Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright David Mamet recently “threatened” to fine theaters $25,000 if post-show talks — also referred to as talkbacks — are held within two hours after any of his plays. 

So if you want to discuss one of Mamet’s plays in the theater after a show, there’ll be a wait.

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Post-show conversations are often part of a theater’s programming, like the post-show forums hosted at Raleigh Little Theatre. “Theaters can engage audiences in a meaningful dialogue if the events are well-planned and not overly didactic,” said Charles Phaneuf, executive director at RLT. “This discussion model is designed for personal reflection and exploration of the themes and tensions in each play.”

We’ve also seen them during the American Dance Festival, when performers will often chat from the stage with audience members after a performance.

But Phaneuf also said he agrees that all post-show events don’t add much to the experience of the play, but added it “doesn’t mean that a blanket prohibition makes sense.”

So what do you think? Post-show talk or no post-show talk? Tweet us your thoughts @ArtsNowNC.

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