The Dos and Don’ts of Talkbacks

The Dos and Don’ts of Talkbacks

Last Updated on April 13, 2023 by Akwaowo Akpan

This article is on the dos and Don’ts of talkbacks. As we emerge from the prolonged COVID slumber and begin to resume activities that we have missed so much, we have a chance, as some politicians have said, to come back better than before. , to apply what we’ve learned while being locked in the house. houses.

Post-performance talkbacks are what stage performers love and hate. Connecting with your audience and hearing their feedback is great, but some of the questions and behaviors are horrible.

What can you do to keep the experience in angel range when the temperature drops? Try to keep in mind the following do’s and don’ts.


· Go polite. You may be angry with what is said in the room and the talkbacks is a good time to talk about it, but stay focused on the business, don’t be rude to the people involved.

· Remember that questions are better than comments. While you may have played a supporting role in a similar play in your college, it’s best to share these anecdotes with your friends at dinner afterward.

· Gather up the courage to ask anything about the program that you want to know. The actors appreciate it. Actor Mark Gmazel, who says he has had at least 100 talkbacks, said: “People pay attention to talkbacks because interest has been aroused or an argument has begun. “You have to remember that it’s very difficult for the public to ask a question and then overcome their fear and speak into the microphone in front of everyone. That’s the biggest compliment a piece of work can get, even. above all a standing ovation.”

· Speak clearly—and if there is no microphone, speak loudly.

· Ask questions that are pertinent to the production you have just seen. Actors love knowing you were paying attention and that what they did meant something to you.

·  Learn about the technical elements of the program. Do you like costumes? Are you curious how a particular part of the set is made? Do you want to know if the notation is original? Ask! Technical staff, like actors, want to know that you’ve been paying attention to their work.

· Be tolerant if an actor speaks badly while answering your questions, especially if your language is different from theirs. Andaiye Spencer recalls a talkbacks in Germany when German high school students asked her group about sights they had seen in Germany. “We went to see ‘The New Swanstone Castle’, but because our German is so bad we pronounced it to translate as ‘The New Cockstone Castle’. At that time we did not know the word ‘swan’ and its slang. ‘dick’ is very similar.”

Read Also: What Paraphrasing is and the Dos and Don’t


· Ask the actors why their choices were so lame. No, really, don’t do that.

· Trim your nails while asking questions. Some people don’t like this and may be too distracted to answer your question properly. By the way, don’t pick your ears or burp (if you can help) while asking questions.

· Criticize if you’re not paying attention. “In college, a man was angry because the script was so ‘lewd’ and how dare we play such a dirty game,” JM Ethridge recalls a remark made during a talk about “As You L’Love” by Shakespeare. “We sat there, not knowing what to say. He fell asleep in act 1.”

· Be surprised if your behavior on the show gets noticed. Remember, unlike in the movies, the actors are in the same room as you. If you speak during the show and then criticize the actors because you can’t hear them, you may be called out briefly, most likely by another audience member.

· Cute or go on stage with the artists. Steve Ledyard recalls a talkbacks on the show “Conspiracy” in which an audience member walked up to the stage, greeted, and said “Heil Hitler”. “He tries to justify going ‘on stage’ with the actors. People. Just is not.”

· Exclusive talkback. You may have a lot of questions, but so do other audiences. And you don’t want to be “that person” that the moderator leading the talk has to say, “Now give someone else a chance to talk.”

· Ramble. It can be hard to be concise or brief, but make that your goal.

That said, a talk is designed to be a great experience for the audience. This is an opportunity to strengthen the link between the arts and the public. For new works, this is an opportunity for the audience to influence the work with the feedback they provide.

Talkbacks are one of theater’s greatest strengths,” said Gmazel. “It was a truly shared moment between the artist and the consumer. I don’t remember any comments or criticism from any of the chats I’ve been in over the years, only smiling faces.”

Bonus: Try out these questions

1.     What research did you do to more deeply understand your character or the play?

2.     What do you like most about your character?

3.     Is there anything put forth in this play that you disagree with?

4.     Why did you make the choice (and describe the choice you are referring to) that you did?

5.     What was the most unexpected thing you learned while rehearsing and performing this show?

6.     Why do you think this show is relevant to these times? Why perform in now?

7.     Has a year-plus of isolation during the pandemic changed the way you approached or interpreted this work as an actor/director/designer?

8.     What would you do differently if you got another opportunity to perform this role?

9.     What is it about the vision of this production that you find most satisfying?

And a question to avoid: “How do you learn all those lines?”


  • Akwaowo Akpan

    Hi there, welcome to Online Studying Services. As a fan of authentic information and a student, I devise this means to offer reliable information to international students wishing to either study abroad or online. Thanks for stopping by!

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