GENERAL RESOURCES: Glossary
The auditorium section of the theater or simply put, where the audience
sits. You will say the "House is open" to indicate that the audience has
been permitted inside the theater or the "House is closed" to indicate
that performers and crew may still be in the theater.
- Ticket sales done during the days and weeks before the day of the
- AGENCY SEATS
- Tickets, seats that are allocated to ticket agencies for sale, to
be paid for by the agency and released to the Producer at an arranged
time before each event.
AT THE DOOR
- Also called "Pre-show" and "Ins," the hour and a half before the start
of the event during which tickets are sold, audience arrives and is
- Formal attire is expected to be worn by the audience, often on opening
night. Should be announced in advance.
- "The wallet of a theater," the place where tickets are sold. It can
be a resident Box Office which is permanently located at the venue,
a ticket agency which is an outlet handling ticket sales for several
events, or a temporary set up "at the door" before the event.
BOX OFFICE STATEMENT
- The final accounting of tickets and income for each performance. This
report should be created at the end of each performance. Copies should
be submitted to the Producer or anyone who is responsible for financial
- The total number of audience members a space can hold without exceeding
the maximum number set by the managers of the space and/or the fire
- Abbreviation for complimentary. Complimentary tickets are free and
are usually given to performers, event organizers, members of the press,
contributors and VIPs.
- Blocks of tickets printed and allocated to the event Producers who
sell these tickets, usually through members of the group organizing
the event. The Ticket Manager should give out these tickets to group
members in small quantities and keep a list of how many tickets have
been given out and to whom.
- CURTAIN TIME
- The time the event is scheduled to begin.
- The day of the event.
- Seats, locations, tickets deducted from the capacity and intentionally
not sold to an event because they offer an obstructed view of the stage
(caused by a pole, a conductor, or equipment) or have been removed to
accommodate performers, musicians or some special production requirement.
- All unsold tickets that remain after the event for which they were
- The amount of income taken in from ticket sales on a given day minus
DRESSING THE HOUSE
- The practice of selling tickets or placing audience members evenly
throughout the seating area in order to avoid large gaps in the House,
to give the illusion of a full House if a performance is not going to
FRONT OF HOUSE
- The lobby and Box Office area or any area inside the building to which
the public has access except the theater itself.
FRONT OF HOUSE STAFF
- The production staff who deal with the audience coming into the House
prior to the start of the event, usually consists of the Box Office
staff, the House Manager and the ushers.
- Audience members do not have a specific seat assignment. Seats are
taken on a first-come, first-serve basis. A General Admission House
may be divided into sections. For example the orchestra may have one
ticket price and the balcony another ticket price, but there are no
assigned seats within the section. A Producer may request that particular
seats be reserved for VIPs in an otherwise General Admission House.
- To sell or give away every ticket for an event.
- Sales of tickets usually 10 or more for which a discount is given.
- Ability for the space to be accessed by patrons in wheelchairs or
patron with any disability.
- An additional fee charged to the patron when purchasing tickets, usually
for phone orders or credit card purchases.
- 1) To make a ticket unavailable for sale, to put seats aside for use
later (also referred to as "pulling" seats).
- 2) Ticket reservations that have been paid for and will be picked
up by the patron at the door (also called "at the door holds").
Each seat location has a corresponding numbered or lettered ticket.
A patron has "rights" to the specific seat for which s/he holds a ticket.
- Also called a Ticket Stub Report. At the end of an event the House
Manager and/or ushers count the number of ticket stubs collected at
the door to determine how many people are in the House. A report recording
the information may be required by the Producer and Ticket Manager.
- The person who oversees the ushers and coordinates with the event
Producer and Box Office regarding all audience and seating issues before
and during the event. Link to Guide to House
- Also called trouble seats, a pre-determined number of seats held aside
by the Producer in case of emergencies, used at the last moment by the
Producer, Ticket Manager, or House Manager to solve any unexpected problems.
- A break taken during the event.
- After the event has already begun, audience members continue to arrive
and are seated by an usher or the House manager at an appropriate moment
during the event.
OFF-LINE / KILL
- Seats that have been held and are unavailable for sale to the public
because capacity needs to be diminished or there are obstructions.
- The space where the event is taking place.
- Seats for an event are available for sale to the public.
PAPERING THE HOUSE
- If ticket sales are going poorly, giving away a number of complimentary
tickets to a wide range of people fills empty seats. It is commonly
believed it is better to fill the House with non-paying customers than
for the House to appear empty.
- A customer buying a ticket.
- To print all remaining unsold tickets for an event.
- PRESS SEATS
- Seats held aside for members of the press who have been invited to
the event and offered complimentary tickets for opening nights and other
specially designated performances.
- PRICE STRUCTURE
- The series of ticket prices offered for a particular event including
discounts. Reserved seating houses ordinarily have different prices
for different seating sections.
- The person responsible for overseeing the logistics of an event.
- The organization responsible for overseeing the logistics of an event.
- The event.
- The staff of people who take on specific responsibilities to organize
and execute an event.
- 1) A description of the event.
- 2) The printed material given to audience members as they enter the
performance space which describes the event, lists the performers and
production staff and sometimes contains advertisements.
- The person on the production staff responsible for dealing with all
publicity for an event.
- To settle an event financially by completing and comparing reports
of ticket sales and income at the end of the day to make sure that ticket
sales correctly match income.
REPRESENTATIVE OF THE VENUE
- A staff person associated with the venue where the event is taking
place. That person should be someone who either schedules the space
and/or has building management responsibilities.
- Tickets purchased or held.
- RESERVED SEATING
- The length of an event from beginning to end.
- Also called Seating Plan and Manifest, the printed version of the
- The way the seats are set up and numbered in the House, the two basic
types of configurations are Reserved Seating and General Admission.
- The cash needed to give change to customers when selling tickets at
the door, usually $100 in small bills and change.
- A legal contract promising that whatever is printed on it will actually
occur as printed for the printed price. Should the producing organization
be unable to furnish what is promised on the ticket, it must offer a
- A ticket is worth the exact cash value printed on it. Tickets should
be handled with the same care as cash. If a ticket is lost or stolen
it is the same as if money were lost or stolen. A Box Office may contain
tickets that represent thousands of dollars.
TICKET AGENCY (aka Point of Sale, Independent
- An outlet which is selling tickets for an event, may be operated by
the venue itself or may be an independent outlet.
- Specialized small sized envelope meant to hold tickets.
- The representative from the producing organization who is responsible
for all Box Office and ticket related issues. Link to Guide
to Ticket Management.
- Also called audit stubs, usually a small portion of the ticket which
is torn off by an usher as patrons enter the House, used for determining
the House count.
- Text-telephone used by deaf and hard of hearing people.
- UNPAID HOLD
- A reservation made for tickets which the patron does not pay for ahead
of time. They will purchase the tickets when they arrive at the door
by a pre-determined deadline or prior to the release deadline.
- A member of the production staff who works in the front of House tearing
tickets, showing patrons to their seats, handling late seating and helping
the House Manager to resolve seating issues as they arise.
- The space where the event is taking place.
- Tickets, seats held for special people who have been invited and offered
complimentary tickets. VIPs can be performers, guest artists, soloists,
pre-concert lecturers, donors, people who need to be specially thanked
for goods or services they gave, faculty, administrative staff and certain
production staff such as directors or conductors.
- Sometimes called hardwood tickets. Documents presented at the Box
Office in exchange for actual tickets. Can be used for complimentary
tickets or special discounts. May also be printed as a blank form on
which the appropriate information is written in lieu of actual tickets.