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Theater Pricing

There are four main categories of pricing which will appear on your contract: room usage fee, theater production, front of house, and box office.

Room Usage Fees:

This is the basic fee for access to the space and is inclusive of some resources.

room usage fees 1


stage labor

 Stage Labor/Tech crew includes:

  • Students
  • LTE
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local 251 stagehands
  • Combination of the above

The WUT Technical Director will schedule an appropriate number of stagehands to meet the needs of each event. An event in Shannon Hall requires a minimum crew of 3 stagehands (with more needed depending on the complexity of the event). Play Circle events typically require 2-3 stagehands. In most cases, shows are crewed by Student and LTE stagehands. If experienced crew members are not available for a particular show, we will hire unionized stagehands from Local 251 to fill the gap. If you prefer to work with Local 251, please request as such at the contract signing meeting.

Union Theater stagehands are not stage managers or production managers. For a successful event, groups who use the theater for live performances should provide their own stage manager and/or production manager. If you’re not sure what your needs are, or if you’re unsure about the role of stagehands at your event, discuss with theater staff at the contract signing or production meeting.

Scheduling crew breaks: daily rehearsal and performance schedules must include one hour break after five hours of work. During break time, nothing can be happening on the stage. Prior to performances, break time must be scheduled before the doors are open to the public. If using IATSE crew, additional breaks and work call rules may apply.

Front of House Labor includes:

Door staff: Required for all Shannon Hall and Play Circle audience events. Shannon Hall events require a Front of House Supervisor and 2-6 door staff, depending on the anticipated audience size and needs. Play Circle events require 1-2 door staff. Groups may supplement Union Theater door staff with volunteers to greet audience members and hand out programs.

Ushers: Required for all reserved seating events in Shannon Hall (a minimum crew of 8), but are not required for general admission events. (Note: We can accommodate general admission events, but not reserved seating events, in the Play Circle).

Equipment Charges:


 Additional items and charges may apply to your event. There is no equipment charge for use of the following items: choral risers, curtains and other soft goods, cyc, lectern, music stands, orchestra chairs, platforms, tables for backstage use.


University Departments and Government Agencies receive a 25% discount on many fees and equipment, and non-profit organizations that provide proof of non-profit status are eligible for the same discount. Registered Student Organizations receive a 50% discount on these items. Theater usage is priced competitively among local theaters of comparable size and technical capability. Virtually all of our customers are non-profits, and this fact is already reflected in our rates. We do not provide additional discounts for charity events.

Your ultimate event price will depend on your actual usage of theater space, labor, equipment, and box office services. Pre-event meetings with union staff can help you come up with a realistic picture of the technical & rehearsal needs for your show and a reasonable estimate for the event. Your success in sticking to pre-arranged rehearsal times and equipment usage and in meeting ticket sales targets will play an important role in how closely your final invoice matches the estimate.

If you are doing a conference, please ask Heather Good about our conference rates.

Additional Rental Policies:

THEATER RENTAL/SERVICE CHARGES are based on rental for up to 12 hours on a given day. Exceeding this 12-hour limit will result in an additional Technical/Set-Up fee.

REVENUE SHARING: For paid admission events in Shannon Hall there is a charge of 15% of the gross ticket revenue, capping at $3000.00.

COMP TICKETS are allowed up to 10% of the house. If performance reaches profit sharing revenue cap, then the renter may give away as many complimentary tickets as desired. Renter will be charged $0.15 per ticket on printed complimentary tickets.

MERCHANDISE SALES are allowed in the Sunset Lounge or Play Circle lobby during intermission and after the show. Per University policy, the Wisconsin Union receives 20% of total receipts from merchandise sales. This can be settled on the night of the show or on the invoice. Please let us know if you are planning to sell merchandise at your event.