over and over again because I loved it so much, but I never stage doored because I’m very shy in those situations.

    I became friends with a lot of other people who saw this show again and again, and two of them were young girls in their early 20s who staged doored every time.

    At one point some lead actors left and were replaced. There was one actress who took over one of the parts, and I just didn’t like her in it. Not a big deal. Just not my cup of tea, but she didn’t ruin the show for me.

    The show got a standing O every night, and the standing O started when two actors came out together for their bow (right after the actress I wasn’t that fond of). I was part of that standing O, as was every lottery winner in the front row. Every single time.

    Well, my two young friends who stage doored told me that one night when they were waiting at the stage door that actress came out, saw them, made a B-line for them and started yelling at them. “How come you stand up for So-and-So and Such-and-Such but you don’t stand up for ME! Huh? Why don’t YOU give ME a standing O?”

    They were so embarrassed — how do you respond to that? They stopped stage dooring after that, but eventually did again, hiding behind their programs if they saw her come out.

    About a month after this a journalist friend told me she had comps for this show (she knew what a fan I was) and asked if I’d like to go with her AND THEN have dinner with her and THAT actress aftewards at Joe Allen’s?

    I told her I’d love to see the show with her, but I couldn’t have dinner because I was so afraid she’d recognize me from the front row as someone who didn’t give her a standing O.

    Sometimes it’s clear that New Yorkers’ problems are different from the rest of the world.

  30. Nicole says:

    Of course it’s not an obligation for the actors to stage door after the show. I mean, it’s absolutely wonderful if they do, but they don’t have any responsibility to. I have had some of the greatest experiences meeting my idols at stage door after shows, and it’s really inspiring and refreshing to see how nice and grateful they are. However, I have been a part of crowds where there are some very disrespectful fans. I have also been at stage doors where they have been less-than-friendly actors. Disrespectful fans are something that I will never understand, and I honestly have stopped trying to understand them. It really makes no sense for fans to be disrespectful to the performers after their show. They have no business being there. Less-than-friendly actors is something I don’t really understand either. I completely understand that sometimes they have bad days, and, personally, if them having a bad day means they aren’t going to be nice to fans at stage door, I’d prefer they not come out and they go home and feel better. Of course there will be those fans who were looking forward to hopefully meeting them and will be disappointed, I don’t know about others, but I’d prefer to not meet the actor and eventually get over it, rather than meet the actor and be taken aback by their not-niceness. Of course, that’s all my personal opinion.
    Anyway, it is really fantastic if the actors greet their fans at stage door, but I don’t think it’s right for fans to be upset with the actors if they don’t come out. They just put on an incredible performance for you – be thankful for that.
    Also, can I give a shout out to the cast of The Book of Mormon? The entire cast was so nice at stage door. It was a wonderful experience, especially for someone who idolizes multiple people in the cast, and really incredible to see how grateful they are to their fans.

  31. Jason says:

    I stage door for 99% of the shows I see. my fav. was at the off-Broadway revivial of Rent. RJ (Angel) talked to me for literally 30 minutes. It was also a lot of fun meeting Jackie Burns at Wicked!

  32. [...] what BroadwaySpotted had to say: To Stage Door or Not to Stage Door – BroadwaySpotted : BroadwaySpotted. Share this:TwitterFacebookPrintEmailMoreTumblrStumbleUponPinterestDiggLinkedInRedditLike [...]

  33. Jen says:

    I haven’t stage-doored for a lot of shows, usually because I’m with non-theatre fanatic friends who want dinner or whatever. I will say that my most positive experience with it was in March after seeing Seminar. Alan Rickman and the other four actors ALL came out and spent well over an hour signing autographs and taking photos. Mr. Rickman in particular was extremely accommodating of fan requests, and it wasn’t until his wife took him aside that he made his apologies and left for the evening.

    I am of the opinion that it is a privilege to be allowed to have such an informal meet and greet session with the actors in any show, not a right. These are professionals who have spent a lot of time and effort to get where they are, and they have the right to be allowed to go home after work unmolested by fans if they so choose.

  34. Lola says:

    First time I went to Stage Door was yesterday for Anything Goes, I would think fans should be respectful. If the actor does not come out to sign and goes out another way, then I am assuming they may need to go somewhere or they are tired like the rest of humans. They are entitled to take days off at the Stage Door! I did have a great experience at Anything Goes yesterday. I think everyone should be respectful no matter. If one would like to be treated with respect, then others will treat one with respect.

    Great article!

  35. Megan says:

    I am simply a patron and when I go to NY (all the way from Utah), I stage door. It makes me sad, and speaks to an issue larger than the stage door, to think that people could be so rude to the actors. I am very grateful when they come out as this is a huge part of my Broadway tradition. But I understand when they can’t. The larger issue is that people just need to be kind and respectful to everyone – actor, patron or homeless guy on the street. It is a basic human courtesy. Thank you to all of the actors who have been kind to me and signed my poster. :)

  36. Brings to mind two stories revolving around seeing “Newsies” lately:

    When I was at the stage door for the show, a woman was complaining to Kara Lindsay that the fan had waited for Kara the night before for a very long time and seemed a little perturbed that Kara hadn’t come out. The woman had had to come back the next day, the day of the performance I saw, to get Kara’s autograph for her daughter. Kara so cutely and politely responded, “I’m so sorry, I can’t do stage door on [certain days] because I have to catch the last [metro or bus] home.” Sometimes we forget that they have lives outside the theater and exist like normal human beings, needing to be rightfully more concerned with getting home for the night!

    The second “Newsies” story that comes to mind was a Twitter example of an angry fans who felt it was his right to get an autograph. He was bombarding Jeremy Jordan with tweets of disappointment that Jeremy hadn’t come out of the stage door the night before. Finally, Jeremy (and oh so politely!) answered something like, “Sorry that I missed you, but I had to run out right after the show to get to the Audience Choice Awards.” Jeremy didn’t have time to shower or change into nice clothes and had already missed half the awards show trying to balance his time the best he could, and yet this annoyed fan feels that it was owed for Jeremy to come out of the stage door. You know what, dude? If he could have, he would have. Let the guy get his award, already!

    I was lucky at my performance. I got Kara and Jeremy and the entire cast to come out and sign my trading card set. But you know what? If none of them had come out at all, then I would have understood completely that it had nothing to do with me or with the fans, and that it wasn’t owed to me in any way. I saw the show; I got what I paid for. If it takes actors signing autographs for fans to be fans for life, then they are missing the REAL point of theater.

  37. [...] long as you don’t take it too far, right? We’re talked about that in the article about Stage Dooring. But, I’m getting off topic now. Let’s regroup. The issue with seeing a show a lot of [...]

  38. Lexi says:

    On the topic of stagedooring, i have a question.

    I am seeing peter and the star catchers next week in chicago, and i would like to know, do people stage door there? and also if they do, does anyone know where the stage door for the bank of america theatre is?

    This would be so helpful! :)

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