Volunteer ushers play a vital role in the success of the Folger Shakespeare Library's numerous performances and programs. Ushers assist with welcoming audiences, taking tickets, distributing playbills, seating patrons, and selling concessions. In exchange for volunteering, ushers enjoy the performance as our guest. (Performances often sell out, but we make every effort to provide ushers with seats.) We try to schedule ushers for their first choice of performances. However, due to the popularity of some of our events, an usher may sometimes be scheduled for their second or third choice.
Folger volunteer guidelines
- Ushers must report one hour prior to curtain and meet the House Manager in the theatre lobby, unless otherwise instructed. Your timeliness is critical to our success. But if you arrive more than 15 minutes late, we cannot guarantee that we will ask you to stay.
- When rescheduling or canceling your ushering assignment, please contact us at least one week in advance so we can arrange a replacement. All requests for rescheduling or canceling an usher assignment should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please allow time for a response before changing your plans. If there is an emergency and you need to cancel your ushering assignment at the last minute, please phone the box office at (202) 544-7077 and ask to speak with the house manager on duty. (In the event of continual absence without notice, you may not be asked back to volunteer.)
- Our ushers need to stand for long periods of time and may need to climb stairs to the balcony. Please let the Lead House Manager know of any physical limitations in advance of your scheduled ushering date.
- As representatives of the Folger, ushers are required to wear business casual attire (no jeans or flip flops). We will provide a volunteer badge when you check in.
- Volunteer ushers are asked to perform a variety of tasks during the course of a performance. These duties are assigned upon arrival by the house manager on duty. All ushers are asked to be flexible when given specific ushering assignments.
- No previous ushering experience is required.
Volunteer check-in times
Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday: 6:30 pm
Friday and Saturday evenings: 7:00 pm
Friday for Folger Consort: 6:45 pm
Saturday and Sunday matinees 1:00 pm
Sunday evenings: 6:00 pm
Weekday student matinees: 9:30 am
Check-in times may vary for special events. Ushers will be notified of any variation in the scheduled check-in times.
For more information on ushering at the Folger, please contact our Lead House Manager by email at email@example.com.