Black Box Theater Usage Policy

(updated June 2020)

The Black Box Theater is an available space on campus for performance-related activities and can be reserved by students, staff, and faculty. You are responsible for upholding the BBT Policies and returning the BBT to its original state after use.  For any further questions regarding usage policy, please contact the BBT staff by emailing: todonnell@ncf.edu.

Background

The Black Box Theatre (BBT) is a New College venue primarily devoted to academic and student co-curricular activities. While the BBT was initially under the control of Student Affairs, it has operated under the auspices of the Division of Humanities since 2014 in recognition of its particular significance to student curricular and co-curricular activities related to theater and performance. The policy committee identified it as a space that is significantly different from Sainer, which is shared, public/college space that offers limited opportunities for student use. Students have the right to reserve the BBT for events, including those that are not specifically oriented towards performance, if operating under proper procedure.

Accessibility

In order to accommodate all needs, at the beginning of the school year, and again at the beginning of the spring semester, the Production Manager/Technical Director (PM/TD) will send out a form for Reservation Requests as an email sent to student, staff, and faculty. The space will then be reserved based on the following priorities:

      1. Performances
        a) Theatre Dance and Performance Studies (TDPS) Performances
        b) Thesis Performances
        c) Performance classes that require performance space
      2. Rehearsals (limited to two-weeks prior to a performance listed in options a & b)
      3. Academic Classes that do not necessarily require performance space
      4. TDPS Sponsored Events, Panels, and Talks
      5. Student Produced and Directed projects
      6. Non-Academic, Non-theatrical events for which this space is uniquely suited
      7. Meetings/rehearsals beyond the two-week period mentioned in #2

Occasionally there are events that are particularly appropriate to the space which need confirmation earlier than the call at the beginning of the semester, either because of thesis timeline or because they involve invited non-student groups with specific booking requirements. In these cases, the space may be requested before the beginning of the semester. These requests will be processed as they can based on calendars being set by TDPS.

Events, which request space after the preliminary scheduling at the start of the semester, can be assigned the space on a space available basis. To schedule the space throughout the semester, event organizers must fill out the reservation request form and submit it to the PM/TD. The same system for priority listed above is used throughout the semester as additional event requests are submitted. 

The schedule is posted in a google calendar which can be accessed in the BBT section of the New College website, with a link on the BBT theater door. 

The theater space is kept locked, but the key will be available in the cop shop for sign-out. In order for anyone who has reserved the space to get this key from the cop shop,  the PM/TD must put that person’s name on an approved list. If you wish for your name to go on this list, you must email the PM/TD. Whoever signs out the key is responsible for the space during the time that she or he holds the key. The keyholder must return the key to the cop shop at the end of their assigned time. However, the lighting booth, scenic shop, and costume shop remain in sole control of the PM/TD and Theatre TAs.  If access is needed to one of these spaces, the PM/TD will assign a Theatre TA to set up this equipment and run it for the event. 

Production organizers should consult with the PM/TD about the best time for setting up each event. 

The theatre is not staffed during the summer. As such, accessibility during the summer months is extremely limited. Anyone wishing to use the BBT between commencement and orientation must make arrangements with the PM/TD before the end of the spring semester to see if an event can be held during this off period.

Maintenance of the Space

The Division of Humanities is responsible for the maintenance of the BBT. The Division of Humanities will also be responsible for purchase of artistic supplies necessary for the continuous use of the theater. Physical Plant shall be responsible for the maintenance of the facilities: This shall include the weekly cleaning of the Black Box Theater, any structural or electrical repairs, and renovations to the building, as discussed with the TD.

Rules and Polices for Use of the BBT

  • Any Event Sponsor(s) planning to hold an event in the BBT must meet with the PM/TD two weeks prior to setting up or holding their event. Setting up this meeting is the responsibility of the Event Sponsor(s). The Event Sponsor(s) shall be responsible for maintaining the integrity of the BBT during their event. This includes, but is not limited to, equipment, flooring, walls, and curtains.
  • Event sponsors are responsible for ensuring volunteers complete the Record of Volunteer Services and Volunteer Confidentiality Agreement Forms prior to volunteering in the BBT. A copy must be forwarded to Human Resources Recruitment; originals are to be given to the PM/TD. Forms are found on the HR website.
  • The Event Sponsor(s) shall be held responsible for damage to the BBT space or equipment which is beyond predictable (as determined by the BBT Staff) “wear and tear” and occurs as a direct result of the event in question.
  • The Event Sponsor(s) shall be responsible for leaving the space as they found it within 24 hours after their event or within a time allowing for reasonable setup time for the next scheduled event (whichever is first). All clean-up will happen before the next class day. The Event Sponsor(s) must be notified at least two weeks in advance of the need for a ‘teardown’ time less than these outlined times.
  • The PM/TD is responsible for clearly informing Event Sponsor(s) of their responsibilities with regard to the space and discuss procedure for setup, use, and strike of the space.
  • The PM/TD shall be responsible for documenting and reporting any damage to the space resulting from an event within one week of the event and before any subsequent event is set up in the Black Box. This is to ensure that no Event Sponsor(s) is held responsible for damage from another event.
  • If an Event Sponsor(s) is notified of damages and considers a charge erroneous (e.g. the damage was either nonexistent or not incurred as a direct result of the event in question) or excessive (i.e. punitive rather than reparative), they may appeal the charge.
  • If the sponsor(s) believe that another party should be held responsible for the damages, the Event Sponsor(s) is responsible for taking the matter to the Student Court, the Community Board, or the Campus Police. The charge may be put on the sponsor’s bill, pending the decision, but can be removed if another is found responsible.
  • The Event Sponsor(s) shall be responsible for ensuring the observance of the set maximum capacity of the BBT as determined by Fire Code (currently set at 60 people). This may be performed by head count, door count, or other methods, but the Event Sponsor(s) should be aware that the BBT Technical Staff or Campus Authorities reserve the right to shut down any BBT event that is noticeably over capacity as required by law. The Event Sponsor(s) shall also be responsible for ensuring the observance of applicable National Fire Protection Codes (NFPA) and Life Safety Codes for the Black Box Theater as determined by State Fire Codes and the Office of the State Fire Marshal. The TD and the Director of Environmental Health and Safety (x4585) can provide guidance on these rules.
  • The Event Sponsor(s) shall be responsible for ensuring that food and liquids are not present in the BBT. The use of any fluid other than water must be approved by the PM/TD. The PM/TD will provide the director with any necessary provisions required for the use of approved fluids, such as stage blood.
  • The Event Sponsor(s) shall be responsible for securing the rights to any material that presented in the BBT that requires licensing. Proof of licensing should be presented to the PM/TD at time of the request. If this is not possible due to the time it takes to secure the rights for certain types of performance, it is required that sponsors inform the PM/TD of where they are in the process of securing rights. Failure to obtain rights will result in the automatic removal of the event from the BBT calendar.
  • The BBT has two labeled fire exits. At no time may these exits be blocked or their signs obscured in any way. The other entrances may not be substituted for the fire exit. The aisle leading from the chairs to the exit must always be at least three feet wide. Patrons may not be seated on the floor or stand in the aisles at any time.
  • All scenery and decorations used in the BBT must pass the Open Match Test as set forth in the Florida Fire Code. All scenery and decorations must NOT support a flame after being subjected to an open match for one minute. • Decorations may not be pinned, taped, or adhered to either the curtains or walls in any manner. Objects that meet safety requirements may be hung from designated pipes on the ceiling grid with the approval of the PM/TD.
  • All violence onstage must be approved by the PM/TD.
  • The PM/TD must approve any events in near or total darkness, and the production must comply with all safety procedures.
  • No Alcohol is permitted in any show, or in the BBT, costume shop, and scene shop.
  • No glass in the BBT, not even as prop.
  • No glitter may be used in decorations, costumes, or makeup.
  • No fog machines in the BBT.

ANY EVENT FOUND VIOLATING THESE RULES AS SET FORTH BY THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL SHALL HAVE THEIR PRIVILEGED TO USE THE SPACE REVOKED. THESE STANDARDS ARE NOT SET BY NEW COLLEGE, BUT RATHER BY THE STATE FIRE MARSHAL.