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How Theatre Seating Enhances the Experience

Seating should be a vital consideration when designing theatres. The type of seating used in theatres can have a huge impact on the overall theatre experience and either enhance or detract from a performance. Here are some of the top reasons why seating should be a key element in any theatre design.

Sight line

During any theatre performance, it is important that all attendees have a clear view of the stage. Tiered theatre seating can be utilised to allow every attendee to have a good sight line, free from obstructions or other distractions. Larger theatres will also often have seating on one or more levels. The first level of seating is situated directly in front of the stage and gradually slopes upwards towards the back of the auditorium. The rear of the first level may then be overhung by a balcony and a second or third level of tiered seating. This design feature helps ensure that all attendees get a good view of the stage.


The tiered design and multiple levels of modern theatre seating allows theatres to accommodate large number of people, without compromising the comfort of attendees. Having a higher capacity means there are more tickets available for every performance, which helps keep ticket prices low and makes theatre performances more accessible to everyone. Part of the magic of attending the theatre is enjoying a live performance and sharing the experience with your friends and family, and being part of a like-minded community.


When people attend a theatre performance they expect a certain level of quality and comfort. Being able to relax in plush, comfortable seating enhances the overall theatre experience. It also means that attendees can focus their full attention on the performance, instead of worrying about being uncomfortable. Any level of discomfort will detract from the performance, so comfortable supportive seating in a must in any theatre. It is also worth keeping in mind that attendees who are seated uncomfortably are likely to fidget and move around often, in an attempt to get comfortable. This is likely to distract from the performance and be an annoyance to other attendees.


Theatre seating can also be designed to make performances more accessible to people with disabilities or additional needs. Many theatres now feature removable seats which are a great way to create more seating choices for wheelchair users. Theatres can also dedicate certain seats to wheelchair users which will help provide the best experience possible. For example, seats that are situated in an aisle and close to the exit and other facilities like the bar and toilet.

Guide to different theatre seats

Most theatres have a number of different seating options available when purchasing a ticket for a performance. To help you choose the best seat and enhance your theatre experience, here’s a useful guide to the different seats available:

The stalls

This is the first level of seating situated on the ground floor. The stalls are closest to the action and have some of the best seats in the theatre. However, sitting too close to the stage may mean you have to look up to view the performance. The best seats are generally a few rows back, towards the middle of the stalls.

The royal circle

The royal circle is the second level of seating. Tickets for these seats are generally more expensive and sought-after, as they offer fantastic views of the stage. Being one level up gives you the opportunity to truly appreciate the patterns of the choreography and the performers work during the show.

The grand circle

Some larger theatres also have a third level of tiered seating known as the grand circle. Seats here are further from the action but still offer greats views of the stage and performance. To get the best view, it is advisable to book seats in the central rows.


Boxes offer a private space to relax and view the performance and are usually situated on the same level as the royal circle. Booking a private box is a luxurious experience but it’s worth keeping in mind that they are level with the side of the stage. This means they may not always offer the best view of the performance.

Premium seats

These are the seats considered to offer the best views of the stage and performance. Tickets for these seats will generally be more expensive. If you don’t fancy paying more for a ticket, then you can always find out where the premium seats are located, then book the closed regular seats possible.

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