Saturday, December 17, 2016

Seat a Show, See a Show

A few months ago, I signed up to be a volunteer usher with one of our favorite theaters - Second Stage. Each time the email was sent out requesting volunteers, I was too slow to respond and all the spots were already filled. Over Thanksgiving weekend, an email was sent to fill a newly open slot and I immediately responded indicating my availability. I got the spot. I was told to dress in all black and be at the theater an hour before showtime. Upon arrival for Notes from the Field: Doing Time in Education - a one-woman show featuring Anna Deavere Smith at Second Stage Theatre, I found myself stuffing playbills alongside three other volunteers. Since I was new to the volunteer usher business, I was given the least frequented post. It was a great way to get my feet wet. And the show was simply phenomenal. Her multiple monologues covered several aspects of the justice and education system mostly focusing on the prejudices that lie just below the surface. It was quite a moving production.

One of the ushers at Notes from the Field, told me about the opportunity to usher Holiday Inn (The New Irving Berlin Musical) at the Roundabout Theatre Company. I walked to the Roundabout Theatre right after clean-up at Second Stage to secure my spot. My experience for Holiday Inn was significantly different. I was ushering in the orchestra section this time. There were lots of interesting personalities and requests from the folks in this section. Before the audience arrived, instead of stuffing playbills we were able to watch a few last minute rehearsal numbers. I was really rooting for the actors when those numbers happened during the performance. I'm happy to say they appeared flawless. Even though my usher experience at Holiday Inn was a bit more stressful, it was entirely worth it to see such a fun and exciting show for free. I really loved the dance numbers and that it hit all the major holidays. Definitely a cute story and show!

Have you ever volunteered at a live event or production?

Andrea :)

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