Backstage Guidelines and Performer Expectations
It is Iowa Dance Theatre’s mission to provide a pleasant, positive, and professional performance experience for all. Performers must observe proper theater etiquette to ensure that everyone has the best possible experience.
Reminders: Before Arriving at the Theater
- Valuable items should not be brought to the theater. Please do not rely on others to watch belongings.
- Shoes, personal dancewear, dance supplies, and water bottles should be clearly labeled; this will help prevent loss.
- Check with your performer’s rehearsal director(s) for hairstyle requirements. Hair should be done prior to arrival. (Please see Hair and Makeup below.)
- Foundation and mascara should also be applied at home. All other stage makeup will be provided and applied at the theater. (Please see Hair and Makeup below.)
At the Theater:
- Parents who are not volunteering may watch tech and dress rehearsals from the house. We must stay in the lower third of the auditorium.
- Performers must check in before each rehearsal and performance at the check-in table inside of Stoner Theater. Call time is always 30 minutes to show time. Performers who are not signed in by call time may be replaced with an understudy by their rehearsal director.
- Performers are not allowed to wander around the theater; many areas are strictly off limits to our group.
- Please read and observe all signage posted by Iowa Dance Theatre and the Des Moines Performing Arts Center.
- There will be two opportunities for professional photographs with Tim McConnell. Performers may have photos taken in costume Thursday or Friday evening during dress rehearsal. Photographs may be purchased online. Stage makeup will not be provided for these photos.
Hair and Makeup:
- Stage makeup will not be provided by Iowa Dance Theatre for tech or dress rehearsals, nor is it required. Performers may choose to apply street makeup for professional photo opportunities with photographer Tim McConnell on Thursday and Friday evening.
- Role-specific hair should be done at home; stage makeup will be applied at the theatre by the performer or a volunteer. Please check with your performer’s rehearsal director(s) if you are unsure of hair requirements.
- Iowa Dance Theatre provides stage makeup for performances only.
Food and Drink:
- Performers may not eat or drink in costume at any time. Water only!
- Food and drinks are not permitted in the lobby or in the auditorium.
- Only water and simple snacks (crackers, fruit, granola) are permitted backstage. These items may not be consumed in or around costumes.
- Greasy or messy items like pizza and sandwiches are not permitted!
- School Show performers should bring a sack lunch to eat between shows in designated eating areas only. We may use the loft lounge in the backstage area and overflow in to the risers inside of Stoner Theater. Lunches may not be consumed in dressing rooms or hallways. There will not be time to leave the theatre for a meal break between performances.
Costumes and Props:
- Performers are responsible for their own costumes, including headpieces.
- Shoes and tights should be clean and in good condition. Please check with your director(s) if you are unsure of the shoe or tights requirements for your performer’s role(s).
- Costumes, costume pieces, and props should never be left on the floor. Each performer is responsible for hanging his or her costume following each rehearsal/performance.
- Props must be returned to the prop table after each use.
- Costumes must be protected with a cloth when applying touch-up makeup.
- Costumes may not be worn in the lobby. Performers may meet family and friends inside of Stoner Theater for photos before or after performances. There will be no meet and greet following the final performance on Sunday due to load out. Please plan to meet your performer before the Sunday performance or during intermission.
- Costuming issues should be reported to dressing room chaperones as soon as they are discovered. Performers should not attempt to fix costume issues or take costumes directly to the costume shop.
- Costumes will be delivered to dressing rooms on Thursday, December 14 for dress rehearsal. Early arrivals may not inquire about costumes in the costume shop. Chaperones should encourage performers and parents to remain patient; all costumes will be delivered.
- Performers must use the dressing room to which they have been assigned.
- Space is limited; performers should only bring what they need to the theater.
- Each performer, regardless of age, is responsible for maintaining a clean dressing area. All personal items should be taken home each night.
- Adult volunteers will be assigned to supervise and assist in each dressing area having performers age 12 and younger.
Performer Conduct in Backstage Areas:
- Many areas of the theater are off limits to our group. Performers, parents, and siblings are not permitted to wander the theater. Please observe signage posted by Iowa Dance Theatre and the Des Moines Performing Arts Center at all times.
- Our group must follow the curfew established by the theater. Performers are not allowed to “hang out” at the theater outside of scheduled rehearsal and performance times. We must not interfere with the Union crew employed by the theater.
- In addition to their rehearsal directors, performers must cooperate with our stage manager, Kim Grimaldi. She is in charge backstage, and her instructions must be followed for everything to run safely and smoothly.
- Safety first! Performers should not touch lights, sets, or backdrops.
Theater Etiquette and Performer Behavior:
- Fellow cast members, parent volunteers, staff, and directors should be treated with care and respect at all times.
- Dressing room space is limited, and performers must be mindful of others using the same space.
- Personal belongings should be stowed on the shelves above the mirrors. Coats may be stored inside of Stoner Theater.
- Parent volunteers deserve respect and full cooperation.
- Behavioral issues should be brought to the attention of the Volunteer Coordinator, who will alert the proper rehearsal director(s). Rehearsal directors will resolve issues within their own cast(s).