• Broadway Beat

Rusty Audience Member Practices Clapping in Room Alone

by Catherine Weingarten. @sarahkaneissexy (Twitter), @cwweingarten (Instagram).

NEW YORK, NY - As the lights of Broadway prepare to shine once more, theatre lover and former audience member Rufus Johnston has made sure to shake off any rust by actively clapping in his room alone, sources confirmed.


“I’m known as a truly top notch audience member,” said Rufus, whose bedroom is strewn with photos of his face taped on famous Broadway posters. “During the pandemic, I so missed being in a very crowded theater next to old people telling me to stop singing along. I truly am nervous though that when the theater comes back, I won’t have the same hand clapping rigor I once had.”


Jane Smith Calahan, Rufus’s roommate and aspiring audience member, has been very encouraging of Rufus during this tough time.


“Rufus always clapped so vigorously at the end of any show and I think he’s just scared his hands are not in the same shape they once were,” said Smith, who does three hours of hand stretches every morning but isn't even close to the same league as Rufus. “He actually has been going to physical therapy to increase his dexterity, and practicing turning his phone off for two hour periods in preparation for theater returning. I really look up to him as an audience member, and especially admire how diligently he’s been practicing sitting in cramped seats without moving or breathing too loudly.”


Genevieve Poppelton, a theater audience scout and fan of Rufus’s, expressed support yet hesitation with Rufus’s rigorous training.


“Rufus was known around the community for how amazing he was at shaming screaming babies who dared enter the theater,” said Poppleton, holding up a framed photo of Rufus dressed as “The Phantom” mid clap. “We just really hope he still ‘has it’ and is using his free time to practice death staring babies in the park who cry non-cutely, or really make any noise at all.”


At press time, Rufus was trying to take his audience training to the most dangerous level- unwrapping a candy without making any noise.