Lin-Manuel Miranda went on a Twitter rant last night, calling out audience members for photographing and filming yesterday’s performance of Hamilton.
Our illegal photographers tonight: white guy black cap, 3 rows back, 3 seats in.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2016
Older woman 9 rows back, 7 seats in.
We. Can. See. You.
The Pulitzer and Tony Award-winning creator Lin-Manuel Miranda of the smash hit musical posted several tweets lecturing orchestra patrons at the Richard Rodgers Theatre about their rude behavior. Lin-Manuel Miranda went on to explain the lengthy process the theatre personnel must go through to stop illegal recording and photography during a performance, reported Broadwayworld. Once the star spots the disruptive patrons, Miranda has to approach the stage manager. Then, the stage manager will then need to tell the ushers, who will then track down the audience members and force them to remove the footage from their mobile devices.
They're that specific because I report them to SM offstage. Then an usher comes to make them erase their pics. https://t.co/K3wXY98mek— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2016
Not only was Lin-Manuel Miranda frustrated by having to go through this entire process of reporting bad audience behavior, but such actions are offensive to his artistry.
You worked too hard to get those tix.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2016
I worked too hard to finish this show.
So when I see your phone instead of your face...
...it's gutting. It sucks. I block you out. I'm sorry. Too many people are working too hard. You forfeit.— Lin-Manuel Miranda (@Lin_Manuel) May 11, 2016
Lin-Manuel Miranda isn’t the only Great White Way star who has taken very public action against audience members using their mobile devices during shows. Last summer, Broadway legend and multiple Tony Award winner Patti LuPone snatched a phone out of a patron’s hand while performing in Shows For Days at the Lincoln Center.
Still, why do stars like Lin Manuel-Miranda and Patti LuPone take the actions of an idiotic theatre patron to heart? They’re still getting a whopping paycheck, right? Yes, but it ruins the ambiance theatre provides. Patti LuPone elaborated on this after her phone-snatching incident, according to a report done by People Magazine.
“They cannot put them down.When a phone goes off or when a LED screen can be seen in the dark it ruins the experience for everyone else – the majority of the audience at that performance and the actors on stage. I am so defeated by this issue that I seriously question whether I want to work on stage anymore.”
Unlike Lin-Manuel Miranda, who has threatened to report the bad behavior to ushers, Patti LuPone directly threatened to put “battle gear on over” her “costume to marshal the audience as well as perform.” For those of you theatre nerds who are familiar LuPone’s antics, it’s quite possible that she would do something as extreme as that.
Not only are artists and avid theatregoers frustrated by being taken out of their world of performance, but taking photographs and recording Broadway shows are also accompanied by a hefty amount of legal troubles. Why? The set design work done by professional Broadway designers is the intellectual property of the artist, according to a report done by Playbill. Tony Award nominee Beowulf Boritt explained this concept perfectly in an interview with the theatre publication.
“The scenery is intellectual property, much like a book, or a song. While you may not be doing anything nefarious with your snapshots, if they end up on the web, that visual information is available to anyone with a quick Google search, and the designs can essentially be stolen.”
The next time you and your grandmother decided to go on an outing to a Broadway show and want to take a picture for mom, think, “Do I really want to be on Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hit list?”
[Photo by Brad Barket/Getty Images]