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The Unwritten Rules for Meeting Broadway Stars at the Stage Door

By Adam Guy

STAGE-DOORING IS A THING! After a Broadway show, the performers, orchestra members, and crew exit the theater through what they call the STAGE DOOR, a side entrance to the theater. Often, audience members will line up outside the stage door to seek an autograph, grab a selfie, or simply say thank you for the wonderful performance.

Standing at the stage door waiting for an autograph

Usually, the theater will set up barricades. Actors might even have sharpies on hand. And yeah, it’s pretty cool to chat with Lin-Manuel Miranda for a moment, take a selfie with Audra McDonald or get an autograph from Kristin Chenoweth.


Know this… Performers are NOT required to “stage door,” and you are NOT entitled to an autograph or photo with your ticket. Performing is exhausting, and sometimes they have places to get to quickly after a show.

Daniel Radcliffe at the Stage door with Adam Guy

A few years ago, a mom lambasted Ben Platt on social media for not coming out to the stage door to give her daughter an autograph after a performance of Dear Evan Hansen. It caused quite the uproar among the Broadway community against the mom in believing her daughter was entitled to such a moment. Platt was kind and respectful in his response. In short, he offered that the role of Evan Hansen was taxing. He performed 11 of the show’s songs, sometime twice a day. It was also an emotionally draining role (Dear Evan Hansen is a tear-jerker if you haven’t seen it). Ben said he really needed to save both his voice and energy to get through eight shows a week and that he hoped show-goers would understand. (Very classy, Ben!)

Getting a Playbill signed at the stage door

If you do head over to the stage door after a show, here are a few rules:


1. Be polite and respectful to the performers and those around you also wanting a moment.


2. If someone says NO to taking a photo, don’t command them to take one with you. (The legendary Stockard Channing declined my request when I asked. (No worries, Mrs. Bartlett! I still adore you.)

Robyn Hurder at the stage door with Adam Guy

 3. If they don’t want to shake hands, respect it. They need to stay healthy to get through the week of shows and shaking 100 hands every day can spread germs quickly.

4. If your favorite actor doesn’t come out or must dart out right away, be ok with it. They just left everything they had on stage, and that’s why you came anyway.


There you go… STAGE-DOORING BASICS. Welcome to Broadway!

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© All photos by Adam Guy


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