Unless your show is called “Seven BJs for Seven Brothers,” (someone get on that), or unless you’re specifically doing TYA, people will contact your theatre and ask questions like this on the regular:
“I’d like to bring my nine-year-old to see your show. Is it appropriate for kids?”
No one likes this question. This question can strike deep anxiety into the heart of the most stalwart producer. Why?
We have no way of knowing what that means to you. All you’re really asking is, “Will I, a person you’ve never met, be uncomfortable seeing this play with my kid, who already knows much more about the topic than I am ready to confront, plunging me into a parental and emotional crisis, all of which I will blame on you for failing to psychically pinpoint my particular issue?”
I have kids, and my personal boundaries around what was or was not appropriate for them at any given age were just as arbitrary as anyone else’s, so believe me, I’m not faulting you. I just need you to recognize that your boundaries are unknowable to me unless you tell me what they are. People almost never do, and then they get angry if we don’t guess correctly.
Don’t make the hungover 23-year-old intern who answers emails going to ask@LORTtheatre.org guess what your boundaries are.
Instead, ask us specific questions, like:
“I’m hoping to bring my 10-year-old, but I’m not comfortable with taking her to see a play with:
onstage drug use
any drug use
adult language apart from “damn” or “hell”
partial nudity and/or underwear
discussions of [something]
depictions of [something]
or any combination of the above,
Do you have anything like that in your play? If so, how graphically/realistically depicted is it?”
Now THAT’S a question I can answer, and it will result in information you can use.