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Volunteer Ushering

Volunteer usher for a Lyric Stage Company performance and stay to see the show for free! All ushers are required to attend a brief orientation where we’ll introduce you to the Lyric staff and House Management team, review ushering procedures, and provide a sneak peek at our upcoming season. 

For the 2021/22 Season, we will also be requiring proof of vaccination against Covid-19 or a negative Covid-19 Test within 48 hours of your volunteer shift. In addition, volunteer ushers will be required to remain masked for the duration of their time at our theater. We are happy to provide information on receiving a vaccine at your request. Regardless of your vaccination or testing status, if you feel ill prior to a volunteer shift, please do not attend. Please contact our Box Office by phone or email, and we will happily reschedule you for another date.

Please contact the box office at boxoffice@lyricstage.com or 617.585.5678 to sign up.

Usher Policies

All ushers must arrive one hour before curtain, wearing all black or black and white. Ushers must be physically able to stand for 30-45 minutes at a time, walk up and down stairs, navigate the theatre, and provide assistance to our patrons as needed. You will be trained by our house management staff prior to your selected performance. Please note that we require that ushers do not wear jackets or hold bags/purses while working – you will be able to store your items securely with our staff.

Ushers will be seated in available seats for their chosen performance, subject to availability. Please note that while we will do our very best to ensure ushers will be able to sit in a seat, should a performance sell out in its entirety, ushers may have to stand or avail themselves of folding chairs in the back of the house. If you have any questions or concerns about these requirements, please contact the box office.

If you will be late or unable to usher for your scheduled performance, please call the box office as soon as possible to let us know so that we may fill the open spot. Ushers who are more than 10 minutes late for ushering without notifying the box office may not be allowed to usher for future performances.

All ushers must be signed up under their own name and provide one or both of the following: contact phone number and e-mail address. We regret that we are unable to reserve an ushering space without contact information.

Ushering Handbook 2019-2020

This Handbook is to help provide a safe and professional environment for our staff, ushers and patrons at The Lyric Stage Company of Boston.

Rules & Procedures

How To Sign Up:

If you are interested in ushering at The Lyric Stage Company of Boston, please email the Box Office at boxoffice@lyricstage.com the following information:

  • Your full name
  • Contact information (phone number and email)
  • For each show you would like to usher for provide 3 dates (in order of preference) you are available to usher
    • Please note due to our high volume of volunteer requests we limit volunteers to ushering a maximum of once per show to give everyone a chance to volunteer
  • If you are also signing up friends, we need their full name, phone number, and email address. 
  • Our Box Office staff will cross reference the system and send an email confirmation of the best dates that were available.
  • *Please Note: Ushers who would like to request mobility accommodations must inform the Box Office, as we have a limited number of low-impact positions for each performance.
Usher Duties Include:
  • Program stuffing (depending on the performance and show)
  • Seating patrons
    • For 30 minutes before the show ushers will distribute programs, and walk patrons directly to their seats (this will help ease traffic jams around the stage and provide a more personal customer service)
  • Scanning tickets (the selected usher will be trained on how to use the device)
  • Lobby ambassador (if applicable)
  • Post-Show clean up
Usher Rules:

Cancellation

  • We require at least 24 hours notice for usher cancellations (unless in emergency situations)
  • Ushers who cancel/miss their scheduled date 3 times without providing notice will not be allowed to usher in the future

Arriving late

  • If you are running late, call the Box Office at (617) 585-5678 to give our House Manager a heads up. Please note: ushers that are more than 10 minutes late without notice will not be allowed to usher and will be asked to reschedule with the box office for another open slot

Code of Conduct

  • Below is the Ushering Code of Conduct for the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, please read in its entirety to ensure we provide our staff and patrons a safe environment
  • Ushers that do not adhere to the Code of Conduct and receive a verbal warning and/or written warning from House Management with not be allowed to usher in the future

Read the Ushering Code of Conduct

Usher Procedure:

Usher duties

  • Program stuffing
  • Seating patrons
  • Scanning tickets
  • Lobby ambassador
  • Post-Show clean up

When you arrive to usher

  • Call-time for ushers is 1-hour prior to the performance’s scheduled start time
  • Check in and provide your name with the box office (they will check you off the list for that day)
  • Drop off any purses, bags, etc. at the box office (Usher’s personal items will be stored safely and watched by Box Office Staff. We have limited space, so please be judicious about the size of item you choose to store with us.)
  • Coats can be stored on the coat rack inside the theater
  • Wait for House Management for further instructions

When the show is over

  • House Management will ask ushers to stand at the stage to remind guests to walk around the stage and set as to maintain it for further performances.  (if necessary)
  • Check in with Concessions for gloves and trash bags for Post-Show Cleaning
  • Walk through the rows in each section to pick up trash
  • If there are any spills please alert House Management
  • Once cleaning is over, put trash bags in the main trash can located by the theater doors
Usher Speech Information:
  • Show-Specific Reminders
    • Show title, date and time ○ Running time
    •  Intermission duties (if necessary)
    • What they should do in case of double seating issues
  • Concessions will be open during the pre-show and intermissions (if any). Concessions items may be brought into the theatre
  • Parking tickets can be validated at concessions before, during intermission and after the show.
  • The coat rack is located to the right of concessions next to the ramp.
    • It is a coat rack, not a coat check, because there will not be anyone staffing it during the show.
  • Restrooms are located down the hallway to the right of the theatre doors
    • There are additional restrooms on the first floor to the left of the hotel’s front desk
  • Ushers will be asked to find their seats just before the curtain speech begins. (We ask that ushers sit where instructed by the House Manager, whether that be stools at the back of the stage or seats reserved for ushers specifically. Empty seats at the start of the show should not be considered available, as they could be a sold seat for which the ticket buyer arrives late.)
  • A reminder to stay after the show to help clean up small trash and recyclable programs.
Usher Benefits:
  • Ushers get to see the show for free!
    • Ushers will either be seated in the back rows of our Center section, or in stools behind row J. 
  • Ushers receive a 50% discount on all concessions items (not alcohol)
Theater Layout:
  • A “cheat sheet” of the house map will be provided by the House Manager.
  • The house is divided into five sections: Center, Center Left, Center Right, Side Left, and Side Right
    • Each section and seat will be listed on the ticket with no abbreviations.
    • Provide an example ticket for ushers to familiarize themselves
  • The directions (left, right) are from audience perspective, not stage.
  • The Center Section: is the main block of seats ○ Seats go from 101 on the right aisle down to 109 on the left aisle.
    • The rows are A on the floor and J in the back (this does include a row I)
  • The Center Left and Side Left sections:
    • all seats are either single or double digit ODD numbers starting with 1 on the aisle (1, 3, 5, etc.)
    • The rows in the Center Left start in row D and go up through row J ○ The rows on the Side Left start in row AA on the floor and go up through row EE
  • The Center Right and Side Right sections:
    • all seats are either single or double digits EVEN numbers starting with 2 on the aisle (2, 4, 6, etc.)
    • The rows in the Center Right match match with the rows in the center, start with D and going up through J (this does include a row I) ○ The rows In the Side Right start in AA on the floor through EE
  • All seats have a metal label and they are labeled correctly
  • With the exception of the folding chairs in row AA in the Side Section.
  • The folding chairs are numbered in the same fashion and will be moved to make room for wheelchairs.

Ushering Code of Conduct

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston is committed to providing a healthy and respectful work environment for everyone involved in bringing its mission to life. We make this commitment to you as a member of our family. And we expect you to support that commitment through your actions, too. To that end, we have created the following Code of Conduct to provide you with guidelines on appropriate behaviors and processes.

We are increasingly aware that disrespectful behavior, sexual harassment, sexual misconduct, and systemic racism and bullying are deeply embedded in our culture – including in the theater world. We do our best work in an environment that promotes respect and safety.

Theater is an art form. The work can and should be challenging, experimental, exploratory, and bold. Artistic freedom of expression is essential. For these things to happen, though, the creative space must be a safe space. And because the spaces in which we work are broad – encompassing administration, auditions, rehearsals, technical work, late nights, parties, public-facing frontline work, and more – we must acknowledge, and not exploit, the blurred boundaries between work and social spaces.

In order to ensure sustainable change, we appreciate that all of us must:

  • Know harassment and misconduct when we see it.
  • Know what to do when we experience or observe it.
  • Examine our industry practices (meeting formats, communication standards, etc.) where bullying or bias is slipping in, and establish improvement interventions.
  • Create a safe and supportive environment for people to share their concerns and experiences.
  • Communicate and maintain supportive and effective reporting processes.
  • Understand and uphold reporting standards and guidelines for actors, directors, designers, technicians, full-time staff, and guests.

Please review the Lyric Stage Company’s Anti-Racism and Inclusion plan, which can be found here and on our website and the Line Drawn Standards, which can be found here and on the Stage Source website. 

Avoid any behavior that marginalizes or diminishes your colleagues. The list of potentially inappropriate behaviors below is not all-inclusive, but it is meant to provide you with examples.

Inappropriate Physical Contact

  • If in doubt, don’t do it. If someone pulls away or asks you to stop it – STOP. Hugging and touching can imply a sense of intimacy that is not shared.

Dismissive and Disrespectful Behaviors

  • Interrupting or talking over others 
  • Making assumptions about gender, sexuality, race, or religion.
  • Taking unearned credit for work done by someone else..
  • Shaming or public outbursts.

Bullying and Harassment

Bullying or harassment related to protected characteristics has a broad meaning. Your behavior may be considered bullying even if it was unintended and the person doing it was unaware that he or she might cause offense.

Sometimes conflicts arise between persons with different protected characteristics (for example sexual orientation and religion). We do not expect everyone to be friends but we do require everyone to treat each other with respect and dignity regardless of privately held views.

  • Shouting at a colleague repeatedly, or putting unreasonable pressure on staff that you manage.
  • A judgmental gaze or commentary on clothing, bodies, sexiness, racial attributes, weight, prettiness, or personality characteristics.
  • Whispering or gossiping campaigns.

Sexual Harassment 

  • Derogatory comments about gender or matters associated with gender.
  • Ostracism related to gender (whether the person affected is of the same or different gender).
  • Degrading comments about appearance or dress.
  • Physical conduct of a sexual nature ranging from unnecessary touching to sexual assault.
  • Making offensive comments to a pregnant woman about her appearance.
  • Unwelcome sexual advances, flirtatious or suggestive remarks, leering, whistling or sexually suggestive gestures.
  • Display of pornographic or sexually suggestive pictures, objects, or written materials.
  • Repeated requests to go on a date or to socialise outside of work when this is unwanted.
  • Pressure for sexual behaviour/favours in return for avoiding detrimental treatment; or detrimental treatment following the rejection of a sexual advance.

Racial or religious harassment

  • Derogatory or degrading abuse or insults and offensive comments about race or religion.
  • Display, circulation, or discussion of racist pictures, objects, or written materials.
  • Repeatedly dismissing or not taking seriously a person’s request for their religious practices to be accommodated.
  • Unjustified display of emblems that have sectarian or religious significance; or telling of jokes related to race or religion.

Harassment related to disability

  • Mimicry and imitation of the disabled person.
  • Telling jokes related to disability.
  • Offensive comments about disability or matters associated with disability.

Harassment related to sexual orientation 

  • Teasing or name calling about an individual’s sexual orientation (real or perceived).
  • Homophobic ‘jokes’ or derogatory stereotyping based on sexual orientation.
  • ‘Outing’ a person (i.e. revealing their sexual orientation) against their wishes.

Harassment related to age 

  • Telling jokes related to age or the perceived effects of age.
  • Derogatory stereotyping based on age; or talking down to and humiliating anyone on the basis of their age.

This is not a comprehensive list of the many forms that harassment can take.

Reporting Framework

The Lyric Stage Company of Boston values the trust, empathy, and vulnerability necessary to create and receive high quality theatrical art. Explicit in this, is the need to eliminate any tolerance for harassment or hostility of any kind, or behaviors that knowingly or unconsciously act to make others uncomfortable. 

To avoid perpetuating a culture of silence and to ensure that its artists, audience, and staff members feel safe and supported when they report an incident, the following reporting framework has been created. 

Because incidents of this kind can be, by their nature, complicated and/or ambiguous, the Lyric Stage recognizes that no plan will be perfect. At its root, this plan is intended to encourage communication, maintain behavioral norms, and promote healing when damage is done.

The Reporting Process

When an incident occurs at the Lyric Stage or as part of a Lyric Stage-sponsored event, and that involves at least one current member of the Lyric Stage Company of Boston, including but not limited to full- or part-time staff, current artists, members of the Board of Directors and/or Advisory Council, ushers and other volunteers, interns or work study students, or overhire, the procedure outlined below will be followed. The Lyric Stage believes that seemingly smaller episodes are equally important as large ones, as they may indicate larger trends and are valuable to record.

Please reach out to the House Manager on duty or email boxofficemanager@lyricstage.com to report an incident you have witnessed or to learn about our Incident Reporting Process.

Reporting an incident will not adversely affect any future potential employment by the Lyric Stage for the reporter.