A few words of advice: If you ever find yourself backstage at a theater or attending a rehearsal, make sure not to whistle and, if you’re the last one to leave, don’t switch all the lights off. If the play happens to be Shakespeare’s Macbeth, remember to only refer to it as “the Scottish play”—the success of the production could depend on it. Some of these superstitions originally made perfect sense. The first stagehands were thought to be sailors, hired for their knowledge of knots and ropes. As they did on a ship, the sailors would use coded whistles to communicate and—though many now believe such stories to be apocryphal—a careless whistle could cause chaos with the scene changes. Similarly, the single “ghost light” that is always left on somewhere in a theater, supposedly to appease resident spirits, also helps prevent anyone This story is from Kinfolk Issue Forty-Four Buy Now Related Stories Arts & Culture Issue 43 Paapa Essiedu The British stage star steps onto a new platform. Arts & Culture Issue 42 Audience Participation The new rules for watching movies. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Sport: Proxy Warriors Athletes are champions on the field, and of larger issues on the world stage. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Sport: Silence & Word Play Athletes are champions on the field, and of larger issues on the world stage. Arts & Culture Issue 26 Sport: Gender Gaps Athletes are champions on the field, and of larger issues on the world stage. Arts & Culture City Guide The Standard, High Line Setting a high standard in the Lower West Side.