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Theatre Etiquette

There is no doubt about the importance of working together as an ensemble in order to achieve the most appropriate and provocative final product. In order for a production to truly be successful, whole team from the top of management down to the greenest of performer, must conduct themselves according to simple matters of etiquette.

  • Cast and crew must enter the theatre through the Jackman Dramatic Art Centre.
  • Sign-in sheets posted at the stage door must be signed upon arrival by every individual personally. Do not sign-in for others.
  • Eating is forbidden in Essex Hall Theatre and the Hatch Studio Theatre in the following areas: the auditorium, inner lobby, dressing rooms, on stage and backstage.
  • Coffee and other non-alcoholic beverages are permitted in the theatres. However, they must be contained in a resealable cup or bottle.
  • All personnel are responsible for their own belongings and should endeavour to protect them as the School of Dramatic Art and University Players are not responsible for any loss or theft.
  • The green room must be kept tidy and clean for the duration of a production. Empty food and drink containers must be disposed of in the available garbage cans. Plates and cups must be washed and neatly stored immediately after use.
  • It is to be understood that the House Manager and the Stage Manager (or their designates) are in charge of their respective areas and their authority is to be acknowledged and respected.
  • During performances any one not directly involved with the production is not allowed in the backstage areas. Areas include: the hallway outside the green room, the green room, the props/laundry room, the backstage, and the dressing rooms.
  • After ‘house opening’ and during performances, there is to be no passage through the house to the backstage areas.
  • At no time is the House (including the lobby) to be used as a warm-up area. On-stage warm-ups should take place from 6:30 -7:00 pm (for an 8:00 pm curtain).  Sound equipment in the control booth is strictly “off limits” for playing warm-up music.
  • The stage is to be clear of actors 20 minutes prior to the house opening. Technicians should be clear of the stage area at least 5 minutes prior to the house opening.
  • All cast and crew shall remain in the stage, green room, hallway, or dressing rooms after arriving for the scheduled call.
  • All actors should allow adequate time to warm up (and smoke, if necessary) before getting into costume. In order to avoid any last minute emergencies, actors should be in full costume and make-up a minimum of 5 minutes prior to curtain time.
  • There will be no eating or drinking in costume unless appropriate cover-up is worn.  And at no time is smoking allowed in costume.
  • Cast members should personally check their own pre-sets including: props, costumes, hats, parasols etc. at least 20 minutes before the house opens.
  • At no time are alcoholic beverages to be allowed in the backstage, green room, or dressing room areas. Consumption of alcoholic beverages is forbidden in the theatre area, except for special functions licensed by the University of Windsor.
  • Actors are required to appear in full costume and make-up for the curtain call.
  • Under no circumstances will there be any signing or graffiti allowed on the walls or masking flats backstage.
  • Shoes must be worn backstage to protect your feet at all times. Many accidents with toes and feet can be avoided by wearing proper footwear.
  • Let crew members know as soon as possible when something breaks, spills or is missing.
  • Speak softly, and only when absolutely necessary in backstage areas. Sound travels easily to the house.
  • Be respectful of the way others get ready for a show and give performers space or quiet if they need it. Be conscientious and respectful of any rituals or superstitious beliefs others may have as well.
  • Do not touch or move another performer’s props or costumes. If you feel something is out-of-place, let someone on the crew know, or the performer themselves.
  • Be conscious of audience “sight lines” when you are onstage and off. If you can see members of the audience, they can see you. Avoid bumping the curtains, legs, cyc and other theatre drapery. The audience will see even the tiniest movement.
  • Always say “please” and “thank you!” and be courteous and kind to everyone around you. You’re a part of a big team and each individual is a valuable part of the show.

Though there is often a dynamic and volatile artistic temperament associated with the theatre, our creative world cannot be allowed to encourage a code of conduct that is distinctly more liberal or casual than society’s parameters of acceptable behaviour. Just as the theatre is a respected profession, so too must our theatre society’s etiquette and ethics be respectful, fair, unprejudiced, and support individual rights and freedom. Therefore, under no circumstances will HARASSMENT of any kind, by anyone, be tolerated. Though harassment can be a complicated matter, it can specifically be defined as one or a series of unwanted, unsolicited remarks, behaviours or communications in any form, which has the intent or effect of creating an intimidating, hostile, or offensive psychological or emotional climate for study and learning.

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