Theatre Companies & Play Production
A Guide to Structure
The House manager is responsible for the care and well-being of the audience and the areas of the theatre that the audience uses. His/her responsibilities include:
* making sure the house (seating area and lobby) are ready for the audience, * supervising the taking of tickets, seating of audience, and, sometimes, the sale of
"at the door" tickets,
* informing the Stage Manager when the audience is in place, * overseeing the intermission, including refreshments, music, etc.; flashing the lights at the intermission end and informing the Stage Manager when the audience is
* supervising the safe and efficient exiting of the audience when the show is over, * sometimes supervising the superficial clean-up of the house (picking up discarded
playbills, tickets, cups and refreshment wrappers, etc.) after the audience has left.
The House Manager is assisted by, and in charge of, the Ushers.
The Ushers, usually volunteers recruited on a show-by-show basis in exchange for the chance to see the show for free, assist the house manager. Specific responsibilities may include:
* taking tickets at the door to the theatre, * greeting the audience at the theatre doors, handing them playbills and showing
them to their seats,
* holding late-comers outside the doors until an appropriate moment to seat them
and then unobtrusively showing them to their seats,
* dealing with any audience disruptions including flash photography, disruptive
audience members, sickness, fights, emergencies of any kind,
* sometimes, helping the House Manager get the house ready before the
performance and straighten up after the audience leaves.