Theatre Superstitions We’ve All Heard

I think it goes without saying that there is many superstitions in the theatre world. If you have ever been in a scripted show, whether it’s a musical or not, chances are that you’ve heard the following superstitions.

1. Don’t say “Macbeth”

This is probably the most famous superstition you’ve heard. If you say it during show time, or even a rehearsal, you have to go outside and spin around 3 times to reverse the curse.

Now what is the story behind this superstition and why is everyone so stuck to it?

Well, Macbeth is a scottish, Shakespearian play written in the 1600s. The play is full of spells and curses that will leave you shooketh – so it’s no surprise someone spread the idea that the Scottish Play itself is cursed.

And so the superstition among actors and actresses was born.

2. “Good luck” is bad luck

Of course, you don’t even have to be performing for very long to know about this. Usually we hear the terms “Break a leg!” and “Merde!” and say “thank you!” without giving it another thought.

But have you ever stopped and wondered why it’s so bad to say “good luck?”

Well, according to the original theory (which highlights discouraging evil spirits away so they don’t interfere with the performance), saying “good luck” is the equivalent to invoking the evil eye.

As theatrical people are one of the most superstitous groups in the world, we can’t help but abide by this rule.

3. Never say the last line

If you ever say the final line of the show before it even opens, you may be giving the cast bad luck. There’s really no history or evidence of this superstition, but it has been around for a while. This isn’t a very well-known superstition but it’s always nice to be cautious, right?

4. No broken mirrors!

It is said that breaking a mirror onstage during a performance will cause misfortune for both the theatre and the people in the show for the next 7 years. This superstition is derived from the original “broken mirrors equals seven years of bad luck.” No one knows who came up with it or where it even came from, but we believe it anyway!

5. You better bring flowers

Another superstition theatre peeps believe is that getting flowers before the curtain call of the performance will cause a very terrible show. With that said, we shall not be accepting flowers before the show. Got it?

There it is. Those are only SOME of the superstitions that theatre geeks hear constantly. Thanks for reading and break a leg!

Written by Elisabeth Gaffney

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