Web Exclusive: Theater is offer Tweet Seats to Twitter junkies

(CNN/WJAR) - The glow of a cell phone can be a nuisance at the theater.  That's why a Rhode Island Performance Arts Center is designating specific seats for those Twitter junkies.  They are "Tweet Seats." 

Things are changing at Providence Performing Arts Center now that Twitter is joining the performance.  "It's important for us to get the word out to as many people as possible as quickly as possible and Twitter is a perfect vehicle for that," says P.J. Prokop, Providence Performing Arts Center.

PPAC launched its Tweet Seat program in April during the production of bring it on since then the theater has allowed tweeting during four other performances.

"It's kind of that idea the tweeters are seeing the show right at this moment and they're enjoying it and it's their first reaction," says Caitlyn Dipompo, Providence Performing Arts Center.  "We've seen a broad range of tweet seaters," says P.J. Prokop, Providence Performing Arts Center.  "It's not just a young person or an older person.  It runs the gamut."

A show's producer decides whether tweeting is allowed.  Sometimes it's done throughout a performance.  Other times only during intermission.

"I think it does engage people and it encourages them to be part of the process," says P.J. Prokop, Providence Performing Arts Center.  

Concerned patrons should know PPAC is taking precautions to limit distractions.  The tweeters won't be able to take pictures or video.  "They have to be quiet.  Also we ask them to not reveal any crucial plot lines from the show," says Caitlyn Dipompo, Providence Performing Arts Center.

The theater says there's never more than 20 tweeters in the audience.  Good news since it's cheap to tweet. Participants get a complimentary ticket, but the Tweet Seats aren't for a novice.  They estimate the average person sends a dozen or more Tweets per performance.

The Tweet Seats are in the very back of the theater, plus tweeters are asked to reduce the brightness of their phone or tablet so it's not as noticeable.


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