Sarasota Opera Association, Inc. Volunteer Usher Job Description

Title: Usher

Reports To: House Manager

Scheduled Hours: Varies, arrives 1 hour before curtain


Sarasota Opera House ushers work as directed by the House Manager to ensure the safety, comfort and enjoyment of the audience – our patrons. Sarasota Opera House ushers must:

  • Partner with other ushers to ensure a positive work environment and a positive experience for patrons.
  • Treat patrons, staff and other volunteers with courtesy and respect.
  • Present a professional appearance – a positive first and lasting impression for our patrons.

Before the Show

  • Retrieve Jacket, sign in, and get assignment for the show
  • Check your assigned area for readiness and alert the House Manager if the area needs attention.
  • Attend the usher meeting.

When the House Opens

  • Greet patrons with a smile, welcome them and offer to assist them finding their seats.
  • Lead the patron to the row and tell him/her where in the row the seats are located.
  • Hand the patron a program as he or she enters his row and tell him/her to enjoy the performance.
  • Notify the House Manager if there is a ticketing situation that the usher cannot resolve.

When the Doors to the House Close

  • Assist any patrons in your area who are still not seated.
  • Return unused program books to the Parterre bookcases.
  • Take your seat as ticketed.

During Performances

  • Under the direction of the House Manager, assist with late seating when appropriate.
  • Be available to any patron who leaves his seat during the performance.
  • Notify the House Manager
  • if any patron needs assistance or has a medical emergency;
  • if patrons use cell phones, pagers or recording devices;
  • if there is interruptive or disruptive behavior.


  • Return to your post.
  • Offer assistance and directions to patrons as requested.

After the Performance

  • Walk your assigned area for program books or any areas that need attention.
  • Return your jacket to the hanger.
  • Check out with the House Manager informing him/her of any maintenance/ custodial needs, lost and found items or patron concerns that have not been reported.

Emergency Procedure

In the event of an emergency evacuation, a recorded announcement will instruct the audience to move to the nearest exit. Take your emergency station and assist patrons to leave the theater safely and quickly.

Other Duties

  • May collect and count ticket stubs and report count to the House Manager/Box Office.
  • Attends training and meetings as required.
  • Performs other duties as assigned.

Requirements/Qualifications/Physical Demands/Work Environment

  1. Ushers must be able to read tickets, know the locations of rows and seats in the house and the location of patron amenities in the public spaces in the theater.
  2. Ushers must know the locations of emergency exits and be able to know and follow safety and security procedures. Ushers must work in an orderly fashion and remain calm in emergencies.
  3. Ushers must have the ability to communicate effectively with the public and deliver excellent customer service.
  4. Physically, ushers must have the ability to move quickly, climb stairs, tolerate heights, read in low light conditions, lift/move/carry 10 lbs., walk aisles at an incline, stand and walk for extended periods.
  5. Ushers duties are performed in crowded lobbies and theater with moderate to occasionally high noise levels.

Appearance and Dress

Sarasota Opera Association provides jackets for ushers. A professional appearance appropriate to the event/performance is required, in most cases, requiring a white collared dress shirt, tie and black tailored pants for males and a white collared dress shirt, tie and black tailored pants for females. Dark (preferably black, with a closed toe) shoes and stockings/socks are required.

If you are interested in being considered for this volunteer position, please complete and submit a volunteer application to the Sarasota Opera office.