Are Trigger Warnings At Theaters A Mindful Rating System, Or A Disruption To The Art?

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Photo: DCPA Theater Trigger Warnings
The trigger warning sign for Denver Center for the Performing Arts', "A Christmas Carol."

When theatergoers attended the recent Denver Center for the Performing Arts production "Vietgone," they walked through the doors and were met with a trigger warning sign in the lobby:

"This production contains: Strobe lighting effects. Sudden loud noises. Theatrical fog/haze. Scenes of violence. Adult language. Sexual situations. Adult humor and content."

The "Vietgone" sign was one of many advance trigger warning notices mentioned by New York Times theater reporter Michael Paulson in a story about the trend and the conversations it's sparked among theater companies and theatergoers.

Paulson talked to Colorado Matters about the divide on whether theater trigger warnings represent a mindful warning to audience members, as movie ratings do, or something that impedes to the live theater experience.