Each year, the Duke University Box Office provides ticketing and audience services support to over 300 campus events in a variety of venues. Volunteer ushers, who take tickets, distribute programs, give directions, and assist with seating are an integral part of successful events here at Duke. We appreciate your support and look forward to working with you.
Please keep in mind this information pertains specifically to volunteering as an usher with the Duke University Box Office and should not be considered policies of any other venue or team. We appreciate your cooperation in upholding our guidelines and expectations while working with us. Please verify policies of other organizations directly.
If you have questions about ushering at Duke that are not answered below, please e-mail tickets.duke.edu.
In addition to seeing the show they are ushering for free (except when a show is sold out), ushers at Duke earn discount coupons every time they usher and gradually earn points toward free tickets. The program is outlined below.
- Receive a coupon for 25% off up to two full price tickets to the eligible show of your choice for each usher shift you complete!
- After your usher shift is completed, you will receive your coupon in 2-5 business days via e-mail.
- The more shows you usher, the more coupons you’ll receive!
- After ushering ten (10) shows, you’ll receive a coupon for up to two FREE tickets to the eligible show of your choice!
The Fine Print
- Valid for most arts and cultural events ticketed by Duke University Box Office.
- Cannot be used for ADF/Duke Performances events at Carolina Theatre or DPAC.
- Cannot be used for pass or ticket purchase to the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival.
- Offer is not valid for admission to the Nasher Museum of Art at Duke University.
- Other specific shows may be excluded at the discretion of the producing organization.
- Valid on new orders only.
- 25% off coupons must be redeemed over the phone or in person at Duke University Box Office.
- Once notified of your 10-show free tickets, you must follow the instructions in the e-mail notification to redeem.
- Please complete your order in advance; coupon does not guarantee tickets until redeemed.
- Service charge applies to orders placed over the phone.
- Other restrictions may apply.
We utilize the Durham Wayfinders program to recruit and manage our robust team of volunteers. Durham Wayfinders is a program facilitated by the Durham Convention and Visitors Bureau (DCVB) to bring volunteers together with opportunities at Durham cultural facilities and events. As part of our Durham Wayfinder Team, you will receive e-mails periodically as new events are added listing our volunteer needs for a broad spectrum of performing arts and cultural events that the Duke University Box Office supports. Through this portal you will also have access to manage your ushering schedule at all times.
If you are already a member of Wayfinders, please join our team, Duke University Performing Arts. If you are not yet a member, in order to register for Wayfinders, follow the registration instructions below. Signing up only takes a few minutes and there is no cost to join.
1. Go to http://www.durham-nc.com/about/wayfinders/
2. About halfway down the page, under Get Involved, click the “Register to Become a Wayfinder” link.
3. Fill in the Applicant Information, along with any additional information you’d like to submit. Then click the “Submit Application” button at the bottom of the screen. You will be asked to enter a few characters to validate your account, then click “Submit” again.
4. Your registration must be processed by a Wayfinders staff member. Wait for an e-mail to be sent to you with information about setting a password.
5. You will receive an e-mail including your sign in name (the e-mail you entered) and a temporary password. The e-mail will discuss an Wayfinders orientation, but that is not required for ushering at Duke.
6. Log in to your account using the link provided in the e-mail.
7. In the dark red menu bar, click “My Teams” and search for “Duke University Performing Arts”. Join the team.
8. Once you join the team, click “Calendar” in the dark red menu bar. You will see all events posted for any team you have joined. Events with usher slots available will be listed in red ink on the date of that event. Once you sign up for a shift, the name of the event will also be listed in green so you can see your shifts. On some days, you will see the word “Unavailable” crossed out in gray above the name of the event. This indicates that some of the usher slots for that date are taken. If you do not see the event name and only see the greyed out word, all shifts have been filled for that event.
9. For more detailed instructions on using Wayfinders, consult the “Help/FAQ” link in the dark red menu bar.
Your Usher Shift: Arrive no later than the listed start time of the shift. Please eat before you arrive. You will not be allowed to go get food or drinks after your shift begins.
Where to Park: Specific parking information will be sent in an e-mail a few days before your event. Parking varies by venue.
Dress Code: Black bottoms, white top, and comfortable footwear (you’ll be standing for much of your shift).
Personal Items: For most venues, we provide a secure location for ushers to store belongings but ask that you leave valuables at home. The University Box Office is not liable for loss or damage to any items brought with you to the performance.
Before the Event: The House Manager will give an usher training session at the beginning of your shift. It is extremely important that you attend this training session. The House Manager will not have time to repeat training for late ushers. The House Manager will assign you to a post. Please stay at your post until released by the House Manager.
During the Event: Expect to stand at your post for a minimum of 15 minutes after the performance begins and during intermission. In most cases, the House Manager will assign you to a seat near the rear of the venue when you are released from your post. Please do not leave your post until that time. You are still “on duty” at all times during the event. Stay aware, and inform the House Manager if you see patrons using cameras, cell phones or camcorders, disturbing the peace, or having a medical emergency.
After the Event: All ushers will assist the House Manager to tidy up the house and collect any items left behind in the theater. The House Manager will collect your usher apron and return your ID & belongings after the house is cleaned up.