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Handbook Appendices Forms Theatre Scholarships For Theatre Majors, Minors, and Intendeds University Theatre Handbook Table of Contents Theatre Home

B.5.f  Front of house policies.  Every theatre venue—ours included— establishes restrictions on audience behaviors in order to preserve the integrity of the aesthetic event and to assure a safe, comfortable, and satisfying experience for its ticket-buying patrons.

Without wanting to appear overly-picky or snobbish about the “manners” of its audiences, it is the responsiblity of University Theatre to insist on behaviors which do not distract from the aesthetic experience which has so carefully been put in place.  In other words, we aren’t happy about working for weeks to get something right, only to be upstaged by some outrageous non-social, thoughtless person in the third row whose cell phone rings at a crisis line;  Or an alarm watch beeping at the wonderfully tender spot in the show;  Or people talking loudly about having owned a dress “just like that one” at the ingenue’s entrance;  Or that little red light on the video camera coming on, going off, coming on, going off, the only thing the performer can see when looking out the house from the platform.  These things have happened, and more than once.  These behaviors need to stop, for the sake of the production yes, but also for the sake of decent people who have paid good money to enjoy the production and can’t because the person behind them keeps kicking their seatbacks! 

It’s also our task to see to it that the experience our audiences receive with us is safe, convenient and pleasant.  For this reason every theatre producing organization develops policies for the control of the audience atmosphere.  Ours are pretty standard, and seek to curtail thoughtless rather than vicious behaviors.  The implementation of these policies is entrusted to the House Manager.

Below is a copy of information distributed to our audiences by the Box Office.  

We hope that the following information will make the experience of our upcoming production more fulfilling for you.  We’re working hard to prepare for the moment when performance, production and audience come together to create that brief aesthetic contact we call theatre.  We want the experience to be a significant one, and draw your attention to some details which will assist us all.


Parking is free and available to you in all university commuter parking lots after 5:00 p.m.  The lots most convenient to the theatre are the Crawford Faculty and Staff lot (behind the Music building) and the terraced Dravus lot (entered at 4th Avenue West and West Dravus Street).  Take care not to park in lots or stalls restricted to residence halls.


A limited number of wheelchair-accessible spaces are available in the E. E. Bach Theatre.  They must be reached through a special entrance off the Crawford parking lot.  Please contact the House Manager in the lobby or, preferably, let us know your needs when you make your ticketing arrangements.  Wheelchair-accessible restrooms are available only in Crawford Music Building next door to the theatre, and are reached through the Crawford parking lot.  The Studio Theatre in the lower level of McKinley Hall has no wheelchair ramp, but if portage is useful for you, the House Manager will make the arrangements.  The restrooms on the lower level are wheelchair-accessible.

  Late Seating

We attempt to begin our performances promptly at the announced time.  Latecomers may watch the performance on a television monitor in the lobby until such time in the performance as is established by the director for late seating.  Even then you may possibly not be seated in your chosen seat, although you are free to take it at intermission.  Note also that if you leave your seat after the performance begins you may also be subject to such restrictions.  There are no refunds for latecomers.

  Courtesy in the Theatre

The informality of film and television viewing has contributed to an unfortunate deteriora­tion of audience manners in our society.  The theatre acoustics which enable you to hear the actors also allow the actors and all other members of the audience to hear every sound that you make.  Out of simple respect for others, please refrain from whispering, unwrapping candies, rummaging through purses, or other such behaviors once the performance is underway.

Please turn off your cell phones, pagers, and wrist watch alarms.  For your convenience, these items may be stored at the lobby coat-check room.

Due to copyright restrictions and our limited performance rights, taking pictures and sound/video recording is not permissible.  No cameras or recorders are allowed.  These may also be left at the lobby coat-check room.


Our plays are chosen for the constituent communities of Seattle Pacific University.  The more challenging ones may not be suitable for children.  Please check with the Box Office at the time of ticketing if you have specific concerns.

Generally, children under 5 years of age are not admitted.  This restriction has been estab­lished both from experience and a desire to see to the comfort of our other paying patrons. 

  Food and Drink

For the sake of audience safety and comfort, no food or drink is allowed in the theatre proper.  Coffee served at intermission is to be consumed in the lobby or outdoor areas only.  No smoking is permitted in any of the university buildings.

  Ticketing Issues

Our Box Office in the Lobby of McKinley Hall is open each weekday afternoon two weeks before a new production, and as announced all other times.  Call (206) 281-2959 at any time for information and ticket inquiries.  All tickets in the E. E. Bach Theatre are for as­signed seating; Studio Theatre productions are festival seating.  There are no refunds or exchanges on purchased tickets.  Ask about restrictions on holding tickets at the Box Office for later pick-up.  Group sales are also available.  Again, inquire at the Box Office or online at www.spu.edu/boxoffice.

  Fine Arts Mailing List

If you are not already receiving announcements of upcoming Seattle Pacific University arts events, why not add you name to our restricted mailing list?  Ask an usher or at the Box Office for a sign-up card.

Next Section: B5g: Box Office Operations

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