Volunteer Usher Program

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 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.

NEW VOLUNTEERS will be admitted to our Wayfinders team in August and January, after attending an orientation session with the Duke University Box Office.

ALL VOLUNTEERS are expected to attend an annual orientation in August to remain on our Wayfinders team.

If you have questions about ushering at Duke that are not answered below, please contact our Audience Services Supervisor, Kourtney Varnum, at tickets@duke.edu. .


How to Sign Up - Usher Expectations and Guidelines - Usher Rewards Program


How to Sign Up

Sign up to be a Durham Wayfinder!


We utilize the  Durham Wayfinders program to recruit and manage our robust team of volunteers. Durham Wayfinders is a program facilitated by Discover Durham 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.


Duke Usher Expectations and Guidelines




Please Note: Volunteers must be at least 18 years old

Tasks of Duke University Volunteers include:
  • Greeting Patrons
  • Taking Tickets
  • Stuffing & Distributing program
  • Directing patrons to their seats & around venue
  • Enforcing policies (photo, vide, food, late seating, etc.)
  • Keeping theater(s) tidy
  • Respecting patrons, staff and fellow ushers
  • Ensuring positive patron experience

  • Be mindful of your real-life availability when signing up for shifts.
  • Please arrive NO later than the call time listed on Shiftboard and in your Usher Shift Reminder email.
  • You are able to "unconfirm" a shift via Shiftboard up to 48 hours prior to the call time - to "unconfirm" a shift within 48 hours of the call time, you will have to contact the Duke University Box Office by email at tickets@duke.edu or by phone (919)684-4444. Check your Wayfinders/Shiftboard calendar regularly and "unconfirm" any shifts that you are no longer able to work as far in advance as possible. This allows other volunteers who are able to work the event to pick up the shift in your place.
  • Please avoid last minute cancellations as it leaves shifts and positions uncovered. We understand that things happen and sometimes you are unable to make your shift or arrive late - we just ask that you communicate with us.

Dress Code:

  • Black bottoms, white top, and comfortable footwear (you’ll be standing for much of your shift.
  • NO workout clothing, flip flops, or jeans.
  • Please arrive your shift dressed in the proper attire. Staff reserve the right to send a volunteer home if not dressed appropriately.


Where to Park:

  • Duke University Box Office provides FREE parking to our volunteer ushers.
  • Specific parking instructions will be provided upon joining our team



Often times, volunteer ushers at Duke get to see the performance they are working for free! However, volunteering for a shift does NOT guarantee you a seat to watch the event/performance - especially if the event/performance I sold out (which may happen on the night of). If you are interested in seeing a particular performance, please use your Usher Rewards to redeem a ticket, or purchase one.

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, as they will cover important show details. 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.
  • The house (inside theater) is off-limits until the House Manager states the house is open. Please do not go into the house to look at seats or allow patrons to enter until the House Manager gives the okay.


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.
  • Our volunteer ushers are the faces of Duke University Box Office that most patrons see on event nights. Ushers are expected to hold themselves to the highest standard of behavior when interacting with each other and patrons. Uhsers are always expected to carry out their duties with courtesty at all times. Staff reserves the right to remove volunteers from our team if these behaviors are not upheld.


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 pen light after the house is cleaned up.



Usher Rewards Program

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.

Free Tickets
  • Ushering five (5) shows = 1 FREE ticket to the eligible show of your choice!
  • Points can be accrued and used towards FREE tickets for one year, after which they will expire

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.
  •  Please complete your order in advance; coupon does not guarantee tickets until redeemed.
  • Other restrictions may apply.