Comedy Group Leadership Guide and Resources
Quick Access Resources
UP is here to help! Our offices are located at 294 Elm Street, next to Arnold Hall. The main contact at UP for comedy-related questions is Bryanna Kim. Her contact info can be found here. Stop by the office or email her at any time if you have questions.
There are more than a dozen rehearsal studios located around campus, as well as plenty of other rooms that can be used as rehearsal venues. A list of many common rehearsal spaces – including descriptions and reservation information – can be found here.
UP manages a centralized application process for performances. That form can be found here. If your preferred venue is not listed in the application, please follow instructions on Other Venues page. Bookings will be made in correlation with the CPA award application cycles. It is strongly recommended to request a show as early as possible. Typically, at least a week is required to secure a venue, schedule a fire inspection, and a house manager.
Fire Drill Log
It is required to perform a fire drill fill out a fire drill log before the scheduled fire inspection for your performance. That form can be found here. You can also stop by the UP office during office hours to pick one up.
Important Information for Group Leadership
1 - Leadership Changeover
Whenever your group’s leadership changes over, be sure to contact UP to introduce the new leadership to our team and to direct them towards this page and all of our resources. Be sure to request to update your group’s leadership on Yale Connect, as well. This is a multi-step process which will require the new leadership to log on and fill out a form, once their position has been requested. These steps will ensure that your group receives all vital communication.
2 - Performance Applications
Undergraduate Production manages a centralized booking process for comedy groups. The performance application submissions are reviewed on an ongoing basis, but bookings are made in correlation with the CPA award application cycles. Any performance requested before the fall CPA cycle will be handled on a rolling basis. Any performance throughout the rest of the year will be booked with the corresponding CPA cycle. Fill out this application as far in advance as possible, as UP needs at least a week’s notice to be sure each performance upholds to the university policies. This centralized application form can be found here.
The Creative and Performing Arts (CPA) awards are announced twice a year, at the beginning of each semester. The fall cycle application is open in August/September with awards announced in September and covers projects occurring up to spring break. The spring cycle application is open in January with awards announced in February and covers projects occurring through the end of the year. The CPA applications act as both a venue application and funding request. Any student may apply for a CPA award twice a year. Detailed information, regulations, and a link to the application form can be found here.
All comedy performances must be approved by Undergraduate Production. Any changes to requests or approved performances must be submitted to UP. Your show is not approved until you have received a written notification from UP.
3 - Performance Preparation
Once your performance is booked, Undergraduate Production will work to assign you a house manager from our HM team. The house manager will reach out to you with important information and questions before your performance, but there are a few things that can be prepped before they contact you to help expedite this communication:
- Ushers - It is your responsibility to recruit ushers for your show. They should arrive an hour ahead of your performance time to be trained by the house manager. You must have two ushers for a venue with up to 50 seats and an additional usher for every 50 seats thereafter. Most residential college theaters have between 51-100 seats and therefore require three ushers. There are some larger venues that may require more ushers.
- Technical Staff - The house manager is there to serve a vital life-safety function and is not a technician for your performance. They should not be asked to run lights, sound, or projections, or to stay in the booth for the performance. If you are interested in having any tech for your performance, you should find staff separately. A good resource for this is the Production Team search function on the College Arts site.
- VIPs - If you need to reserve any seats for friends, family, or performers, prepare a list of names ahead of time. Your house manager can use this info to keep pre-show running smoothly.
UP will also schedule a fire inspection for your performance. Typically, for comedy shows, this happens one hour before your performance. To properly prepare for the fire marshal to inspect your venue prior to the performance, you must hold a fire drill with the entire cast and crew. Once you have completed the drill, fill out the Fire Drill Log and have it available during your inspection. Any concerns identified during the fire inspection must be rectified prior to opening. Repeated failure by a group to attend or be prepared for fire inspections will be taken into consideration during future booking cycles.
Other Tips and Tricks for Scheduling and Producing
- There are several extremely busy times of the year, when most venues are at high demand. Be sure to request performances for these time frames early. The list of these busy times includes, but is not limited to the following: Orientation, Family Weekend, The Game, the end of each semester, etc. Note that April is traditionally the busiest month for undergraduate performances. It is extremely common to get booked in your second, third, or fourth choice of venue during these periods.
- Even outside of periods when venues are at high demand, approving a show still takes some processing time because of the multiple offices involved in the process. Request shows as early as possible to avoid any issues.
- During shopping period, your request for a classroom (including lecture halls like LC101) may not be approved by the registrar’s office until the day of the performance. This is especially true for weekdays, including Friday nights. It is strongly recommended, if possible, to avoid weekday classroom use during shopping period to reduce stress on your performance.
- Some venues are not available during reading period due to heightened noise restrictions and regulations established by the residential colleges. This list includes: The Underbrook, The Crescent, The Lighten, and The Davenport/Pierson Auditorium.
- By filling out any performance or venue application form, you will need to attest that you have read and agree to follow the Undergraduate Production regulations. Take the time to read through and fully understand these ahead of time.
- UP requires at least a half hour between the scheduled end of one show and the scheduled start of the next show in the same venue for smaller low-tech events like comedy, spoken word, movie nights, etc. to allow the audience to change over. When two performances are booked closely together in the same venue, representatives from both groups must be at the fire inspection before the first performance.