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Casting director Amy Potozkin

Audition policy

Berkeley Rep is a LORT B Theatre and hires actors who are members of Actors’ Equity Association. Occasionally local non-union actors are hired in large cast shows in supporting roles or as extras. Our understudy casts are drawn from the local non-union acting pool. Actors are hired on a show-by-show basis during the season and auditions for individual shows are by invitation only. Berkeley Rep holds open auditions annually in the late spring. These auditions are announced on the AEA hotline and the Theatre Bay Area hotline and magazine. Berkeley Rep also attends the Theatre Bay Area general auditions, which are usually held in January/February. For more information about TBA’s auditions, please call 415 430–1140 or visit their website. Out-of-town Equity actors who may be visiting the Bay Area can be seen on the third Monday of every month.

If you are a member of Actors’ Equity Association, plan to be in the Bay area, and would like to schedule an audition, please send your photo and resume with a cover letter to:

Amy Potozkin
c/o Berkeley Repertory Theatre
999 Harrison Street
Berkeley, CA 94710

General auditions

Berkeley Rep held general auditions for local actors on March 24 and 31, and April 28, 2014. Please check back for information about next year’s general auditions.

Reminder: we also attend the Theatre Bay Area auditions, usually held in late January/early February.

script submission

Script submission

Berkeley Rep accepts script submissions only from agents, writers, and theatre artists with whom we have an existing professional relationship. We prefer to receive scripts during the producing season (September–May) rather than during the summer (June–August).

Berkeley Rep is not able to accept any unsolicited scripts; the volume of material we consider each year prohibits this. Unsolicited scripts will be returned immediately when there is a SASE enclosed; those without a SASE will be recycled.

The only exception to this policy is for writers whose permanent address is within the Bay Area. Those scripts will be read and assessed.

Please note that Berkeley Rep does not provide any comments or suggestions about work that we do not intend to either develop or produce.

We are attracted to plays that explore the complexity of contemporary society, that demand the theatre as their form of expression, and that compel our audience toward a significant examination of how and why we live our lives as we do. We are partial toward work in which the language is used for expressing multifaceted ideas in a complex way rather than simply as a vehicle for human psychology. Plays need not be large or small in terms of cast size or setting, but should be expansive in their theatrical vision of the world.

Thank you for your interest in Berkeley Repertory Theatre.

Berkeley Rep fellows photo

Fellowships

Berkeley Repertory Theatre offers an 11.5-month fellowship program for serious-minded, highly motivated individuals who are ready to embark upon a professional theatre career. Fellows are directly exposed to the Theatre’s daily operations and given the opportunity to learn alongside an accomplished company of artists, administrators, guest directors, and designers.

While at Berkeley Rep, fellows are encouraged to fulfill as many career-building goals and objectives as possible, gaining both practical experience and professional contacts through the program. In addition to their specialized training, participants gain additional insight into the art and operations of a professional regional theatre through regularly-scheduled seminars led by guest speakers and members of the Theatre’s senior staff. Topics will include in-depth explorations of how Berkeley Rep operates as an institution, relevant issues affecting theatres both locally and nationally, and post-fellowship career planning. Additionally, all fellows serve as mentors for Berkeley Rep’s annual Teen One-Acts Festival.

Berkeley Rep seeks applicants who have already acquired basic training and experience in their field and are ready for the next step toward a career in professional theatre. Ideal candidates should be willing to engage in the creative process, eager to test the limits of their own ingenuity, and ready to join a professional, artistic community. Our goal is to help our fellows transition successfully from life as a college or university student into the world of theatre professionals. The most successful participants demonstrate initiative, perseverance, and a drive to get the most out of their short but valuable time in Berkeley.

The fellowship program requires an 11.5-month commitment. Fellows generally begin on July 15 and conclude on June 30. They are given a monthly allowance to help cover expenses, including transportation. Limited housing is available for out-of-state applicants. For their participation in the fellowship program, fellows receive credit from San Jose State University.

Please note: If the fellowship involves driving, the applicant must have an acceptable driving record as approved by our insurance representatives. All fellowships are contingent upon passing a criminal background check.

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Artistic and Administrative fellowships

Bret C. Harte Director (Artistic Administration)

The Bret C. Harte Director fellowship rigorously examines the rewards and challenges of artistically leading a major regional theatre. Through daily interaction with members of Berkeley Rep’s artistic staff, the fellow is involved in departmental activities and closely observes the full collaborative process from original concept through design and production. The fellow has the opportunity to read scripts, support workshops, observe rehearsals, attend artistic staff meetings, discuss season planning, and organize events around the plays (e.g. Page to Stage). In addition to working closely with the casting director, the fellow will be offered the opportunity to mentor a young director as part of the School of Theatre’s Teen One-Acts Festival and will be involved in Berkeley Rep’s new play development lab, The Ground Floor. An ideal candidate is self-motivated with a demonstrated interest in the art of directing and producing, particularly within a larger institution. We are looking for someone who is self-directed, shows discretion, possesses an innate ability to learn by synthesizing information, and thrives in a project-based learning environment.

Company Management

Berkeley Rep’s company management team serves as the primary point of contact between visiting theatre artists, Berkeley Rep staff, and the Berkeley community. This is an ideal fellowship for an enthusiastic candidate seeking to learn about the operations of multiple departments. The fellow will learn the basics of artist hospitality, including arranging artist travel to and from Berkeley, as well as their accommodation while in residence. The fellow will also develop skills in event planning by assisting with company-wide events, and learn about general theatre management while assisting with the preparation and maintenance of budgets and administration-related projects as required throughout the season. Prerequisites: A high degree of personal organization, strong interpersonal skills, discretion, facility with Excel, a valid drivers’ license, and a willingness to roll with the punches.

Development / Fundraising

Essential to anyone wishing to pursue a career as a non-profit theatre administrator is a knowledge of fundraising. The development fellowship focuses on the implementation of a fundraising plan for the theatre and the process of cultivating and stewarding individual and institutional donor relationships. Under the guidance of the Theatre’s special events manager, the fellow will learn all aspects of planning and executing donor stewardship and fundraising events, culminating in the opportunity to execute events independently. The fellow will also gain a broad perspective on all other aspects of the development department, including fundraising from corporations, foundations, and individuals. Prerequisite: Computer experience is required.

Education

This fellowship provides an opportunity for an individual to learn the inner workings of a multi-faceted theatre education program. The fellow will learn the full range of skills necessary for success in an arts education career through participating in mentored projects focusing on marketing, programming, advocacy, community engagement, and evaluation. Projects will be designed to grow in size and responsibility throughout the fellowship, depending on the fellow’s developing goals, interests, and skill level. While the fellow will have access to classes and interact with faculty members and students regularly, this is a fellowship focusing on the administration of arts education programs, not on developing teaching skills.

Graphic Design

Berkeley Rep’s art department serves as the graphic arm of the Theatre’s marketing department, and produces hundreds of pieces each year. The graphic design fellow is mentored by the art director on the process of designing marketing materials such as print and web ads, magazines, direct mail, brochures, interactive lobby displays, signage, and more. The fellow will hone his/her design skills and learn how to take a multitude of projects from conception through production, gaining practical design experience in a fast-paced environment, learning marketing best practices, and participating in the workings of a high-energy team. By the end of the fellowship, the fellow will have created several high-quality portfolio pieces and be well-trained for a full-time job in design. Previous fellows have joined the staffs of Old Navy, Meyer Sound, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, San Francisco Symphony, Fenton Communications, and Berkeley Rep, among others. Prerequisite: Experience in graphics and layout programs (InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator), and an understanding of fundamental design principles. Candidates must submit samples of work or a link to an online portfolio (no original artwork, please).

Peter F. Sloss Literary / Dramaturgy

This fellowship involves mentored training in intensive reading and critiquing of play submissions, maintaining a script library, writing for the program, and other occasional projects. The fellow will have opportunities to provide dramaturgical support, including writing and research. Applicant should be extremely organized, personable, and possess a strong background in writing, as well as knowledge of dramaturgy and theatre. Valid driver’s license required. Candidates must submit, in addition to their other application materials, two samples of critical writing (at least one must be about a play).

Marketing

Berkeley Rep’s marketing and communications department functions as a full-service agency with one client—Berkeley Rep. The marketing fellow will learn the process of identifying, cultivating, and retaining an annual audience of 200,000 subscribers and single ticket patrons, as well as supporting our development department, School of Theatre, and The Ground Floor, Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of new work. Skills will be developed in strategic and tactical marketing subjects including but not limited to brand management, campaign planning, creative development, advertising, promotions, community outreach, event planning, media relations, direct mail, and viral marketing. Opportunities exist for a motivated fellow to work as part of a team and independently, enabling her/him to pursue interests and develop skills for the future. Prerequisites: superior communication, careful organization, attention to detail, and proficiency with Microsoft Office products. Box office experience desirable. Previous marketing fellows have found employment with New York’s Signature Theatre Company, Court Theatre of Chicago, Memphis Council on the Arts, Berkeley Rep, and other exemplary arts organizations.

Public Relations

The fellowship provides an opportunity for an individual to learn the inner workings of promoting and marketing an award-winning arts organization within the fast-paced marketing department. Under the supervision of the public relations director, the public relations fellow will learn all aspects of planning and executing a public relations program to promote all Berkeley Rep productions, institutional projects, and The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre. The fellow will gain hands-on experience writing and proofreading press releases, placing stories in local and regional press, scheduling and facilitating press interviews, and assisting with publicity and video shoots. The fellow will also be exposed to the various administrative aspects of media relations for a performing arts organization including researching and building media lists, preparing press kits and clip books, handling press ticketing, archiving all press clips, and maintaining the organization’s photo archive. This is an ideal learning opportunity for someone who lives in the Bay Area who has a strong interest in public relations. Prerequisite: strong written and verbal communication skills, self-motivated, attention to detail, organizational skills, and ability to multitask and meet deadlines. This fellowship is available for local candidates with secured housing during the time of the program.

Production fellowships

Costumes

The costumes fellow trains closely with the Costume Director and staff in all of the workings of a professional costume shop. Through hands-on experience, the fellow learns from nationally-recognized designers and artisans. Depending on the fellow’s interests and skills, he/she may explore areas such as costume construction, wig making, costume painting, distressing, and shopping for a modern show. Ideal candidates have basic sewing skills and an interest in creating and/or designing theatrical costumes.

Lighting / Electrics

The fellow receives hands-on learning experience working with the lighting designers for the mainstage season, and assists the Master Electrician using industry-standard software AutoCAD, VectorWorks, Spotlight, and Lightwright. In addition, the fellow is involved in all areas of electrics, including building practicals, hanging, focusing, and running of shows. Some opportunities may exist to design for the School of Theatre and rental groups. Ideal candidates have a background and interest in both electrics and design.

Production Management

The production management fellowship offers training in production management at a professional theatre. Through mentorship by the Production Manager and Associate Production Manager, the fellow will learn the process of contracting designers, scheduling tech rehearsals, creating and updating the production calendar, transporting artistic personnel, facilitating various rentals and special events for the Theatre, tracking expenses, and assisting other departments. The fellow keeps notes during production meetings, department meetings, and technical rehearsals, assists on facility rentals, and applies what they have learned as production manager for the Teen One-Acts Festival. Ideal candidates should display a broad knowledge of technical theatre, as well as organizational and computer skills. Prerequisite: Candidates must have a valid driver’s license.

Properties

This fellowship provides hands-on training in properties construction, carpentry, crafts, soft goods, research/shopping, and administration. Applicants should have previous prop/prop-related experience, a strong work ethic, good communication skills, and valid driver’s license. A flexible, creative personality is essential. Applicants must submit a digital portfolio for review (no original artwork, please).

Scenic Art

The scenic art fellowship follows the time-honored tradition of learning-by-doing. The scenic art fellow will learn the skills and techniques to enable them to participate as a full member of the scenic art team. Applicants with painting experience outside the realm of theatre, as well as those hoping to pursue a career in scenic design, are encouraged to apply. Applicants must submit a digital portfolio, including a sample of figure drawing or portraiture (no original artwork, please). Prerequisite: Strong drawing and color mixing skills are required.

Scenic Construction

This fellowship is about the hands-on development of skills in scenic construction, working in a professional production shop. The fellow will learn to face challenges as builder, welder, theatrical rigger, scenic automator, and draftsperson. The fellow works with state of the art equipment to transform raw materials such as woods, metals, and plastics into complex scenic elements. The scenic construction aspects of the fellowship will take place in the scene shop facility, with scenic installations in our Roda theatre fly house and fixed-grid Thrust space.

Harry Weininger Sound

The sound fellowship offers training in audio production at a professional level. Mentored by the Sound Supervisor and Sound Engineer, the fellow will learn about system design, signal flow, automated and non-automated mixing boards, wireless microphones, recording, intercom systems, repairing equipment, rigging, and how to collaborate with other departments. From sound effects-heavy shows to full-on musicals, the fellow will be exposed to many different kinds of productions. Ideal candidates will have a strong interest in engineering as well as design, experience setting up and running shows, PC and Mac familiarity, and strong organizational skills.

Stage Management

The stage management fellowship provides a unique opportunity to learn all aspects of the work of Actors Equity Association (AEA) stage managers. Beginning with attendance at production meetings, the fellow takes part in the rehearsal process, technical rehearsals, and in many instances will stay with a production through the completion of the run. This demanding fellowship involves the fellow in every facet of the production. Computer and word processing skills are an asset.

How to apply

Applications are accepted no earlier than January 1 and ALL materials must be received by April 1 for positions generally beginning the following July 15. Telephone and personal interviews are generally held in late April and early May. Additional interviews will be held if openings occur during the season. Please send all application materials in ONE email or ONE envelope, if possible.

Please do not call to check on the status of your application. However, if your situation has changed and you have accepted employment elsewhere, we would appreciate an email to fellowship@berkeleyrep.org.

Please make sure that your application includes ALL of the following items. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Application form

  • Please make sure that all items are completed and that you include your address and phone number for the summer months.

Personal statement

  • This statement should be 500 words or less and include the following: your career objectives and how you expect to achieve them, what you expect from a Berkeley Rep fellowship, your experience and/or education in theatre, the qualities you possess that recommend you as a candidate for a fellowship, and how you heard about Berkeley Rep’s fellowship. Your personal statement should reveal information about yourself that may not be represented in your resume or recommendations.

Resume

  • A resume of education, theatre experience, training, and any related work.

Three letters of recommendation

  • It is preferred that these letters be enclosed with your application materials, though they may be submitted separately from the rest of your application, and must be received by the April 1 deadline.

We will not consider incomplete applications for any fellowship.

Please mail ALL items to:
Berkeley Repertory Theatre
Attn: Fellowship Coordinator
2025 Addison Street
Berkeley, CA 94704

Or, you may email all items to fellowship@berkeleyrep.org.

Other important information

Academic credit

If your school would like to translate your fellowship experience into academic units, Berkeley Rep is happy to work with your school advisor. Please provide any paperwork with your application.

Living expenses

Berkeley Rep provides a small stipend to assist with daily expenses, including transportation. The stipend is $8,050 (total), disbursed equally over the 11.5 months of the fellowship.

Housing and transportation

Housing in Berkeley is available for a limited number of fellows for the duration of the program. We are unable to accommodate living partners (or pets). Housing is within walking distance of the Theatre. Berkeley and the Bay Area have excellent public transportation—buses and trains. We recommend managing without a car since it is difficult to park in Berkeley. There are car-sharing consortiums for those who need occasional access to a car.

International applicants

Berkeley Rep is only able to accept applicants who have taken care of the necessary documents to work in the United States (i.e. visas, green cards, citizenship, etc.). The Theatre cannot sponsor or assist applicants in the visa application process. For more information, please contact the United States embassy in your country.

Affirmative action

Berkeley Rep is an equal opportunity employer and believes strongly in affirmative action. Berkeley Rep’s staff reflects the diversity of the Bay Area and encourages applicants of all backgrounds to apply.

Contact information

Questions? Email the Berkeley Rep fellow coordinator at fellowship@berkeleyrep.org. No phone calls, please. For more information on how to apply, please see “How to apply” above.

Frequently asked questions

Do you offer fellowships in acting or directing?

We do not offer acting or directing fellowships; however, we do offer classes in both areas at the Berkeley Rep School of Theatre.

Do you offer summer fellowships?

Berkeley Rep’s season generally runs August–June, which does not allow us to offer summer fellowships. All fellowships are 11.5 months unless otherwise arranged.

The Ground Floor summer residency program offers short-term summer internships. Interns work with artistic and administrative staff in supporting this exciting new play development program. More info.

Can I participate in the fellowship during my college winter break?

Our fellowships generally run July–June. Occasionally, additional interviews will be held if openings occur during the season. Please check “Current availability” above.

What kind of education do I need to have?

The fellowship at Berkeley Rep is aimed for applicants looking to make the jump from the academic world to the professional world of theatre. While a college degree is not required, we ask that applicants have some practical knowledge and experience in theatre. We do not accept high school students.

How do you decide which fellows will get housing?

Housing is primarily granted on a first-come, first-serve basis. However, we attempt to favor out-of-town fellows over local fellows.

Can I hold a job during my fellowship?

For maximum learning opportunities, all Berkeley Rep fellowships are designed around the regular workings of the Theatre and often take up 40+ hours per week. The Berkeley Rep fellowship and stipend are designed to cover basic living expenses. While it is possible to hold a part-time job with some fellow positions, we strongly recommend against it. Applicants should secure independent funds for other expenses they may incur during their fellowship.

Should I include a portfolio with my application?

Please check the description of the fellowship for which you are applying for specific requirements.

Who should I have write my letters of recommendation?

Ideally, your recommendation letters should be written by people who know you and your work well. Employers, professors, supervisors, and mentors are usually the best. These should be people who have seen your past work and can speak of your potential for future work. These do not need to be theatre professionals since most skills can cross over career lines.

Artists and theatre professionals with whom past fellows have worked

Directors

Christopher Bayes · Jo Bonney · Lee Breuer · Mark Brokaw · Barbara Damashek · Kyle Donnelly · Robert Egan · Oskar Eustis · Leigh Fondakowski · David Galligan · Lillian Groag · Moisés Kaufman · Brian Kulick · Irene Lewis · Jonathan Moscone · Robert Moss · Timothy Near · Kent Nicholson · Sharon Ott · Lisa Peterson · Emma Rice · Mark Rucker · Domenique Serrand · Richard Seyd · Warner Shook · Molly Smith · Tony Taccone · Stephen Wadsworth · Les Waters · David Wheeler · Mark Wing-Davey · George C. Wolfe · Mary Zimmerman

Playwrights

Bill Cain · David Edgar · Will Eno · Eve Ensler · Steven Epp · Lillian Groag · Rinne Groff · Jordan Harrison · Danny Hoch · Naomi Iizuka · Lisa Kron · Tony Kushner · Dan LeFranc · Tarell McCraney · Charles Mee · Rita Moreno · Itamar Moses · Dael Orlandersmith · Stew / Heidi Rodewald · Sarah Ruhl · Lemony Snicket · Tony Taccone · Mary Zimmerman

Scenic designers

Christopher Acebo · Chris Barreca · Bill Bloodgood · Scott Bradley · Kate Edmunds · Erik Flatmo · Ralph Funicello · John Iacovelli · Christine Jones · David Korins · Sarah Lambert · Eugene Lee · Mimi Lien · Anna Louizos · Tom Lynch · Alexander V. Nichols · Dan Ostling · Neil Patel · Todd Rosenthal · Matt Saunders · James Schuette · Annie Smart · Kris Stone · Louisa Thompson · David Zinn

Costume designers

Sonya Berlovitz · Gabriel Berry · Deborah Dryden · Callie Floor · Jessica Ford · Anne Hould-Ward · Andrea Lauer · Meg Neville · Anna Oliver · Reggie Ray · Keiko Shirnosato · Annie Smart · Lydia Tanji · Shigeru Yaji · Anita Yavich · Christal Weatherly · David Zinn · Catherine Zuber

Lighting designers

Kevin Adams · Betsy Adams · Christopher Akerlind · Blake Burba · Russell Champa · Michael Chybowski · Marcus Dillard · Matt Frey · TJ Gerckens · Donald Holder · Jim Ingalls · York Kennedy · Peter Maradudin · Alexander V. Nichols · Stephen Strawbridge · Japhy Weidman · Robert Wierzel · Scott Zielinski

Composers, arrangers, and sound artists

Billy Joe Armstrong and Green Day · Todd Almond · Marc Bennet · Michael Bodeen · Robbin Broad · Cliff Caruthers · Larry Delinger · Paul Dresher · Obadiah Eaves · Peter Golub · Tom Kitt · James LeBrecht · Bray Poor · Andre Pluess · Jim Ragland · Jake Rodriguez · Brian Ronan · Darron West · Victor Zupac

Projection / video designers

Maya Ciarrocchi · Leah Gelpe · Darrel Maloney · Alexander V. Nichols · Jeff Sugg

Where are they now?

A fellowship at Berkeley Rep can open doors to work at theatres all over the country. Here’s what some of our recent former fellows are up to after completing their fellowships:

  • Individual Giving Associate at Berkeley Rep
  • Education Manager at Berkeley Playhouse
  • Assistant to the Publisher at Heydey Books
  • Production Manager at Market Road Films
  • Director of New Play Development at Crowded Fire
  • Freelance Equity Stage Manager
  • Company Manager at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts
  • Overhire Scenic Artist and Set Designer
  • Outreach and Communications Associate at Reel Link Films
  • Assistant Director of Marketing at Court Theatre
  • Box Office Manager at Beach Blanket Babylon
  • Freelance Lighting Designer
  • Production Manager at Bay Area Children’s Theatre
  • Literary Associate at Berkeley Rep
  • MFA student in playwriting at UC San Diego
Usher photo

Usher

It costs nothing but time to become a volunteer usher at Berkeley Rep! Ushering is a fun and easy way to get more involved with arts and culture in the Bay Area and to see Tony Award-winning theatre for free!

Berkeley Rep is proud to have a wonderful community of volunteers that works with us regularly each season. Our ushers come from all over the greater Bay Area and are a valued and important part of Berkeley Rep’s staff. In return for their services, ushers are seated just before the curtain rises to enjoy the performance. On rare occasions, a performance is sold out and no seats are available. In those cases, the Roda Theatre has a standing room section and Thrust ushers will be asked to watch the first act from the lobby or green room. They may be seated in the Thrust after intermission as available. Every effort is made to maintain a roster of 15 ushers per performance.

All of Berkeley Rep’s ushers are volunteers. They are trained and supervised by a house manager. Familiarity with, and access to, a computer and email is required.

Can’t find the answer to your question online?
Email the house manager at ushers@berkeleyrep.org for more information!

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Volunteer usher benefits

Complimentary theatre seating when pre-show ushering shift is complete (standing room, lobby, or green room in the extreme case of a sold out performance)

20% discount at Berkeley Rep Theatre Store

50% discount at Berkeley Rep concessions bar

Invitations to special events, parties, orientations, and presentations

Volunteer usher posts

Berkeley Rep’s volunteer ushers are the most visible part of the front-of-house staff and are responsible for the welcoming, guidance, safety, and comfort of all patrons. You will be personally contributing to Berkeley Rep’s reputation for professionalism and quality by assuring that our patrons feel welcome. A positive attitude is essential, and a dress code is enforced (see “Dress code” below).

The house manager will provide a brief orientation before each performance, answer any questions, and assign usher posts for the event. He or she will be available to answer questions throughout the event. Don’t feel that you have to answer every question a patron asks, or solve every problem. Ushers are occasionally asked to stuff programs before the doors open to patrons. Familiarity with seating is essential for most positions. Individual training will be provided as needed. Matinee and evening series are available during the regular theatre season, with varying call times and early curtains on Wednesday and Sunday evenings. A call time is the time that you are expected to arrive at the Theatre to sign in, while curtain time marks the time the performance begins. Promptness is essential.

Ticket usher

  • Greet patrons at the front door, tear tickets, and direct patrons to appropriate entry door.

Door usher

  • Greet patrons at the house doors, check tickets, deliver programs, and direct patrons to appropriate aisle and seat.

Assistive listening devices usher

  • Greet and orient patrons interested in checking out Assistive Listening Devices (ALDs). Some prior knowledge of—or interest in—accessibility for those with hearing loss preferred.

Theatre store usher

  • Sell merchandise to patrons. Assist with restocking the store and keeping displays filled and attractive. Previous retail experience preferred but not required.

New volunteer ushers

Are you a new volunteer interested in becoming an usher for the 2014–15 Season at Berkeley Rep? Contact the house manager at ushers@berkeleyrep.org (please put “NEW USHER” in the subject line) and if the program is open we will email you the dates for our usher training sessions. All aspiring volunteer ushers must attend an usher training session before they can be scheduled as an usher. Your questions about Berkeley Rep’s usher program will be answered at that time. The volunteer usher guidebook includes a link to the Yahoo group. Please return your signed usher agreement letter at orientation; that’s how we’ll take attendance.

Almost all communication between the house managers, volunteer coordinator, and other ushers is handled via email. Access to a computer and email are essential if you are a newcomer to our program.

Training is held at Berkeley Rep, located at 2025 Addison Street in downtown Berkeley, in either the Roda Theatre or on the Thrust Stage (directions).

Frequently asked questions from new ushers

Q: Can I work as an usher before I attend a training session?

A: NO! NEW USHERS WILL NOT BE SCHEDULED TO WORK WITHOUT FIRST RECEIVING THIS TRAINING. The training is mandatory for all ushers.

Q: Do you have a dress code?

A: Yes. Read our dress code requirements below.

Q: Is parking provided for ushers?

A: No. Berkeley Repertory Theatre is located in busy downtown Berkeley—there are parking facilities, metered parking, and one-hour zones in the area, but there are no special parking areas for our volunteers or staff. You should allow ample time to find parking before you arrive at the Theatre. If you arrive late to the training session, you will not be permitted to participate and will have to attend a later training session. If you arrive late to a scheduled ushering shift, you may not be permitted to work and it will constitute a no-show. Two no-shows bar you from ushering at Berkeley Rep for a season.

Q: Can I get my schedule at the training session? Should I bring my datebook and calendar for scheduling?

A: No. You will be notified individually by email regarding your new schedule well in advance of the new season.

Q: Do I need to attend the orientation session in ushering attire?

A: No. Dress comfortably and any way you wish.

Q: What is the usher guidebook and what do I do with it?

A: This guidebook, which is updated each season, is an essential reference for you. In order to begin your work as an usher, you are required to read it thoroughly and sign a document indicating that you agree to the conditions set forth by the Theatre. When you sign up to be an usher, you are committing to an entire season; very often, details are forgotten after a couple of months. You will find it desirable to refer to this guidebook from time to time to refresh your memory.

Q: After the curtain goes up, is my job for the night done?

A: No. All ushers have jobs before the show, at intermission, and after the show is over. If you need to leave early, you must get the house manager’s approval.

Dress code

The purpose of having a dress code is to ensure that our usher staff is both professionally and distinctively dressed. It is important to be easily identifiable as representing the Theatre. The dress code is solid black dress slacks or a solid black dress skirt, and a solid white blouse or shirt with sleeves. Please keep accessories such as scarves and large jewelry to a minimum. On cold days, a professional plain black or white jacket or sweater may be worn. Ties are optional, and must be appropriate for work. All ushers are expected to wear plain black dress shoes. No sneakers, flip-flops, sandals, or boots allowed! Shoes must cover and protect your toes. Wear shoes that you can stand in for four hours and do a lot of walking up and down the aisles. All clothing must be clean and ironed. Mini-skirts, t-shirts, and jeans are not appropriate work attire, even if they are the right color. If you’re not in proper dress, you will not be permitted to usher—and will be noted as a no-show on your record.

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Become a docent

If you enjoy public speaking and are intrigued by the opportunity to enrich the theatrical experience of your fellow playgoers, consider becoming part of Berkeley Rep’s docent program. Throughout the season, the docents give talks in the theatre before performances, lead post show discussions, and give presentations at a variety of community locations on each of the theatre’s seven productions.

Want more information? Email docents@berkeleyrep.org with your name and contact information.

Volunteer photo

Volunteer

Volunteering at Berkeley Rep is a great way to get involved behind the scenes and provide vital support to the Theatre. Although the majority of our volunteers work on an on-call basis, we have a limited number of volunteer positions for people who are able to commit to a regular, weekly schedule.

Volunteering at Berkeley Rep is a great way to contribute your skills and experiences to the Theatre, to gain insight into the inner workings of our organization, meet creative people, and develop new skills.

If you would like to volunteer or have any questions, please call 510 647–2900 or email info@berkeleyrep.org. If there is a good match between your interests and the Theatre’s needs, we will schedule an interview.