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Backstage theatre etiquette/tips for Tech Week

As we get ready to move into the Carolina Theatre, there are guidelines we all need to follow to make our tech rehearsals run smoothly and to make our performances everything our audience expects to find (and more!)

  1. Always be on time for both tech rehearsals and performances. Call times are 6:30 PM for all evening rehearsals/performances and 12:30 PM for Sunday. A sign-in sheet will be at the stage door entrance for you to sign in every day – don’t forget to do this, so that the stage manager knows you’re there and doesn’t have to search for you.
  2. Come to tech rehearsals ready to work – this is the time to fine-tune everything you’ve learned in the space where you’re going to show it to your audience.
  3. Be prepared to stay until 11 PM – don’t leave rehearsals until you are dismissed by the director. You will need to prepare for the long evenings by making sure you plan meals/snacks and plan for any down time you may have by bringing reading materials, etc.
  4. During YOUR downtime, don’t distract anyone else who is supposed to be working.
  5. Follow any instruction given to you by the Carolina Theatre staff – it’s their house and we are the visitors.
  6. Follow directions given by the tech director or assistant stage manager as well. Their job is to keep the backstage area running smoothly and safely.
  7. Be quiet in the wings and the backstage area – sound carries!
  8. Be ready for entrances – pay attention to what is going on onstage. The Carolina Theatre pipes the show sound to the dressing rooms and green room so you need to pay attention to where the show is at any given time.
  9. Never appear in makeup or costume except backstage or onstage. We know your friends and family are fascinated by the whole process of the behind-the-scenes work, but we are in the theatre to create magic and a magician never reveals his secrets. (You can take pictures backstage, but be sure to ask permission before taking pictures of anyone else.) They will just have to depend on your photos and storytelling to learn about the backstage experience.
  10. Which leads us to – NO VISITORS are allowed backstage! Everyone should be preparing themselves for the show – doing make-up, putting on costumes, getting into character, doing vocal and physical warm-ups – and no distractions should follow you here from the outside. If you forgot something and someone needs to bring it to you, arrange with the producer, stage manager, tech director or someone else on staff to meet them at the stage door or in the lobby for you.
  11. Don’t touch props that are not yours. Be responsible for any props and costumes you use. RETURN to their proper place in good condition. Hang up all costumes, clean up your makeup area. Props tables will be marked to indicate where items belong. Notify the props manager or wardrobe manager IMMEDIATELY if there is a problem with a prop or a costume.
  12. NEVER peek through the curtains, wings or doorways at the audience. If you can see them, they can see you! This means you also need to watch your placement for entrances to make sure you can’t be seen before you are supposed to be.
  13. If an emergency happens that will cause you to be late or unable to perform, call the stage manager (Donna – home: 419-9052 or cell: 417-2713) IMMEDIATELY if it is before call time. After call time – call Janell Lovelace (cell: 599-6246).
  14. Always clean up after yourself in the dressing room, green room, or anywhere else you are backstage.