Tweet Seats: Will More Theaters Reserve Sections for Social Interaction?

  • Some theaters and performance groups are setting aside “tweet seats,” special sections for patrons to live-tweet during performances.
  • Rick Dildine, a theater festival director in St. Louis, says tweet seats have “become a national trend.”
  • “Coast to coast, theaters are experimenting with how to use ‘tweet seats’ effectively,” he explains. “The arts are evolving right now, they are participatory… Social media is a tool we rely on, and we have been unafraid to experiment with it.”
  • Some have placed tweet seats in the back row of theaters to minimize disruption, while others (including Carnegie Hall in NYC and the Kennedy Center in DC), “have not tried tweet seats and expect audience members not to access their phones during performances,” reports USA Today.
  • The article cites some interesting success stories of performances incorporating tweet seats, including a recent example involving the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra (CSO). “Tweeting the CSO’s performance was like attending a members-only social event in the midst of a traditionally formal setting,” said tweeter Jennifer Nissenbaum. “I could communicate openly about my reactions to the music, musicians and conductor — without speaking a word. Plus, I had the opportunity to engage others, and get their reactions to the performance.”