All persons, regardless of age, must have a ticket to attend any performance at Highlands Little Theatre.
To ensure optimum enjoyment for all patrons, we strongly recommend that children under the age of 5 not attend shows other than those designated as toddler friendly. Broadway shows, full-length plays and concerts are not toddler friendly. All patrons, regardless of age, must have a ticket.
Additionally, even for children over the age of 5, many shows would not be enjoyable or suitable. Some shows contain mature content, language or themes.
Here are some tips for older kids.
Explain “The Rules” in advance: Go to the bathroom before the curtain. No talking during the show. No kicking the seat in front of you. Laughing is OK, in reaction to jokes. Wait until the end of songs, then clap and cheer as loud as you want.
Stage shows often run over 2 hours, with a 15-minute intermission. Can your child sit still this long, without crying or fussing, and therefore ruining the enjoyment for others? If your child can’t be still and quiet during a one-hour video at home, they won’t make it through a show at HLT.
Though many shows such as Little Women and The Lion King are tame, these may still be unsuitable for youngsters. Though Little Women may contain no violence, swearing, or innuendo, the story would most likely bore a very young child who cannot understand the plot. The Lion King contains creative violence, the same as in the film, but it can be scary portrayed on the stage. Crying children can take away from the enjoyment for other theatre patrons.
For Younger Children
If your child is under the age of 5, it would be advisable that you stick to letting them watch film musicals (which can be paused or stopped) or stage shows that are geared toward their ages, such as matinee shows specifically for younger children.
If you still insist on bringing a child under 5, chronically noisy or boisterous children should be taken out of the auditorium if the child does not respond to 15 seconds or so of soothing. It’s only fair to those around you.
On the child’s maiden voyage to the theatre, try double-teaming. One parent or other adult companion goes to see the show with the child while the other parent waits in the lobby or lounge. If the child can’t make it through and must bail out, the outside parent takes custody while the inside parent remains to see the rest of the show.
Have the decency to know whether or not to bring your young child. As much of a problem as this is in film theatres, it’s especially crucial in stage theatres, because a) the performance is live and the performers can be distracted, and b) tickets to stage shows cost a bit more. Most stage performances are not meant for children. Children tend to be fidgety, have difficulty staying quiet, seated, and still for lengths of time. Babies are especially forbidden in the theatre, because crying is a major distraction. Children who talk or cry have already disrupted the experience. There are special shows that are just-for-children, such as performances of fairy-tale stories.
Parents are best qualified to determine what is appropriate for their children. To help you make an informed decision, we encourage you to seek additional information. If you still have a question, please e-mail us by visiting our contact page and we’ll try to help.