We love babies! We’ve had some ourselves. But when you’re coming to a live theater performance, it’s best to leave the baby at home with the sitter. Here’s why.

A live theater performance usually goes on for about two hours. The cast is intensely focused, working to give the audience the best possible experience. The audience is totally tuned-in as well, following the story, listening to the dialog to catch meaning, nuance and humor and enjoying the music and dance.

In that context, a fussing or crying baby breaks everyone’s concentration and changes the experience both cast and audience hoped to have. Rarely is there a baby who will sleep through the whole performance and never make a peep. And that’s much more than should reasonably be expected.

In any case, it’s important to know that baby strollers are absolutely forbidden in the theater. They interfere with access for customers and staff, create a safety hazard in a darkened theater, and violate fire codes.

In our experience, most children are ready for live theater at about the same age they are ready for school. That’s a good rule of thumb. Parents may know that their younger child is mature enough to handle it. Good Company Players notes that we get many younger-than school-age kids who are riveted and well behaved, and considers it a great honor to be giving them a life long memory of their first live performance.

The bottom line is an enjoyable experience with courtesy and consideration for all.

Signed, A grandpa of several current and former babies