More and more theater venues across America are offering ‘tweet seats’ for people to live-tweet during performances. The new sections, usually located in the back row to avoid disrupting other patrons, are available at the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra, the Carolina Ballet in Raleigh, and Ohio’s Dayton Opera, amongst others.
The tweet seats allow Twitter users to comment on the show and share their reactions with followers, offering them a way of interacting during the performance. Rick Dildine, the executive director of the outdoor Shakespeare Festival in St. Louis, which began using tweet seats two years ago, told USA Today that they have become a “national trend” and added:
Coast to coast, theaters are experimenting with how to use ‘tweet seats’ effectively. 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.
While the tweet seats are seen as a great way of attracting a new generation of technology users to the theater, tweeting isn’t allowed at major venues including Carnegie Hall in New York City or the Kennedy Center in Washington, who always ask patrons to turn their phones off before the performance.