Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States


The Head Usher is responsible for the management of ushers in each theater, leading the ushering team in seating and the safety of patrons in that specific theater, including, but not limited to: the Concert Hall, the Opera House, the Eisenhower Theater, the Terrace Theater, the Theater Lab, the Family Theater, the Millennium Stage, the Terrace Gallery and other venues and spaces as directed. Head Ushers are expected to provide exceptional leadership to the ushers, liaise between the Theater Manager, Usher Services and ushers, and deliver the highest level of customer service possible to patrons, donors, visiting artists, artist management, guests, and any other member of the public or administration they may encounter. Head Ushers are also expected to answer any inquiries from ushers, and patrons, alike, while carrying out job functions that correlate with the Kennedy Center’s expected level of customer service, audience experience, pre-show prep, post-show breakdown, guest and staff safety/emergency response/security. The Head Usher reports to the Theater Manager on anything concerning the physical space, specific performance requirements, and management of ushers within the theater. The Head Usher reports to the Manager, Usher Services in administrative areas including hiring, discipline, training, management, and rules and regulations pertaining to the usher staff as a whole.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage the scheduling and training of ushers in the varying positions (i.e. Ticket-Takers, Access Ushers, and Ushers).
  • Determine if staffing needs to be increased for a particular performance. Take steps to schedule additional ushers as needed.
  • Oversee usher roll-calls (informative pre-show meetings that inform ushers of show protocols).
  • Process payroll documents for ushers working performances.
  • Assign ushers to roles and levels of the theater.
  • Politely direct patrons to their seats.
  • Check and monitor the theater for cleanliness and security issues.
  • Establish, share, and enforce appropriate house rules.
  • Remain available for patrons, theater management, and ushers throughout the event.
  • Must be aware of, and follow, the proper procedures for assisting patrons with disabilities.
  • Manage and schedule usher trainings as needed.
  • Demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of all assigned venues within The Center and a thorough understanding of evacuation procedures from all points within each venue.
  • Interview applicants and make hiring recommendations.
  • Attend new usher orientation and assist in briefing newly hired ushers.
  • Monitor usher work performance, provide coaching and counseling on work duties, and make recommendations for disciplinary action if needed.
  • Other duties as directed
  • Responds to the needs and requests of Kennedy Center management and staff in a professional and expedient manner
  • Adheres to all employer policies and procedures


Formal training beyond a high school diploma of at least one year's duration or equivalent desired. Successful completion of usher orientation and specific-theater training, including general knowledge and safety/security. A minimum of 5 years as an usher; plus recommendation of Theater Manager and Manager, Usher Services.

Minimum Skills and/or Knowledge Required:

  • Know, understand and be able to enforce established rules and procedures detailed in the Usher Handbook.
  • Knowledgeable of all theater seat locations.
  • Knowledgeable of proper directions on getting to all seat locations.
  • Able to deal discreetly and sensitively with disruptive or dissatisfied patrons and deal effectively with a wide variety of personalities and situations requiring diplomacy, tact, friendliness, poise and firmness.
  • Provide immediate and appropriate response to safety incidents and emergencies.
  • Specified theater knowledge.
  • Maintain a professional, neat and well-groomed appearance in accordance with Kennedy Center guidelines.
  • Communicate effectively in English.
  • Ability to read small print.

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts is a world premiere performing arts organization and our nation’s cultural center. Diversity is a critical component of our mission, vision, and values. Our staff exhibits a wide variety of perspectives and experiences which enable us to foster and strengthen an environment of diversity and inclusion.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

High School