Cat’s-Eye View of “Front of House”

July 23, 2013

Panther on GoldToday is a purrfect day to get a Theatre Cat’s view of things. (As a meowter of fact, every day is a purrfect day for Theatre Cats, but we have to take our turn.)

I’m Sir, and I welcome everyone when they arrive at the front of the house. Mmmmrow? Hmm? You say I’m not a house cat, I’m a THEATRE cat, so why am I talking about houses?

Let me tell you…

Theatre people use the word “house” differently than other people. (So do theatre cats.) In a theatre, “house” can mean two things.

It can be the part of the building where you find the box office (where tickets are sold), the lobby, the coat check (cats prefer to keep their coats with them at all times), even the part where the audience sits — the auditorium. Here’s a good description of the kind of work people do in front-of-house jobs that I found when I was prowling around online. It’s from a website called Get Into Theatre. I’m going to put a link to that website in … Mmmmrow? Writer purrson? You need to make a place for links!

Excuse me while I lick my paws. That got my fur all ruffled, realizing we didn’t have a place for links yet.

Now, prrrrrow, the other meaning for “house” in the theatre is “all the people in the audience.” An actor might ask the front-of-house manager, “how is the house tonight?” to find out how many people are there. If there are no seats left, not even for one more person (or for a cat who likes to curl up on that nice red plush), they say it’s a full house. They might even say, “the house is a bit boisterous tonight,” meaning that they’re loud and bouncy. (Being boisterous when you’re in the theatre isn’t good theatre manners. Kittens find it hard to sit still, but they learn!)

So, if you’re in a theatre, and someone mentions the house, now you know what they’re talking about. Too bad not every theatre has a tuxedo cat like me working the front of the house!

Next time we give you a cat’s-eye view of something in the theatre, Lady will take you backstage. See you then!

9 People reacted on this

  1. Thank you, Sir, for that enlightening description of the “house”. I’m looking forward to what Lady has to say about being backstage. My best friend from high school knows all about backstage. She managed Chicago and… oh gosh…. that Broadway show with Elton John that I can’t remember the name of right now – and she is a life-long cat fan 🙂

    1. Purrrrrr… I like cat fans! And wow, that your friend did such cool things backstage! Thanks for telling me about them.

  2. Brings back memoires of my involvement years ago with the theater. I was involved in all areas of the “house.” But, I loved opening nights of the house and buzz of excitement before the house lights lowered and the show began. Very informative post.

    1. Mmmmmmmrowww, lucky you to have all that theatre experience! I can just about hear that buzzzzzzz of excitement. Thank you, Pat!

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