Front of House Volunteer Guidelines
Front of House volunteers are very important to Quincy Community Theatre. Ushers, greeters, scanners, and box officers are ambassadors for the theatre and may be the first contact our patrons have with the theatre. We want our patrons to have a wonderful experience every time they enter the facility.
As a volunteer, you can make the difference. Volunteers must be professional, attentive, and must listen and communicate well. Each volunteer is personally responsible for seeing that our patrons’ experience is one that will bring them back again and again.
- I agree to conduct myself with integrity and be a credit to Quincy Community Theatre. I will not use profane or “disrespectful” language at QCT, nor will I partake in illegal or inappropriate activities.
- I understand that harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. This includes but is not limited to the following:
- Verbal conduct such as derogatory jokes or comments, sexual advances and comments
- Visual conduct such as derogatory and/or sexually oriented images
- Physical conduct such as assault and unwanted touching
- I understand that every single person involved in this production is to be valued, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, race, and religious and political beliefs. I agree to treat my fellow volunteers with respect and courtesy from the first rehearsal to the final performance. This includes behavior and conversations backstage, in the dressing rooms and in social gatherings.
We want our guests to know that their community theatre experience will be of the highest quality possible. To set the tone, we suggest all of our Front of House volunteers wear “business casual” or “going out” attire.
Ushers and scanners should arrive 45 minutes before curtain time. If the show is at 7:30pm, be here at 6:45pm. If the show is at 2:00pm, be here at 1:15pm.
Box Officers and Greeters should arrive an hour and 15 minutes before curtain time. If the show is at 7:30pm, be here at 6:15pm. If the show is at 2:00pm, be here at 12:45pm.
- Enter the box office and report to the House Manager and sign in. (We must record all volunteer hours). Ushers will have an usher button with a ribbon attached to it; all other volunteers will have a volunteer name tag. These help our patrons know who the volunteers are. If you are an usher, the house manager will tell you to which section in the auditorium you are assigned.
- Personal belongings may be placed in the “Copy Room” next to the water tank by the offices. The theatre is not responsible for lost or stolen articles; therefore, please leave valuables at home.
- If you come early, there may be tasks you could assist with, such as stuffing inserts into programs.
- Ushers and scanners should attend the usher meeting approximately ten minutes before the house opens. The House Manager will be leading this meeting.
- Be at your station when the house opens.
- Be sure to introduce yourself to your fellow volunteers.
The “house” is the word given to the auditorium. “House open” is when the doors to the auditorium will open. All ushers will be at their posts by the time the house opens, which is 30 minutes before curtain time. The “house manager” is the ushers’ go-to person. The house manager will welcome the ushers and give instructions for that particular performance. If there’s any issue while seating guests, seek out the house manager.
“Curtain” is the time the show begins. For QCT, the curtain time for evening shows is 7:30pm, and matinee curtain time is 2:00pm.
- Say “hello” and escort patrons to their seats.
- Distribute programs.
- Offer assistance to anyone asking for help.
- Refer any seating disputes to the Head Usher or House Manager.
- Open/Close the auditorium doors when signaled.
- Seat late-comers at the appropriate time (the Head Usher or House Manager will advise).
In the case of an accident suffered by a patron or an usher or any problem you cannot resolve, please contact the House Manager or Head Usher immediately. Never argue with a patron; always be polite and refer the dispute to the proper person.
Seating for mobility-impaired patrons is located on the main floor in the cross aisle between Rows H and I. You will be informed if seats have been sold in this section. Select theatre seats are able to be removed to accommodate wheelchairs. Head ushers and house managers will assist in this. If a change of seating is necessary, contact the Head Usher or the House Manager.
Though it’s not required, we are in need of volunteers to open the house doors at intermission, to stand by the door to ask people to finish their beverages or snacks before reentering the house, and to open and stand at the doors at the end of the performance to thank our guests for coming and encourage the recycling of the stagebills if they don’t wish to keep theirs. Please never take a guest’s stagebill if they want to keep it—we love when they want to learn more about our actors, advertisers, and upcoming events!
Once the house is empty, it is very helpful for volunteers to walk the seat rows, collecting dropped stagebills, tickets, and trash. This helps get the theater tidy for the next performance.
The House Manager will collect your button or name tag if you are staying to watch the performance; otherwise, you may return your button or name tag to the box office. Be sure to have your volunteer card punched. (See below for more details.)
Our volunteers are a vital component of each performance. If something has come up and you can no longer volunteer for that performance, please let us know as soon as possible so that we can find a replacement. The Box Office phone number is 217-222-3209.
All volunteers have a punch card. If this is your first time volunteering, check in with the house managers to receive your card. The card will be punched each time you volunteer. After 10 punches, you will receive a free ticket to the production of your choice. If you don’t need a ticket, you could give it to a friend to encourage his/her involvement with QCT, or you can gift your punches to pay for a theatre class for a child whose family needs a little assistance.
It is the policy of Quincy Community Theatre to seat latecomers at an appropriate break in the performance. This break will be predetermined by the director of the production and will be announced during the “usher briefing” prior to the house opening.
As a courtesy to other patrons, latecomers may also not be seated in their ticketed seats. Late seating is at the discretion of the house manager.
Restrooms are located in the main lobby and upstairs.
When a production has an intermission, refreshments are available for purchase in the lobby. The proceeds support a local charity. Please be aware that food and drinks should be consumed in the lobby and should never, with the exception of bottled water, be taken into the theatre.
The drinking fountain is located on the main floor by the OLC Exhibition Halls. A drinking fountain is also located upstairs by the Chamber of Commerce office.
If a patron needs to place a call, have him/her talk to the House Manager, who will direct the person to the public box office phone.