A Day in the Life of... our Box Office Supervisor!
Welcome to our A Day in the Life of... blog series. Each post will focus on a different member of the Cambridge Arts Theatre team, who will hopefully give you a sense of working life at the Arts Theatre and a glimpse at what goes on before - and after - the curtain goes up! First up is Box Office...
Our Box Office department is crucial in the day-to-day running of the theatre. Our Box Office team are often the first point of contact for all customers before they visit our building and as well as having impeccable knowledge of our season, they are there to answer any questions you may have about a production, or about getting to us for the show.
We spoke to Mary Ward, our Box Office Supervisor, about her day.
How long have you worked at Cambridge Arts Theatre? Just over a year and a half.
What made you want to work within the theatre industry? Being surrounded by fun, creative people, and learning about how regional theatre teams deliver and present live performances.
What's your favourite piece of theatre you’ve ever seen at Cambridge Arts Theatre? Apart from our amazing pantomimes? It has to be Rain Man, starring Matthew Horne and Ed Speleers, which toured to us in 2018.
Describe a typical working day?...
11.50am: I arrive at the Theatre and set up the Box Office workstations for the day. We open at 12pm to answer customer's queries either in person, over the phone or on our newly implemented web chat via our website. Customers can book online too but we still get plenty of people who'd like to call and speak to us about the shows.
2pm: I begin welcoming patrons to the matinee performance and help the Front of House team with any latecomers. I take over the Stage Door Keeper (SDK) position, as we rota shifts with our two full-time SDK's. This is also located in our foyer and my role here is to greet guests and visitors, and make sure the Visiting Company on our stage have everything they need for the week.
Occasionally, one of the Box Office team will take a trip to another venue with a colleague from Marketing to see one of our upcoming productions, before it tours to us. This helps us make more informed recommendations to our customers and also highlights any aspect of the show we think it's important to tell people about - age guidance or specific content, for example - that we didn't know about when the show went on sale.
4pm: During the afternoon we start printing tickets to send out by post and also print off the tickets for the next day’s performance - it’s always interesting to see what people are booking for!
6pm: Before the Box Office and foyer get busy with the evening performance, I can program the dates, times and prices onto our ticketing system for shows that will soon be on sale. I'll do this at least three times a year, to coincide with our season brochures. This is also the time for me to check pre-orders for our delicious Buffet Boxes for the following day, so the Front of House team can prepare.
8pm: Box Office closes and I make sure all the sales reports are collated and given to the company. If it's an opening night of the week's show, I will often watch the performance. I can't wait to talk about the show the following day with my colleagues and customers - it's one of the best parts of my job!
Thanks Mary! Keep your eyes peeled soon for the next in our A Day in the Life of... series.