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Basic Theatre Etiquette

Designers, Technical Director, Stage Manager, Production Manager, Artistic Director, and members of the running crew of the show are the only persons permitted in the booth during dress rehearsals and performances.  Any exceptions should be cleared through the Stage Manager and the Production Manager.

The Artistic Director, Director, Designers, Production Manager, Technical Director, Stage Managers, Cast and Crew of a production are the only persons permitted backstage before a performance.

Obeying State Law, there is NO SMOKING in the Theatre Building.  The use of smoking materials onstage requires permission of Fire Marshall and special safety precautions.

No drugs or alcohol should be taken before coming to work in theatre.  Persons under the influence will be asked to leave and disciplinary action will be taken.  Prescribed drugs are allowed only if they do not impair a student’s ability to function safely.  Persons on medication should bring this to the attention of the supervisor of their activity.  No drugs or alcohol may be consumed in or brought in the theatre.  Dinner Theatre productions may serve wine during the meals, provided a valid permit has been obtained.

It is the policy of the Theatre Arts Department that no rehearsal or performance will take place if there is danger to the students, staff, faculty, audience or facilities.

  • The term “danger” implies any situation which could cause physical harm or injury to the facilities, audience, or those participating in the performance or rehearsal.  Danger could result from faulty equipment, power outage, natural disasters, bomb threats or incapacitation of performers or crew.
  • In the event of any danger creating a technical or human incapacitation, the play’s Director, Production Manager and Department Chair will be immediately notified of the dangerous situation and will do the following:
  • Determine the extent and severity of the situation.
  • Decide whether or not to call appropriate emergency personnel.
  • Decide whether or not to cancel the performance.
  • In the event that there is disagreement about the decision, the Department Chair will have the deciding vote.
  • If the Department Chair cannot be reached within one hour, the production’s Director and Production Manager will make the decision.
  • Production participants will not be permitted on stage under the influence of alcohol or any controlled substances.  If a student is determined by the Chair or faculty supervisor to be unable to perform his or her production duties, the student will be replaced or the performance canceled. 
  • Students who have knowledge of the impairment of production participants or equipment are required to notify the Director, Production Manager, or Chair immediately.  Failure to notify one of those four is grounds for suspension from department activities.
  • If a production must be canceled due to a student’s disregard for the safety and well-being of others, that student will be dismissed from the major and reported to appropriate authorities.


  • Don’t enter the ticket office or ask to use the ticket office telephones at any time.
  • Always be prompt for rehearsals.  Anyone who comes late or has an unexcused absence may be replaced.
  • Come to rehearsal ready to work and having done your specific preparation for the material to be rehearsed.
  • Always have a pencil with you.
  • Never leave rehearsal until the Director or Stage Manager dismisses you.
  • Cooperate with all cast and crew members.
  • Bring your notebook and pencil to the note session after each rehearsal.  Write down all notes and directions and incorporate them in the next rehearsal.  Accept notes cheerfully.  Rehearsal and performance criticism is not personal.  If you feel the Director is wrong in a particular direction, see him/her privately after rehearsal.
  • Take direction only from the Director.  Do not give helpful instructions to your fellow actors
  • Remain in character on stage.
  • In rehearsal, if you forget a line, call for it by saying, “line”.
  • Do not mouth other actors’ lines.
  • If anything accidentally falls on stage, pick it up.
  • Never appear in costume or makeup except backstage or on stage.
  • Never eat, drink, chew or smoke in costume unless it is part of the action on stage.
  • When entering the theatre, leave personal problems behind.  Don’t confuse acting with living.
  • Give your best performance for every audience.
  • Never peer through a curtain at the audience.
  • Write down all dates of rehearsals and what time they start and then see that you arrive early enough to remove your coat, etc., and be ready on time.  If you have a dress rehearsal with makeup, allow yourself enough time so you will not have to rush in order to get into costume and makeup.
  • Do not gossip about your fellow employers, staff, actors, teachers, etc.
  • Do not use drugs or alcohol during rehearsal or performance.  A stoned or drunk actor is grounds for dismissal from the production.
  • Sit quietly during the rehearsal.  If you’re not on stage, use the time to study your role or do other work.
  • When not studying your role, watch others work to learn from their efforts
  • Take good care of your costume.  Don’t lie on the floor with it unless it is part of the play.
  • Be congenial with the production and run crews.  If you’re part of the crew, be congenial with the performers.
  • If you are responsible for props (personal), be sure that you have them before you go on.
  • Do not borrow makeup, cold cream, etc.  Create your own personal makeup kit.
  • Keep rehearsal areas clean!
  • Do not be a dressing room hopper.  Give other actors time to concentrate on their part.
  • Don’t eat food props.
  • Keep your body free of odor – take frequent showers – wear deodorant – brush your teeth.
  • Smoking is permitted outside the building in designated areas only.
  • Take care of your minds and bodies.  Exercise and get plenty of rest.

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