CMU School of Drama

Tuesday, August 01, 2017

Basic Handbook for Ushering

Arts Hacker: One of the most important elements of the experience when attending a performing arts event is the audience interaction with the front of house staff: ushers, ticket office, concessions, merchandisers, parking attendants, etc.

The experience people have with these staff members sets the tone for the entire event. A warm, efficient welcome can make mediocre performance seem better than it is but a great show can be soured five minutes after people walk in the door if they are poorly treated.

1 comment:

Sidney Rubinowicz said...

Ushering is an element of the theatrical process that often gets overlooked. But it is essential because it provides the first look into the production. It forms the packaging, almost like the gift wrap of a present. The practice of ushering is one that is strictly enforced at my high school. A uniform is required, as well as some training by the house manager. When I stage manage productions, I work closely with the house manager, as she cues me on the status of the lobby and when she is closing house. I never paid much attention to this group of people until i began to work with them. I began to include the house manager on performance reports because she found it useful to know the average run time of the production, and how it was affected by her actions. This further emphasized the idea that theatre is a collaborative art form that is strengthened by the people skills of its production staff.