Post-show talk inside the theater? Not after a David Mamet play

Raleigh Little Theatre often hosts post-show conversations. // ArtsNow file photo.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet recently “threatened” to fine theaters $25,000 if post-show talks — also referred to as talkbacks — are held within two hours after any of his plays. 

So if you want to discuss one of Mamet’s plays in the theater after a show, there’ll be a wait.

[Related: Why our "crowns” matter in African-American culture]

Post-show conversations are often part of a theater’s programming, like the post-show forums hosted at Raleigh Little Theatre. “Theaters can engage audiences in a meaningful dialogue if the events are well-planned and not overly didactic,” said Charles Phaneuf, executive director at RLT. “This discussion model is designed for personal reflection and exploration of the themes and tensions in each play.”

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We’ve also seen them during the American Dance Festival, when performers will often chat from the stage with audience members after a performance.

But Phaneuf also said he agrees that all post-show events don’t add much to the experience of the play, but added it “doesn’t mean that a blanket prohibition makes sense.”

So what do you think? Post-show talk or no post-show talk? Tweet us your thoughts @ArtsNowNC.


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