Theater Superstitions: Part Two

Because thespians tend to be very superstitious individuals, while doing research on this topic, we came across so many superstitions that we had to split the post into two parts. To learn about more of them, keep on reading.


Saying, “Break a Leg”

In the thespian world, this is the equivalent of wishing someone good luck. There are many different claims for the origin of this superstition. Some believe the origin came from the Ancient Greek practice of stomping their feet instead of clapping. Others believe that it stemmed from understudies wishing the main actors would actually break a leg so that standbys could perform.


Never say…

Macbeth”- Saying this would bring bad fortune among productions. The reason for this is because mysterious and sudden deaths have occurred during past performances of the play “Macbeth.” It is believed that the play is cursed due to its authentic examples of witchcraft.

When referring to Macbeth, actors and crew members are to refer to that play as “The Scottish Play.” In the occasion of a “slip,” the person is supposed to exit the theater, spin 3 times, spit, and say a Shakespearean insult, or any insult as equally vulgar.

The Final Line- It is bad luck to say the last line of the show to an empty audience before the opening of the show. During dress rehearsal a small audience should be present in order to recite the final line.


Don’t Bow to an Empty House

Bowing to an empty audience is considered a premonition to bad fortune.


A Bad Dress Rehearsal = Great Opening Show

If the final dress rehearsal of a show turns out to be a disaster, it is believed that it indicates a great opening night.


Avoid Whistling in the Theater

Whistling is believed to bring bad luck to the set. The reasoning behind this superstition dates back to when crew members used a series of coded whistles as a form of communication backstage. If a person other than the crew were to whistle, they could interfere with the communication.


Exiting with Best Foot Forward

It is believed to bring good luck to the show when actors exit the dressing room with their best foot forwards. The same goes for the audience or visitors entering the theater.


If there are any other theater superstitions we’ve missed, or if you know of any other interesting origins for the ones we have mentioned, feel free to leave a comment down below!

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