This has happened so often, I have to share the most recent incident.
Setting: Large group gathering in a gym. Buffet food line. Tables scattered throughout. An area in front of the stage for the children to sit on the floor. Stage set with everything needed for interactive children's play.
At Rise: Buffet line is done. People are sitting around talking--loudly. Person in charge comes up to microphone.
PERSON IN CHARGE: Cwerks is going to start the play. The children can sit up here. (indicates where; children rush to sit in front of stage)
(Cwerks performers go through whole play at full volume to be heard by children sitting in front; parents continue talking around the room at full volume; children, during the course of the 40-minute show, yell out to the performers, try to touch props on the stage, shove one of the performers who's supposed to be sleeping; the head performer--me--tries to find ways to cut the show short and manages to shave 5-10 minutes off the running time; afterwards exhausted performers quickly tear down the set while quietly commiserating about the awful job they must have done to have the children so rowdy)
PERSON IN CHARGE: (to performers as they are leaving) That was so good. The kids have never been so engaged in the entertainment. Thank you.