Interested in volunteering?
As a Friend of Gretna Theatre, there are many ways you can be a great help to us.
Local Volunteers for Load-ins and Outs
If you are interested and available for assistance as we load in and load out the wonderful sets, costumes and props for each show – we can use your help!
Assist our professional crew on Sunday evenings after the final matinee of each show to dismantle and load out our sets and then Monday day and into evening as available to set up the next show.
Cast and Crew Dinner Assistants
We try to provide a hot meal to our actors and crew during their long technical rehearsal day on the Tuesdays before we open each show for anywhere from 20 to 45 people (on Tech Day everyone is pretty tired, and it is a long, tedious day of setting lights, set changes, costume changes, sound levels, and more for both the actors, designers, directors and crew). We ask volunteers provide a hot or cold dish – a main meal (such as a hot-pot of stew, hot-pot of franks and kraut, lasagna, pasta dishes, etc.), side dishes (large salads, veggie platters), desserts (cakes, pies, cookies) and cold drinks (iced tea, lemonade, etc.). We are usually set up at 6pm outside the box office and we ask the volunteers to assist with set up and clean up after.
Adopt an Actor
We are fortunate to be able to hire actors from New York, Los Angeles, Philadelphia and beyond for our productions. However, we have urgent need for housing! At one point mid-summer we will need to house over 30 artists!! A two- or four-week commitment is all it takes to become friends with an actor who might be the next Charlton Heston or Bernadette Peters (who got their starts here at Gretna Theatre). Artists require a private bedroom, but bathroom and kitchen facilities can be shared. “Our guest was very professional and a delight to host. We would do it again without hesitation!” – Shawn & Robin Harbaugh (2008 hosts for our “Anna” in The King and I and 2009 hosts for our “Dolly” in Hello, Dolly!) Ask for details.
We are seeking responsible volunteers to take on the job of House Managing to help spell our summer intern when needed. Help us greet the audience, place the ushers, see to it that audience services run smoothly in conjunction with our Producing Director and Associate (one of whom will always be present).
Clean Up, Fix Up
We have the opportunity to turn some inexpensive local house into affordable actor housing with a little sprucing up. A coat of paint could mean the difference between expensive lodging and affordable lodging. Cleaning, painting and a bit of fixing up will make it a nice spot. No special skills needed – just a willingness to jump in and work – and we’ll have a ball doing it!
Opening Night Parties
Each of the opening Thursday nights we host an opening night reception after the show. A group of volunteers help us acquire donated food, to help us set up the party, serve the goodies and clean up afterward. It’s a great chance to meet the cast!
Help us make sure we don’t let anyone (or anything) fall through the cracks. We want to make this summer the best experience ever!
Many of our Volunteers first join us as Ushers at the shows.
Help tear tickets, hand out programs, direct patrons to their seats before the show, direct patrons to concessions, etc., and help clear up after the show. Be our “Ambassadors of Goodwill” at the performances, and throughout the surrounding communities! And just about everyone can be of service this way! Help with several or just one show per run – whatever time you can give us is always appreciated!
Here are a few Guidelines for that important job:
First Impressions Count! Thank you for helping Gretna Theatre creates a great first impression! You help “set the stage” by your professional appearance (dressy/casual attire) and by giving our patrons your attention and assistance. The following are some general guidelines for our most popular volunteer opportunity:
The theater is a friendly place and you’re sure to encounter many of your own friends here. Please limit your visiting with friends (and other ushers) while on duty. Your cheerful and prompt service to each and every theatre patron is vital to our successful season.
Please check in with the House Manager, who will review the day’s instructions with you. A Volunteer sash can be picked up at the Box Office. Ushers should arrive at the theatre 45-minutes before curtain time (7:15PM for an 8PM curtain, 1:15PM for a 2PM curtain) in order to stuff programs and to help with getting the house ready for patrons.
- For their own safety, no patrons are permitted in the theatre until the House Manager opens the playhouse for seating. This happens after the Stage Manager completes the sound check and ascertains the stage is set for the opening scene. Typically, this is 30 minutes prior to curtain.
- The House Manager will have demonstration tickets for you to see. Please be sure to understand the way the theatre’s rows are lettered and numbered so you can direct patrons to their seats. The House Manager will show you a diagram of the theater. Each ticket will show a “Section,” “Row” and “Seat Number.” Odd numbered seats are on left side of the theater (as viewed from the rear of the auditorium), even numbers on the right, and the 100 series of numbers are in the center section. For some performances chairs are added at the rear of the theater. We must have the ticket stub from every audience member – it is vital to our bookkeeping and our responsibilities to the authors’ royalties!
- Please, also check the date on the ticket.
- Ushers should be stationed as follows: One should be at the head of each aisle to examine tickets and direct patrons to the correct area, and hand them a program if they haven’t already picked one up. If additional ushers are available they should be in each aisle to examine each ticket and escort patons to their aisle – don’t just point. Unless a patron volunteers it, don’t ask customer if they know where they are sitting – many say “yes” just to be polite – but they may be mistaken!
- Place the “Recycle Program” boxes on top of the regular program boxes so patrons can use them as they leave, if requested to do so by the House Manager.
- Ushers are welcome to see the show. We ask that you sit in seats toward the rear of the theatre, and to please limit movement during the show as this can be distracting to the patrons. Check with the House Manager, who will confirm with the Box Office the location of available seats. Ushers assist with opening/closing the curtains when the show starts and at intermission.
- All ushers must help clear the Playhouse aisles and seats of any debris from the patrons after the show. Please return the volunteer sash to the House Manager or to the Box Office before leaving.
We hope you enjoy our theatre and the experience of ushering. If you have any questions or suggestions, speak with the House Manager or please feel free to contact our Volunteer Co-coordinator.
If you or a friend has an interest in other volunteer jobs with the theatre, please let us know!
We are a non-profit organization that truly relies on volunteers to operate. Your dedication and professionalism are greatly appreciated!
We give thanks to a group of very special, dedicated friends – our volunteers from the community. Each season, over one hundred volunteers log thousands of hours working with us on everything from audience services, housing services and behind-the-scenes crew and administrative support. These wonderful volunteers are an incredible asset to us – and to you, our patrons.