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Theatergoer criticizes PETA, calls ‘One More Chance’ experience the ‘worst’ due to celebrity privilege

In a recent Facebook post, a theater enthusiast expressed a mix of enthusiasm and frustration over their experience watching the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA)’s production of ‘One More Chance.’ The post has since sparked a heated debate about theater etiquette and the responsibilities of theater staff in maintaining a respectful viewing environment.

B delgado's post
via Facebook

OP, a self-proclaimed fan of both the band Ben & Ben and the movie ‘One More Chance,’ shared her initial excitement about attending the show. “As a Ben & Ben and One More Chance fan, I waited so long to finally watch it,” she wrote. “I even posted a video when they announced it at the closing show of Walang Aray. Before I could even ask my family and friends, I bought tickets already for all of them. I was THAT excited.”

However, OP’s excitement quickly turned to disappointment during the second act of the play. According to the post, OP’s view was obstructed by the glaring screens of two phones and a laptop, used by audience members seated in the house seats. “This was my view from ‘Ride Home’ until the iconic ‘you had me at my best..’. Wala akong ma absorb sa act 2 until the end na nung nagkabalikan na si Popoy at Basha [I couldn’t absorb anything in Act 2 until the end when Popoy and Basha got back together] because there were 2 phones on full brightness and a freakin laptop!” she lamented.

The frustration was compounded by the apparent inaction of PETA’s ushers. “When it’s a nobody, your ushers weave through the crowd to stop them but when it’s a celebrity and friends, dedma nalang? [you just ignore it?]” she questioned. The post further described an unsettling encounter with one of the offending audience members, who allegedly gave OP a prolonged, hostile stare after being confronted about their disruptive behavior.

This incident raises critical questions about the role of theater ushers and the standards of audience etiquette, especially in the presence of high-profile individuals. OP criticized the theater staff for failing to address the disruption: “This is where I blame PETAs ushers! You’re not there to watch the show. May trabaho kayo! Bakit hindi niyo pinigilan? Bakit hindi niyo inisip the audience around these uneducated people?! [You have a job! Why didn’t you stop them? Why didn’t you consider the audience around these uneducated people?!]”

The post included a photograph taken when the house lights were on, illustrating the brightness of the disruptive screens. This has prompted a discussion on social media, with many theatergoers sharing their own experiences and opinions on maintaining decorum during performances.

PETA has commented and offered complimentary tickets to OP. Meanwhile, some are eager to look for the person at fault for the bad experience.

This controversy underscores the importance of enforcing strict guidelines for audience behavior to ensure an enjoyable experience for all attendees, regardless of their social status.

As the debate continues, OP’s post serves as a reminder of the collective responsibility shared by both theater staff and audience members in preserving the sanctity of the theatrical experience. “I paid to see the show not fuckin gadgets! Worst theatre experience ever. Thank you PETA!” she concluded, a sentiment that echoes the frustration of many theater enthusiasts who expect a distraction-free environment to fully appreciate the artistry on stage.

The incident at PETA’s ‘One More Chance’ is a poignant example of the challenges faced in public performances. It calls for a reassessment of theater protocols and the need for vigilance in upholding them, ensuring that all audience members, regardless of their status, adhere to the expected norms of behavior to foster a respectful and immersive experience.

 

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