In a few days, I will attend usher orientation and volunteer training at the Shakespeare Theatre in Washington, DC.  I’ve already received Usher Guidelines to review ahead of training.  The document is six pages, and here are the most important points:

  • Volunteers need to arrive 90 minutes before the show.
  • If an usher can’t attend on the assigned day because of bad weather, don’t fret. Just send an email to cancel because “Theatre is wonderful but definitely not worth shattering an ankle or wrecking your car.”
  • Try to be affable, cheerful, gregarious or “any combination of those things.” (I’ll pretend I’m a flight attendant to put me in the I’m-happy-to-be-at-your-service mind frame.)
  • Dress code is business casual. And if “color and patterns are your thing, by all means, go all out!”  (I’m glad that uniforms aren’t required and that ushers are encouraged to freely express themselves through clothing choices.  The last time I wore a uniform was when I worked at McDonald’s as a teenager many years ago.)
  • Ushers should expect other duties as assigned. Roles include seat escort, coat check, ticket scanning, greeters, and flier stuffers.  (That’s similar to my experience at McDonald’s.  I would be working drive-thru, but then the manager would suddenly ask me to open a register at the front or clean up a soda spill in the lobby.)

A key benefit of ushering is that I’ll be able to see for FREE the performance at which I’m volunteering.  I’m excited about ushering at the Shakespeare Theatre and am looking forward to mingling with the eclectic classical-theatre crowd.

In a future post, I’ll provide an update on my volunteer experience.


Avon Pagon