Now that April is beginning, we are 1/4 of the way through the year. Ideally we’d like you all to have worked around 25 hours so you are on track for 100 by the year’s end. If you see that you are falling behind please feel free to pick up some extra shifts where you can, so this goal will be easier to attain. Also keep in mind that summer is coming up (after the snow stops!) and is always light on performance shifts. If you get shifts in now you won’t feel the need to scramble to get in all of your hours in November and December. I heard somewhere that those Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Opera ND shifts would be a great help in making your yearly goal!
On Friday April 17th at 6:30 pm and 9:30 pm in the Browning we will be showing the controversial documentary The Hunting Ground. It is controversial not only for its subject matter of sexual assault and rape on college campuses, but also because Notre Dame is heavily featured. There will much discussion about this in the upcoming months as this is an issue that not only affects Notre Dame but all campuses across the country. Here is a link to the trailer for the film:
The screenings of the film will feature post-discussions with Notre Dame faculty, staff, and students. As this film will stir up heavy debate, we must ask that all ushers please refrain from sharing your opinions about it while among the patrons on the floor. Thanks.
When sending out a sub request please remember to first remove yourself from the shift and then in your email put in all the event info (date, call time, performance title) so the ushers looking at it can easily have what they need. For example if your sub request is for tonight’s Glee Club, your subject line should say:
Sub Request: Friday March 20th 7:00 PM Glee Club
Then of course in your email please repeat this info and then do all the begging and pleading you’d like!
Please make sure the house lights are up and the performance has concluded before opening the doors for intermission and also at the end of the show. The light coming in from the lobby can be distracting for the performers on stage if both sets of doors are open before the house lights go up. If the show is approaching the end and some patrons start to leave, please hold the doors open for them but close them after they go through. Your cue to open all doors will be when the house lights come up. By then the performance will have concluded. The only artist I’ve ever seen play with the house lights up is Bruce Springsteen and unfortunately he isn’t on our schedule!
April brings to the Decio Mainstage Theatre the latest FTT production, Dead Man’s Cell Phone. This dark comedy, a satire of the social media age, centers on a woman, Jean, sitting alone in a café. She notices that a nearby cell phone won’t stop ringing. She approaches the patron to ask him if he’s going to answer and discovers that he just happens to be dead! To add a little excitement to her lonely life, she decides to answer his calls and texts. It turns out the more she finds out about the dead man, the more things get complicated for her.
The play, written by Sarah Ruhl, premiered in 2007 in Washington, D.C and shortly after opened to rave reviews in New York featuring Mary-Louise Parker as Jean. A side note: I’m not familiar with Ms. Ruhl’s work but I noticed her resume features a play she wrote titled (not making this up): Demeter in the City. I imagine this must be about Assistant House Manager Don Demeter shopping for designer clothes and going to salons in New York City. I will suggest this play for perhaps a Fall FTT production, though I can’t guarantee its quality! I digress…
Dead Man’s Cell Phone has been in the works here for some time. It first appeared on director Kevin Dreyer’s desk 5 years ago and since then he has been fighting hard to get it to the stage. He is delighted to finally get to show it. There is excitement from the students as well and the turn out for auditions was the most in recent years. The lucky students that were cast cover the 6 major roles and 4 ensemble, including, yes, the titular Dead Man. An actor will indeed be playing dead for much of the play. He assured me that his performance will be as authentic as possible, but he will have few lines!
The play runs from Wednesday April 15th to Sunday April 19th. Please sign up and come check it out!
If you are working inside a venue during a shift, please remember that after the performance ends and the patrons leave, you are responsible for picking up larger trash items, left over programs, and looking for any lost and found items. So please, along with your fellow ushers, scan the aisles looking for any of these items and checking to make sure everything looks good for the next performance. If you could grab a flashlight from the program bin that would definitely help you see any of those dark scarves, gloves, and mittens patrons might be leaving behind in these cold months. Hopefully soon they’ll just be leaving behind sunglasses…and, of course, money!