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Department Policies

Production Expectation

All Theatre and Theatre Education majors are required to participate actively in every production. If a student receiving a Theatre Scholarship does not fulfil this expectation, the Theatre Scholarship will be in jeopardy.

Class Attendance

In accordance with the University of Indianapolis Academic Catalog, the Faculty of the Department of Theatre subscribes to a policy requiring students to attend class regularly. It is vital for theatre artists to establish professional work habits, especially punctuality. Therefore, it is expected that Theatre students will attend each and every class and be consistently on time. Illness, religious holidays, or participation in athletic or University sponsored activities are usually acceptable reasons for absences, but notification and arrangements should be made with the instructor by the student.

Faculty establish, publish, and enforce attendance policies for their classes. Faculty take attendance and report absences to the registrar. Faculty may request reasonable documentation or verification of claims regarding absences. Students may be administratively withdrawn from class because of excessive absences.

Repeated unexcused absence or tardiness in Theatre courses demonstrates a lack of commitment to the program and may result in the recommendation to change majors.

Comp Policy

In general, all members of the cast and crew of non-Dinner Theatre productions receive two complimentary tickets to that production in addition to the one ticket to which they are entitled as a University of Indianapolis student. For Dinner Theatre, cast and crew members are given two tickets with the theatre portion of the ticket price complimentary. This is in addition to the one ticket with complimentary theatre portion available with an I.D. for every University of Indianapolis student. The following Dinner Theatre price structure is currently in place:

As a result of the transition to the One-Card meal plan a few years ago, our Dinner Theatre production is outside the regularly scheduled meal services, similar to a departmental recognition dinner.  As with every Department of Theatre production, the theatre portion of the ticket is free to all students with I.D.  We regret that we must pass on to all of our patrons the cost of the dinner:  $12.00. Those who wish to purchase tickets that include the dinner are required to do so in advance. No tickets with dinner included can be purchased the evening of the performance.

Faculty/Staff/Non-UIndy Student: $12.00

Cast/Crew comp: $12.00

General Admission: $22.00

Seniors and groups of eight or more: $20.00

Please reserve your comp seats early. You will receive two vouchers to be redeemed for specific tickets.

Costume/Prop Shop

Since the Costume and Prop Shops are continually thrown into disarray despite periodic reorganization, students are not to enter the Costume Shop without express permission of the Costume Faculty or Costume Shop Student Manager, or the Prop Shop without the permission of the Prop Shop Student Manager. ABSOLUTELY NO ONE is to remove a costume without the express permission of the Costume Faculty or Costume Shop Student Manager or a prop without the express permission of the Prop Shop Student Manager. There are two forms to be used when lending costumes depending on the renter: the Costume Sign-out (Indy) and the Costume Sign-out (Off-Campus) forms. For props, there is Props/Equipment/Archive Material Sign-out form. These forms must be signed by the appropriate Manager when the items are checked out and when they are returned. Not all costumes, props and furniture will be available for Acting and Directing classes, but you should be able to find appropriate items. The Student Manager will provide you with a Costume/Props/Equipment/Archive Material Receipt for the items you have checked out. You will be required to show this proof of proper sign-out before using a costume or prop in a Directing or Acting scene, or in a student directed production. Failure to produce such proof may result in the immediate forfeiture of the costume(s) and/or prop(s) in question, may jeopardize future ability to borrow items, and may result in a penalty in the class. After you have returned your items, the Student Manager will sign the bottom of the receipt. Take this signed receipt to your professor. The Prop Shop Student Manager will maintain a small cache of stock hand props on the shelf located on the south wall of the Studio Theatre for use by Acting and Directing students. If you use these props, they must be returned to the shelf at the end of each rehearsal. If these props disappear, they will not be replaced until the following fiscal year. Accidentally broken stock props will be replaced.

Deposit--Off-campus organizations or individuals may be required to post a deposit on file to enjoy the privilege of checking out props and/or costumes. The Costume or Prop Shop Student Manager will take one $10.00 deposit for all items borrowed at one time. A check or credit card number may also be taken and filed. The deposit(s) will be refunded or check/credit card slip destroyed contingent upon the return of the borrowed item(s) clean and in good repair. Any student abusing the costume/prop check out policy may be required to post a $10.00 cash deposit for all subsequent rentals. Continued abuse will result in the suspension of all borrowing privileges.

Access--The Costume and Prop Shop Student Managers should be the only ones with access to their respective areas. Both will maintain regularly scheduled office hours which will be posted at the beginning of each semester on the doors to the shops. Unless you make other arrangements with the Manager in advance, you may borrow only during these posted hours. Do not expect Shop Managers to be available at all hours of the day and particularly not to accommodate your last minute rush requests minutes before an Acting or Directing scene. Of course, the Managers may agree to oblige you, but they have been instructed to feel free to refuse such requests. Likewise, unless other arrangements have been made, borrowed items should be returned in a timely manner and only during posted office hours.

Keys--If you have a key to the Costume or Prop Shop and a student asks for access to either, refer that student to the Costume Shop Student Manager, the Prop Shop Student Manager, or the Costume Faculty. If you need a costume piece or a prop, do not ask another student who you know has a key--he or she will not let you in. You must plan ahead and make arrangements to borrow costumes and props.

If you are in either room with permission, make sure the room is secured when you leave, and if you pass by and find a door open, please lock it. We do not have an extensive collection of costumes or props to begin with and what we do have is quickly being destroyed or lost.

Finally, if you rummage through the stock of costumes or props, make sure you return the room to the same condition in which you found it (or better). Do not leave costumes lying on the floor, flung over rods, or piled on the table. Return props to their proper place so the next student may find what he or she is looking for.

Department Calendar

At the beginning of each academic year, the Department Calendar will be posted online as a Google calendar on the Calendars tab in the Theatre Channel. Please examine this calendar carefully. It will contain important information, dates, and deadlines. Note especially dates and times of scheduled Load-ins and Strikes, performances, and any other required activities. Keep in mind the dates on this calendar are targets--things unavoidably get behind schedule, unforeseen circumstances arise, and planning is an imperfect art. If and when changes need to be made on the Calendar, announcements will be made, notices will be posted, and memos placed in Theatre student mailboxes. Please remain flexible and willing to accommodate necessary changes.

Time management is extremely important in academic theatre, as it is in the wider theatre world. We post the Department Calendar to provide you with the opportunity to plan your work, studies, and social life more effectively. Please take advantage of this opportunity. Realize that during tech and performance weeks your time will be at a premium, especially if you have a major role on or backstage. Examine the syllabi in your classes to determine what projects, exams, etc. will be due or will take place during our busiest times so you may be prepared ahead of time. Do not use participation in a production as an excuse for skipping classes or asking for extensions on course work.

Directing Scene Sign-up

There will be a Directing Scene Sign-up sheet posted on the Callboard for those interested in performing in directing scenes in Directing I and II. You are encouraged to sign-up and to participate in this performance opportunity. However, be aware that this, like most activities in the theatre, requires a significant commitment of time and energy. Student actors will be required to attend rehearsals and probably several class meetings. Scenes are to be memorized. If you agree to work on a scene, you should act in good faith and be professional, prepared, punctual and compliant with the student director's instructions. You should keep in mind Directing scenes are a good source of experience but also of exposure to prospective mainstage and Studio Theatre directors, who will undoubtedly notice the work habits you exhibit in this forum. Furthermore, for those enrolled in Acting classes, extra credit is usually available for participating in Directing scenes.

Dress Code

Work Calls--Always wear work clothes and heavy shoes or boots to all Work Calls. Avoid loose clothing and jewelry that might become tangled in machinery or tools. You never know when you may be painting or working with materials that may permanently soil your clothing, so you should dress accordingly.

Front of House Personnel/Ushers--All Front of House personnel should wear appropriate professional attire. Men should wear dress slacks, dress shoes, and a button-down shirt; jacket and tie are optional. Women may wear dress slacks or skirts with blouses, or dresses, with dress shoes. Front of House personnel are the first contact a patron has with the Department of Theatre and should therefore strive to project a professional, businesslike image.

Run Crew--All Run Crew members (including Stage Managers and Board Ops) should dress in black pants (no sweat pants), black shirt (with no writing or artwork), and dark closed-toe shoes. Skirts, dresses, high heels, sandals, and flip flops are not appropriate. Crew members who will be seen by the audience during scene changes, etc. should not wear any clothing that could prove distracting. For some productions, Run Crew members may be required to wear long sleeved black shirts, or there could be other requirements. Using black gaff tape to cover logos or to create instant black shoes is not appropriate. If you are financially unable to provide appropriate clothing, please contact a faculty or staff member.


There will be no eating or drinking in either theatre, Dressing Rooms, Costume or Prop Shops without the express consent of a Faculty/Staff member (i.e. Strike Snacks, use in a scene, etc.). Actors must never eat or drink while in costume unless required for a scene. Cast and crew may have water backstage during rehearsal and performance. This policy does not apply to the tech table during Tech week. To reiterate, there will be absolutely NO food or drinks other than water in the Dressing Rooms.

Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call

During every performance, a faculty or staff member or delegate will either be on duty (on site) or on call. This faculty or staff member or delegate is a resource for trouble shooting or making decisions beyond the scope of the Stage Manager, House Manager, et al. The Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call will contact the Stage Manager and/or House Manager in advance explaining how to contact him/her. If on site, the Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call may circulate backstage and front of house, or may be found in his/her office. Typically, the Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call would have a cordless headset or cell phone. If off site, the Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call will leave a phone number or other instructions on how to reach him/her. The Faculty/Staff on Duty/Call should be contacted with any emergency situations (equipment failure, smell of smoke, severe weather) and any issues involving unresolvable patron ticket problems, patron beligerance, intoxication, unruliness, etc. In the case of life threatening emergency, the House Manager or Stage Manager notifies Security and takes charge of implementing proper procedures.  See Safety/Emergency Protocols.

Fog/Haze Policy

Dry ice fog may be safely used in productions with some reasonable precautions.  Persons responsible should wear gloves to handle the dry ice, in order to prevent skin burns.  Dry ice fog (CO2) does reduce the content of oxygen. Caution should be used if actors are blocked to be covered or immersed in dry ice fog. If an actor's head is not visible above the fog, unconsciousness and possible brain damage can result due to lack of oxygen.

Chemical foggers and hazers may be used in Ransburg Auditorium and the Studio Theatre in supervised, controlled situations as follows:

Because all campus buildings are equipped, for the safety of occupants, with smoke and fire detectors which are sensitive to chemical fog and haze, these products may only be used with permission of the department chair and/or production manager.  Request to use chemical fog and haze in a production must be made at least 1 week prior to its first intended use.  The department chair and production manager will work with the production staff, campus police and physical plant staff to provide knowledge of dates and extent of use and to schedule a test of the equipment.  The test should be conducted with all scenic drops, curtains, walls and other three dimensional elements in place as they will be used during the production. The test will be scheduled after normal business and class hours.  One member of the production team will be provided access to smoke detector bypass switches and trained in their safe and proper use.

Signs should be posted outside any production using chemical fog/haze with the following:  "This production uses a non-harmful chemical fog/haze. It poses no short or long term health dangers, although it may be irritating to or cause allergic symptoms in some persons with allergenic sensitivity."

Chemical fog and haze should not be used in any other campus buildings including Schwitzer unless prior arrangements are made with physical plant staff.

Petty Cash

When you are responsible for purchases related to a production (such as props, costumes, makeup, etc.), you should make every effort to anticipate your spending needs and use purchase orders (P.O.) whenever possible. A purchase order is a form of payment similar to a check or credit card for an organization. The vendor has agreed in advance to accept this form as payment and will subsequently bill the university. The university in turn bills the department or whatever budget line on which the purchase order is drawn. It takes several days to generate a purchase order: the purchase must be approved and the Department Administrative Assistant notified with a description of the product(s) and/or service(s), the number of items, and their cost; the Department Administrative Assistant then requests a purchase order from the Business Office; the Business Office generates a PO and sends it to the Department Administrative Assistant; the Department Administrative Assistant notifies the requester. In dire emergencies, it may be possible for the Department Administrative Assistant to telephone the Business Office and request a PO number immediately. Obviously, this is potentially a lengthy process so you are encouraged to submit your requests as soon as possible.

If it is not possible to use a purchase order and the purchase will exceed $25.00, a check should be cut payable to the vendor. In this instance, you must know the exact amount of the purchase. Fill out and submit a check requisition form to the Department Administrative Assistant. After approval by the Department Chair, the check request will be sent to the Business Office for processing. Please allow at least three working days for a check to be cut.

If it not possible to use a purchase order or to have a check cut, the Department maintains a small supply of petty cash for each production, which is disbursed by the Department Administrative Assistant. Fill out a Petty Cash Reimbursement Form for reimbursement, obtain the necessary cash from the Secretary, purchase the items, and return change and all receipts to the Administrative Assistant. It is extremely important that ALL receipts be returned IMMEDIATELY. If this policy continues to be abused, no petty cash will be disbursed prior to purchase--students unable to use a PO or to have a check cut, will be required to use their own money and request reimbursement.

If you use your own money for a departmental purchase, the purchase should be approved in advance by a Faculty or Staff member to insure reimbursement.

If you must use your own vehicle on department business, you must have at least verbal authorization to receive mileage reimbursement. Turn in a Petty Cash Mileage Reimbursement Form for reimbursement. You will be reimbursed at the current Business Office mileage rate.

The University is a tax exempt organization with a tax exempt number. You must use this number when making purchases in order to avoid paying sales tax. A form is available from the Department Administrative Assistant. When making a purchase, you should notify the salesperson that you have a tax exempt number prior to having your item(s) rung up. Some stores require further paperwork or that you visit their service department. If you fail to use the tax exempt number, you will not be reimbursed for the sales tax on your items.

Preparation for Class

Majoring in Theatre requires extensive work outside of class preparing scenes and monologues for acting, voice, and directing courses, completing projects for design and technology courses, and preparing for academic courses. Successful balancing of all the demands placed on Theatre students requires a great deal of personal discipline and strong time management skills. In order to receive the most benefit from work in class, students must devote the time outside of class. Ill-prepared scenes and projects will not be tolerated.

Furthermore, work (rehearsal or project work) should not be put off until the last possible minute. Creative work takes time to incubate--rarely can the process be rushed successfully. Steady consistency throughout the semester is another important work habit to cultivate.


As of 03/01/06, a smoking ban is in force in Indianapolis and Marion County. In part, the ordinance reads:

Sec. 616-202. Prohibition of smoking in places of employment

(a) Smoking shall be prohibited in all enclosed areas within places of employment within the Consolidated City.

" 'Smoking' means the carrying or holding of a lighted cigarette, cigar, pipe, or any other lighted smoking equipment, or the inhalation or exhalation of smoke from any lighted smoking equipment.  'Smoking' does not include the burning of incense."

We have consulted administrators, who in turn consulted the university lawyers for an interpretation the the ordinance. There is no exemption for theatres, public performances, or artistic productions.  In other words, smoking in productions, acting scenes, directing scenes, etc. is no longer an option under this ordinance. We will be investigating this issue further. Actors must never smoke while in costume.

University Pickup/Delivery Service

The University maintains a pickup and delivery service through the Maintenance Department which will pickup material, furniture, etc. A request should be phoned to Maintenance by a member of the Faculty, the Department Administrative Assistant, or student given this authority by Faculty or staff. Many times if the call is received before 9:00 a.m., the order may be picked up the same day.

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