So you want to meet your favorite Broadway actor, or maybe you just want to get autographs from the cast you just saw on stage. Here are a few #ProTips on how to properly “stage door”. (By the way, I love how that term has become a verb.)
01. Find out where the stage door is located.
Sounds obvious, but sometimes finding the door can be tricky! Many Broadway theaters span entire blocks, so the stage door might be on a different street than the theater entrance. This website has an excellent list of all the stage door locations.
02. Get there quickly.
Most cast members throw on their personal clothes and leave the building as quickly as possible. So if you have your heart set on seeing a certain person, after the last curtain call, move fast!
03. Be prepared.
You should have your Playbill out, and your camera poised. Be mindful that the actors' time is valuable. You should also pack a sharpie marker with you just in case an actor doesn’t have one with them.
04. Know who you're looking for.
It is funny to me when audience members don’t recognize actors when they are offstage and out of costume. I literally look nothing like the actress that plays Glinda but because I have blonde hair numerous people have asked if I was her. So definitely study the cast head shots that are in your Playbill.
05. Read the cast bios.
It is a good idea to take time before the show begins and at intermission to read all the cast bios in the Playbill. When my family saw the revival of “Ragtime” on Broadway, we noticed that one of the actors was originally from our hometown. We ended up having a great conversation with him at the stage door all because we took the time to learn about him. You never know what you might learn or have in common with a cast member!
06. This is a privilege not a right.
Recognize that it is not part of the actor’s job to sign autographs. The cost of your ticket does not include a meet and greet with the cast. They choose to sign autographs and talk to fans on their own accord instead of immediately heading home. So you should always be polite and gracious.
07. Don’t be offensive.
Comments like “You’re so much prettier up close” aren’t compliments. If you have negative opinions or critiques about the show, please keep them to yourself.
08. Smile at everyone.
The crew and orchestra usually book it out of the building immediately and always appreciate happy smiling faces when they open up that stage door exit. They just had a long day at work helping create and facilitate the magic you just experienced. I’m biased, but I think the crew members are the most interesting people in the building. If you are feeling brave, strike up a conversation with one of them by asking them to sign your Playbill.
09. Two show days are tricky.
Sometimes the cast stays inside the theater on a two-show day to rest after the matinee. Your chances of meeting a principal actor are much higher after the second show or on a one-show day.
10. Have a blast!
Broadway is so special because you can have actual face time with the stars and performers. It is an extremely unique and magical industry with, what I believe to have, the best fans in the world.
11. This could be you one day.
I remember being a teenager and standing behind those barricades, eagerly waiting for the cast to come out. Sometimes walking into work on a mega hit Broadway show still feels surreal. Every night when I open up the stage door to leave the theater I can’t help but have the biggest grin on my face when I see the fans outside. Not because any of them are there for me, but because I get to play a small part in creating the magic that keeps them coming back for more.