BACT was founded on little more than a dream and a few dedicated company members, followed immediately by the volunteers, who have been the core of BACT’s success from our beginning. Because of the unique nature of our shows and audiences, volunteers are often adult/child pairs, especially when it comes to ushering. These amazing participants are the face of BACT – they bridge the link from behind the scenes to front of house, from audience to staff – and show others just how fun volunteering can be.
Anna Marie Schmidt and Abby Roat have been volunteering as ushers for BACT since 2007. In an exclusive interview, they share their experience being part of the BACT Front of House team.
BACT: You've been ushering for BACT (then Active Arts) since our first full season - What made you decide to start ushering?
Anna Marie/Abby: We first went to a production of Dragon Wings (February 2007) and enjoyed it. We wanted to continue to go to the performances and participate in helping with the production in some small way. Also, we get in free! Ushering seemed like the perfect fit. We have come as a mother-daughter team and usually bring another interested friend of Abby’s.
BACT: What changes in the BACT audiences/community since the early days at Julia Morgan have you observed?
Anna Marie/Abby: The shows appear to have audience appeal and the theater is full more often. Abby notes that the audience is getting younger-but maybe that’s because she is getting older.
BACT: What's fun about being an usher? Is anything difficult about it?
Anna Marie/Abby: What’s fun about being an usher is being able to participate in a small way in the production. It’s fun to work with the staff and other volunteers. It’s also fun to see the excitement of the children as they come in to the theater to see the show. What has been difficult is controlling the audience. When BACT was housed at Julia Morgan, sometimes it was hard to keep patrons from taking in food/drinks.
BACT: Think back - what is the Favorite show you worked on?
Anna Marie/Abby: One of my favorites was Strega Nona. (Anna Marie). And one of my favorites was Miss Nelson is Missing (Abby)
BACT: What would you say to other people if they are wondering about being an usher?
Anna Marie/Abby: It’s easy and fun. Show your interest and come out to help and be a part of the theater world.
To volunteer as an usher, or otherwise get involved with BACT, visit our website: