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re: Roundabout announces Relaxed Performances for 2019, Broadway & Off-Broadway
Posted by: ryhog 05:33 pm EST 01/10/19
In reply to: re: Roundabout announces Relaxed Performances for 2019, Broadway & Off-Broadway - Ann 12:41 pm EST 01/10/19

This is (as you know) not the first time this has been discussed. There is no question that some people find some/most sound over-amplified. There is also no question that it is (as Michael says) "on purpose," meaning that it is an artistic choice. I have been told (by someone who has reason to know and that I trust) that the "over-amplified" sound one hears in a theatre is not "damaging" in the sense that it does not violate OSHA or NYS/C sound ordinances. That does not mean that some people do not find it uncomfortable. One certainly should not be asked to wear ear plugs to avoid hearing damage, but we don't want to be imposing artistic decisions either, and if it is a matter of taste, I don't think that earplugs are a terrible compromise. (That said, different producers will have a say on things of this nature. I would expect MTC to say something to an artistic team whereas I'd be more surprised at the Public or Playwrights, for instance.) The subject of warnings has also been discussed lately, and I think within reason it's something a theatre may want to consider. And of course there is nothing stopping any of us from deciding against patronizing theatres with policies we don't like. But that's another song.

Recently I went to the theatre with a friend who pulled out her sunglasses when stage lighting was pointed directly at the audience (another sometime bête noire around here). Maybe someone can write a book called "Self Help and the Theatre." :-)
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