This February will mark the 20th anniversary of the Newberry Opera House being rededicated as a Performing Arts Center.

The Newberry Opera House has a tradition of hospitality, especially by the volunteers. The volunteers are called “Ambassadors,” because that is what they are. It takes more than 50 people to fully staff a sold out show. This August, the Opera House will be offering a training class for new Ambassadors.

The Opera House is looking for new volunteers particularly tour guides, concession workers, and hospitality volunteers.

“While we never turn away new ushers, this season the Opera House is particularly looking for more tour guides, concession workers, and hospitality runners. A welcoming smile from a tour guide in the lobby when people pull in off the interstate can win more patrons than any advertisement. Friendly, quick service at concessions in the lobby makes every show feel more festive. Hospitality runners make our artists’ visits easy and comfortable and can have them wanting to return again and again,” said Heather Hawkins, Ticketing & Guest Experience Manager.

All volunteer recruits must certify before signing up to work shows. Certification Class has been scheduled for:

  • August 12 at 9:30 am (concessions specific training), 11 am (general session for all new volunteers)
  • Make-up Class August 24 at 5:30 pm (concessions specific training), 11 am (general session)

August 24 will be the last training day for the 2017-18 season, so if you can’t make either of these dates, call the Box Office as soon as possible to make other arrangements. All classes are held at the Opera House, at 201 McKibben Street. Call 803-276-6264 to register for the class.

Fun facts about Opera House history are shared, plus emergency procedures and policies are reviewed. Learn more about the seating process at the Opera House. Anyone interested in working concessions is asked to attend a concessions focused session where sanitation procedures, pricing, and item location are reviewed then stay for the general session. Those interested in becoming a tour guide or hospitality worker should attend the general session then mark their calendars for the follow up sessions specific to those jobs.

Following class the new ambassadors will have a chance to sign up to volunteer for specific shows during the year, so trainees are asked to bring their calendars. The general session takes around two hours from beginning paperwork to show assignments. Also, please come prepared to have your photo taken and know your social security number for a background check. These are is required before working any shows.

There will be specific classes for tour guides at 10 am, and hospitality volunteers at noon September 9. However, participants should attend the general session August 12 first.

The Newberry Opera House is working with other community organizations to host EclipseFest August 18-21 featuring Astronaut Don Thomas and Janet from Janet’s Planet on PBS. Volunteers are also needed for this special event. An EclipseFest briefing will be held August 12 at 1 pm following the Ambassador Certification Class for those interested in volunteering during the four day festival in Downtown Newberry.

Call the Box Office to sign up for any of the training events at 803-276-6264.