Would you rather see an actor light up on stage, followed by swirls of smoke; or see them puff on a knock-off, blowing out air? As state laws no longer permit smoking in restaurants, bars, arenas, meeting rooms, and other indoor spaces, it may soon ban use on stage at the theater as well.
As MPR reports, Sen. Barb Goodwin is hoping that smoking on the stage will never receive another encore by introducing a bill aimed at ridding the state of the only public place where smoking indoors is still allowed—the theater. Currently, actors are the only ones given the special treatment by being allowed to puff away on stage as part of a production, so long as the audience is made aware beforehand and it’s printed in show’s program.
Actors romanticizing the act of smoking to their audience is one of the reasons this bill has surfaced. Others fear performances will lose depth and feel if actors are forced to fake it or use knock-off versions.