Monday, April 28, 2008

Congratulations to our Theta Gamma Chapter at Gannon University!

Congratulations to our chapter at Gannon University for their amazing accomplishments this year! We just received the good news that the chapter won three awards at their Greek Awards Banquet last week including Emerging Leader Award, Outstanding Sorority Chapter President and Outstanding Advisor Award. We are so proud of your accomplishments this year. Way to "Aim High!"

Was your chapter honored this year? Do you know of an amazing chapter sister or alumna who should be featured on the blog? If so, email us at or leave a comment on this post!

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Going to the Theatre?

As each of you know, the Foundation has partnered with Mannersmith Etiquette Consulting to bring their free monthly newsletter directly to our members. Our very own, Jodi R.R. Smith is the founder and president of the company. This month, Jodi offers sage advice for all theatre patrons to help make sure everyone enjoys the show!

Audience and Applause
Newsletter 79 / March 2008

I adore going to the theater. Flipping channels on a television set pales in comparison to the experience and electricity of a staged production. I have had the good fortune of attending three live performances this past month, and being out-on-the-town for a bit of culture is always enjoyable. Whether you are attending a local-amateur production, visiting a smash-Broadway musical or experiencing the opera, there are some basic niceties that should be observed to insure everyone is able to enjoy the show.

Arrive Early ~ Plan your time carefully. You should anticipate and expect there will be traffic and crowds as others arrive for the show. Overestimate the time it will take you to arrive. Include time to find your seats, check your coats, visit the facilities and settle in well before the curtain is scheduled to rise.

Do Make Way ~ If you are closer to the aisle, do not get too comfortable if your row is still vacant. The easiest method to make way is to exit the row and allow others to enter. If that is not feasible, at least rise and fold in your chair so that others may pass. Given the spacing in many theaters, merely moving your legs to one side does not allocate enough room for most adults to pass without touching. When you are the one entering, do face the stage while edging down the row into your seat.

Observe Your Space ~ Clearly space is at a premium in most theaters. Do your best to keep all of your belongings and your body well within your real estate. If you have not checked your coat, your coat should not hang over the back of your chair into the aisle behind where you are sitting. Any packages and bags should be placed under your seat, not in the aisle. The allocation comes down to one armrest per customer.

No-no Noise ~ Your cell phone should be off, your jewelry should be silent and you will need to wait until intermission to open that hard candy. Even when you know every word to every song, you will need to save it for the shower. All distracting noises should be avoided so that the action from the stage can be heard.

Eat Outside ~ Plan ahead to have dinner first so that you are not starving during the performance. Or, have a snack before you come to the show if you plan on dining afterwards. Your neighbors should not be subjected to your chomping and chewing snacks or entrees during the show.

Watch Those Whispers ~ Theaters are designed for sound to carry. Do your best to keep your comments to yourself. Whispering to your neighbor distracts your neighbor as well as those around you. Your whispers may even distract the performers.

Polite Pictures ~ It is distracting and can be downright dangerous to see flashes from cameras during the show. Look for the theater policy. Most productions are lenient about snapping shots during the curtain calls. Video taping professional productions is never allowed.

Applaud Appropriately ~ At the end of acts, arias and certain songs, it is quite appropriate for the audience to show their appreciation. Clapping and even shouts of "bravo" are the usual demonstrations. Standing on your chair while whooping and whistling should be saved for sporting events.

Wait & Walk ~ As the show ends, take your time. The entire auditorium will need to empty. There will be those who move slowly and pushing will only make matters worse. You may stay in your seat and read the playbill, providing you allow your row-mates to pass, or you may turn on your cell phone and check your messages if waiting is too difficult for you. Once you enter the throngs streaming from the theater, do be sure to keep moving upon exiting. Stopping once you hit the street only creates a bottleneck for those trying to exit.

As the days grow longer and the flowers begin to emerge from the earth, I do hope you will find ways to expand your horizons and grow your art appreciation with some live theater. From community casts to award-winning productions, taking time to take in some theater is truly time well spent.

About Jodi R. R. Smith: Jodi R. R. Smith is a proud Phi Sigma Sigma sister from our Delta Beta chapter and has been promoting better behaviors since 1986. Ms. Smith is a dynamic presenter who has worked with organizations, corporations, educational institutions and individuals to increase their social savvy and confidence levels. Ms. Smith's background in motivational psychology and human resources has served to reaffirm her belief that proper manners and etiquette are an essential part of functioning successfully in today's world.
Ms. Smith received her Bachelor's Degree in Psychology from the University of Rochester and her Master's Degree in Industrial and Labor Relations from Cornell University. Ms. Smith is a human resources professional and an avid advocate of etiquette.

You can learn more about Jodi on her website at