Setting the stage for recital safety

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There’s nothing more disruptive at a recital than a performer's loved one taking a dive due to a trip and fall hazard. Whether the fall occurs at your location or at a rented venue, the injured party may try to hold you responsible for his or her injuries.

You can take the following precautions to reduce tripping hazards before your next recital:

  • After the stage is set up, inspect walkways for anything that may cause someone to fall—stacks of recital programs can be especially slippery.
  • Position an usher with a flashlight near stairs and portable black box stands.
  • Securely tape down extension cords that cross walkways.
  • Make an announcement five minutes before show time asking patrons to take their seats. Prohibit seating once the performance begins, unless an usher with a flashlight guides guests to their seats. Keep guests from standing in the aisle during performances.
  • Designate a safety usher and ask this person to patrol the auditorium walkways and bathrooms every 15 minutes, looking for slip and fall hazards. Equip ushers with the tools necessary to eliminate these hazards.
  • Check auditorium seats before guests arrive. Remove or block off any broken seats.
  • Familiarize yourself with the location of fire extinguishers and emergency exits.
  • Avoid using costumes that have a flammability warning.
  • If you use floodlights or strobe lights, keep them at least three feet from other objects. Make sure an adult supervises floodlight use.
  • Provide adequate supervision for participants and guests. Don't allow parents or guests backstage or in hallways near the stage. Post “Off Limits” signs and announce that these areas are off limits prior to the recital.
  • Keep a cell phone with a list of emergency phone numbers.
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