Theater Superstitions

I’ve always been intrigued by theater superstitions. I have a few of my own, yet I had never bothered to investigate them. A few weeks ago, though, theatre superstitions came up in conversation, so we decided to look them up and came across an article on the top 10 theater superstitions. It was quite interesting to see the origins of most of the superstitions, many of which are derived from very pragmatic traditions.

Some superstitions I had never heard of (Blue? Three?), and it was nice to see that at least one of the superstitions was debunked by my favorite show (mirrors.)

Even though I am not usually a superstitious person, when it comes to theater, there are certain habits that I tend to observe almost obsessively:

Greeting the Public in Costume

Meeting the audience while in costume is a big no-no for me. I don’t remember where I first got that ingrained in my system, but I do not allow actors working on a show of mine to meet the audience after the show while wearing their stage costume.

Crossing the Proscenium Before and After a Show

For me it’s like that fourth wall that must remain. I think I got this one at the same time as the costume one. After a show, actors should always use either a stage door or a side door, and not cross through the stage to meet the audience. Granted, I understand there are plenty of instances when this is impossible due to the layout of the space. It still makes me squirm.

Using Real Money

I understand this has its origin in safety: it would be tempting for thieves to break in and steal the real money. Also, for legal reasons, I make sure that the money used on-stage is clearly fake by making it the wrong size and putting watermarks on it.

What are your theater superstitions?