What Is the Responsibility of a Front of House Manager in a Theatre?

A theatre house manager is in charge of the “front of the house,” which is the area from the outside entrance of the theatre to the foot of the stage. This includes supervision of the box office staff and ushers.

A primary duty of the house manager is to ensure that the theatre is clean and presentable for the audience. Posting of required signage in the front of the house, such as a “no cellphone use” sign, is also the responsibility of the house manager. If a production has programs, the house manager procures them and supervises their distribution to audience members by the ushers. The house manager is also responsible for training, scheduling and general supervision of the ushers. He must also provide the ushers with required equipment, such as flashlights.

The house manager works closely with the box office manager and is often called upon to resolve customer complaints regarding tickets. The safety of the audience and staff members while in the front of the house is a paramount responsibility of the house manager. She must ensure that the theatre observes all fire and safety codes as well as maintaining a clear path for the actors if they need to walk through any part of the front of the house during the performance.