Front of House responsibilities

The front-of-house manager is responsible for the safety and comfort of the audience. You and your staff are the first point of contact for the audience – a warm welcome goes a long way.

Duties vary according to the size and type of the theatre, but generally they are:

Ensure that all seating is secure before the start of each performance and the auditorium is clean.

Check with the stage manager on all matters relating to the running of the play, including starting and finishing times, and approximate interval times.

Get a clear cut policy on whether any latecomers will be admitted after the production has started, and where they will be seated if allowed in.

Arrange for:

Box office staff

Ushers

Programme sellers

Nibble-nook coffee/alcohol, etc and wash up afterwards.

Smaller groups may be able to combine most of these.

Prior to opening night, collect change for the box office from the treasurer.

Collect seating plan and reservations.

Arrive at the theatre about an hour before opening and check that ushers, box office (if you aren’t doing this yourself), programme sellers, etc, are in place before the door is opened.

Supervise ushers and control latecomers as decided.

Inform stage manager as soon as the audience is seated.

Check cash takings, box office and programme sales, and return to treasurer.
The front-of-house manager should stay near the theatre foyer at all times during the performance, to organize fast evacuation of the theatre in an emergency. You should check that all emergency exits are clearly labelled and that all exits are unlocked and accessible during the performance. You should also know where the fire extinguishers are and that they have been checked recently.

Your efficiency and courtesy will do much to promote the society’s public image with the audience.