Top ten tips to attending the Broadway stage door to meet with the actors after the show. How to prepare, how to act, what to bring, and what to say.
The stage door experience, which is often called ‘stagedooring’, provides the unique opportunity to meet Broadway’s top celebrities. After the show, fans flock to the stage door for the chance to talk to the stars, get their playbill signed, and maybe even get a picture or two. The process of stagedooring, however, is not as easy as simply going to a show and hoping for the best. In order to get the most out of the experience, fans need to be prepared. We have compiled a list of insider knowledge below to help fans have a great time at the stage door.
A Guide To Seeing Broadway Stars at the Stage Door
- Figure out where the stage door is located before the show. You can usually find the stage door information for each theatre online, and you can always ask the staff working the show where the stage door will be. After the show, you can identify the stage door by the barricades and growing crowd.
- If your heart is set on meeting a particular actor, research beforehand. Some actors never come out to stage door, and some only come out on certain days or certain performances. You can also ask the staff at the stage door if a certain star is coming out and they often know who will and won’t be coming. Unfortunately, they may lie to reduce the amount of people waiting, especially if there is a big star in the show. Their response should be taken with a grain of salt.
- Try and avoid going to the stage door for matinee performances. Actors often stay inside the theatre when they have two shows in one day, and even if they do leave the theatre they do not have a lot of time to eat and rest before the next performance and will not be able to spend a lot of time at the stage door.
- Ideally, attend the stage door on a different day to the actual show that you attend, so you can be first in line. Otherwise, leave the theatre right after bows. If you spend time talking to others or looking around the theatre after the show, you may lose your chance to meet the actors or get your playbill signed. The crowd at the stage door fills up fast and you want to try and get as close to the barricade as possible.
- At the stage door, do not let anyone push you around. Most of the time, the stage door crowds are calm and friendly, but some fans will try and push their way to the front. If you do not get to the front, other fans are usually more than happy to pass your playbill up to be signed.
- Be patient! If you have to get home early, or have a train to catch, going to the stage door might not be the best move. Sometimes actors come out within 10 or 15 minutes, but you should be prepared to wait up to an hour. Remember that actors have to take off their costumes and makeup and meet any family, friends, or special guests backstage.
- Be ready when the actors come out. This means you should have your playbill ready to be signed and your camera ready to take a picture if you want one. If you’re not ready, the actors will continue moving down the line and you may miss your chance. Many times, Broadway actors will make sure they have met every fan before they leave. Hollywood celebrities will usually just sign a couple of things and then leave, which leaves fans disappointed.
- It is important to think of something thoughtful to say to the star beforehand. Tell the actors what you liked about their performance or ask them an interesting question. If you get stuck, you can always give the actors a generic compliment, but they will appreciate it if you take the time to tell them something different, as they have heard it all before.
- Try and only ask the actors to only sign one thing, especially if you are at a busy stage door. Also, some big stars will only want to sign things from the show they are in, so try and avoid bringing merchandise from their other works, as this smacks of an autograph hound.
- Most of the time, it’s not necessary to bring your own pen, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared. The stage manager will usually give the actors a sharpie as they leave the theatre so that they can sign everyone’s things. However, if you are at a quiet stage door or you have a particular color pen you want the actors to use, you should bring your own.