Everybody is a critic.
That was the opinion of a writer for the Shamokin Herald when he took detractors annoying audiences at the GAR Opera House to task in the Friday, Dec. 12, 1890 issue of the newspapers.
He said this group of young men had set themselves up as judges of every actor and actress of the various theatrical companies visiting the town. “To them it is a matter of indifference what the great number of the audience may think of the performance. They may consider the acting good, the play excellent, and be enjoying the performance ever so much, yet if it does not come up to the requirements of these few, intelligent judges and infallible dramatic critics, they must be jeered, gayed and condemned as sticks. For who shall dare to question the judgment of these wise and intellectual young gentlemen?”
Then he added, “No one objects to these wise young gentlemen enjoying their own opinion of a play, an actor or actress, or of an entire company, providing they do not interfere with the rights and enjoyments of the rest of the audience.
“Most of these gentlemen belong to very respectable families, have received a good education and it is astonishing, therefore, that they cannot see how ridiculous they appear in the eyes of the community. They may have an idea that having purchased a ticket or had one given them, they are at liberty to do almost anything they see fit. If they think so they are mistaken.”
He suggested their actions were just as much a crime as disturbing a congregation in a church and proposed they should be arrested and fined as much as $ 50 and costs. He proposed that until they learned to behave as the gentlemen they considered themselves to be, the only plays they should attend were burlesque operas and variety shows.
“These they may be able to appreciate. Then they should secure seats in the gallery where they will not attract so much attention as in the parquette.”
The writer signed himself One Who Has Been Annoyed.