The Dos And Don’ts Of Having A Theater Sister


So maybe you recently (or not so recently) realized that somehow, one of those theater major weirdos slipped through the cracks and became your sister. Your first thought might have been, “How did this happen?” or “But she seemed so normal during recruitment–I swear she said she was a marketing major!” Despite your best efforts, there she is, and you’re stuck with her.

At least, that’s how she feels.

I came into college as a musical theater major (think Rachel Berry, but bigger boobs, less of a midget, blonde, and without all the stupid outfits and those damn knee-highs–I was never in a schoolgirl porno or the “Oops!…I Did It Again” video). I graduated with a B.A. in musical theater and minored in dance, and I was a member of a sorority all four years of college. In my time as both a Greek and a theater major, I noticed that those two things don’t often intersect. Sure, there were some theater girls who were Greek, but the majority of them weren’t, and none of the men were. Why is this? During my four years, I realized it’s because no matter how much you may love your pledge sister, big, little, or anyone else in your chapter and value her as a friend, her major required less time than your major did, and she probably won’t get your support and understanding when she needs it–and you probably don’t even realize you’re doing it.

Here is a list of things that happened to me as a theater Greek. Hopefully this will help you foster your relationship with the hardworking diva in your chapter.

DON’T shut her out when she misses an event for rehearsal.
This is the big one. Theater girls’ schedules are shockingly different from everyone else’s. You’ve got class and homework and your extra curricular schedule, AND you’re trying to black out this weekend? She has that…plus four hours of rehearsal every night, and after rehearsal, she definitely needs a drink and a straight man. Also, she doesn’t like that she misses things for rehearsal. I think this is a common misconception.

DO still invite her out.
Don’t just assume she has rehearsal, because she might not. As they say, you can get 1,000 “nos,” but you only need one “yes.” Chances are, she’s a little out of the loop when it comes to parties since she’s isolated in the theater building all week long. But if it’s Saturday night or after 10 p.m., she probably isn’t busy, so shoot her a text. Ask her to grab dinner before a philanthropy event. If it’s early, she may be able to do dinner even if she can’t go to the event itself. Don’t expect her to text you when she wants to hang, because she probably feels like you’ve forgotten about her. In this case, she needs you to go the extra mile. If it’s finals and you’re cramming, ask her to help you study. Do you have any idea how many lines she memorizes a semester? She can have you nailing those flashcards faster than you can say “kick ball change.”

DO go to her show.
You haven’t seen her in a month. Why? She’s been working her ass off in the theater building, wherever the hell that is. Take two minutes to go to the school website to check the performance schedule, or scroll through you chapter’s Facebook group (chances are she’s posted about it). She didn’t miss a month of philanthropy events and chapter for a bunch of elderly townies to sit in silence at her show. She wants you there to cheer her on–that’s why she went Greek in the first place.

DON’T leave at intermission, come late, or not show up at all.
Seriously, fuck people who leave early or come late. It is the biggest dick move of all. The cast understands that it’s Friday or Saturday night, but they can’t go out until the show is over, either. It ends at 10, so do your hair and makeup before you come and then run home and change. You know you’re not going to a party before 11 p.m. anyway, unless you’re some kind of psycho. The second act of the show has the best songs and ends the plot, so why would you spend more than an hour watching something and then just leave? If she’s the lead, chances are, you didn’t even get to see her big song or monologue because they always put that shit at the end. And you missed the first 10 minutes? How the hell do you even know what’s going on? You don’t. This isn’t a movie. If the show starts at 8, it starts at 8, so you better be in your seat by 7:50. If you don’t come at all, you just suck. There are six shows and you’re busy for all of them? Yeah, okay. Most schools offer free tickets for students and a lot of classes have extra credit for going if you’re lucky. Everyone wins.

DO follow theater etiquette. 
Get a ticket ahead of time so the show doesn’t sell out before you get there. Bring a flower or a note or something when you come. Those are really nice. But don’t bring a poster–they’ll make you throw it away before you sit down. And for the love of Kristen Chenoweth, turn off your phone during the show.

DON’T ask her if she can skip rehearsal.
Performances are grades. Can you skip your econ midterm? No. Remember, she isn’t a sorority major. Also, don’t call her a “drama major” or ask how her “drama class” is. “Drama” was a club losers joined in high school to make their parents happy and piss off the people who actually cared about performing. Theater is a recognized profession. It has a union and everything.

The theater girl may seem insane, busy, and like she’s going to be begging on the street for the rest of her life trying to find a job. But you never know–she could be famous one day, and you’ll be able to tell people about that time the two of you went out after you saw her show. She was still in her stage makeup and had a DFMO with some guy, and her makeup smeared on him and he looked like a clown (she has some high-intensity makeup, by the way, and the perfect outfit for your theme party). Plus, if you read her bio, it will always say “Proud member of [insert sorority here].”

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A recently graduated theatre Greek, touring the USA doing children's theatre. I wear a lot of black, spend a lot of money at Trader Joe's, and throw handfuls of pennies into the toll booth on my morning commute.

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