Dodd Auditorium User Guidelines

Dodd Auditorium User Guidelines:

Booking Procedures

  1. Dodd Auditorium Booking Procedures

The booking process to book Dodd Auditorium is broken down into two categories: Closed Bookings and Open Bookings.

Closed Bookings – occurs during the spring semester before the next academic year. This is a time when certain groups have a chance to book traditional events before the calendar is open to the whole campus. The closed booking time period is also broken down into three special groups that have established deadlines. Each group has three weeks (from the time the DOD [Director of Dodd Auditorium] sends out an email) to submit their requests for the next academic year. Their requests are then entered onto the Dodd calendar for the next year. Upon completion of the first groups time period, the DOD will send out an email to the next group, who will also have three weeks to submit their request. Once again, at the end of their 3 weeks, their requests are entered into the Dodd Calendar for next year. The third and final group will then receive an email from the DOD giving them 3 weeks to submit their requests for the next academic year. Once their deadline has passed, their requests are entered into the Dodd calendar. At this time, the DOD will continue to take any requests from the three special groups as they come in, but only after the last groups ‘deadline.

If a conflict arises from two groups who want the same date, the DOD will work with the groups to see find a compromise.

The three groups that are allowed to book during the “Closed Booking” period are as followed:

Group 1 – Institutional Events – This includes major events sponsored by the University/Office of Events & Conferencing or non-academic offices. The following are the traditional events that are secured at this time:

Graduation – Undergraduate and Graduate


Orientation – Freshman & Transfer
Campus wide Faculty Meetings

Family Weekend

Admission Events – Destination Day/Discovery Day

Major James Farmers Multicultural Center Events – Multicultural Fair, Gospel Fest, MLK Keynote Speaker


Group 2 – Academic Events – This includes Departments who have traditionally held events in Dodd Auditorium. The following is a list of those Departments that have yearly events in Dodd Auditorium:


Music Department Concerts – (Priority – no other large performance venue on Campus)

History Department – Great Lives

CPR – Jefferson Freedom of Religion Lecture & FSEM

Modern Foreign Language – Foreign Film Festival, World Language Day

Theatre and Dance – Faculty/Student Dance Concert


Group 3 – Student Organizations – This is a limited group of student organizations that sponsor campus wide major traditional events. Currently that list is as follows:


Class Council – Lip Sync Contest

Resident Life – Mr. UMW Contest

PAC – Large/Small Student Dance Concerts

WOC/Bond – UMW Step Show

ILC/Framar – Bhangra Beat

CORE – Variety Show


This above mentioned group will continue to have a priority to book events up until the time of “Open Booking”.


Open Bookings – is when any student organization/club or faculty can book Dodd Auditorium for their one-time event. This is based on a “first come first serve” basis. “Open Booking” begins on July 1st for Faculty events and Aug. 1st for Student events for the current academic year.

To Book Dodd Auditorium – If you wish to book Dodd Auditorium for an event, go to the webevent calendar- , click on “Dodd Auditorium” and then scroll through the calendar to find an open date that works for your event. You then send an email to the Director of Dodd Auditorium, requesting that date and time for your event; if you are a student club, you must also follow the guidelines about booking an event through SAE OrgSync. The Director will then approve or deny your request.   If your event is approved you will have to submit a Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider (found on the Dodd Auditorium webpage) three weeks prior to your event.

Reasons that your event may be declined:

  • Food is involved
  • Dodd Technical Staff is not available
  • There is already an event set-up on stage (ie: Jazz Ensemble rehearsal on Wednesday night and concert on Friday event – Thursday would not be available)
  • Event is not appropriate for Dodd Auditorium


  1. Dodd Rental Procedures

UMW Organization/Department/Club Rental

There is no rental/user charge to any organization, department, or club that is affiliated with UMW unless the following incidents occur:

  1. No Shows
    1. No Cancellation Notice – if the client does not notify the Dodd Auditorium         Staff within 24 hours of the scheduled event that the event has been cancelled– a charge of $100 will be assessed to the clients FOAP.
    2. Change in stated Arrival Time – If the arrival time that the client has submitted on the Dodd Auditorium Tech Rider moves to later and the Dodd Staff is not notified within 24 hours prior to the event, the Dodd Staff will access a late fee of $35.00 for each half hour past the stated arrival time.
  2. Damage occurs during the event – if any lighting/sound equipment, seating, or stage equipment/curtains are damaged during the event, caused by inappropriate behavior on the part of the participants or the audience, the client will be access a damage fee based on a quote received from a reputable vendor on the cost of repairs.
    1. Including but not limited to:
      1. breaking of auditorium seating caused by people standing/jumping on seats or purposeful destruction
      2. Ripping of seat cover fabric – caused by sharp objects or purposeful destruction
  • Damage to soft goods (curtains, cyc, screen, or scrim) on stage cause by

careless or reckless behavior


  1. No Food or Drink Policy is broken – if audience members sneak food or drink into the auditorium that results in spillage or smeared food on the floor, seats, or carpet, the client will be assessed a cleaning fee. This fee could range from $35.00 to $275.00 depending on the extent of the damage.



Outside Community Rentals

Dodd Auditorium is open for rental to Non-UMW affiliates during UMW’s Spring Break (usually first week of March) and between Mid-May through the end of July. The space is reserved during the academic year for events supported/sponsored by the UMW Community for the benefit of their programs. Rental of Dodd Auditorium is limited to events that require a minimum number of support staff. The following is a list of the events that Dodd Auditorium is open to for rentals.

  • Lectures/Panel Discussions
  • One or Two person Shows/Comedians/Magicians
  • Concert Bands/Orchestras
  • Business Meetings
  • Movies

If your event meets the above criteria, then you must contact the Director of Dodd Auditorium to discuss possible rental dates and your planned event. Once the Director of Dodd Auditorium determines the scope of the event, a date may be determined; it will be placed on “Hold” until a signed contract is returned to the university. Contracts are handled through the Events and Conferencing Office. Rental fees are based on predetermined space charges and on labor cost per staff member required to support or run the event.


  1. Tech Riders

Dodd Auditorium

A “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider” is required for ALL events to take place in Dodd Auditorium. The “Dodd Auditorium Tech Rider” must be submitted at a minimum of three (3) weeks prior to the first day of your event/rehearsal. The “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider” is used to determine the number of staff needed to run the events, date and times of arrival, departure, and duration of event, stage set-up, and the type of equipment that will be needed to run the event.

The “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider” can be located on the Dodd Auditorium webpage which can be accessed through the UMW homepage and type “Dodd Auditorium” in the search box. This will take you to the Dodd Auditorium webpage and located on the left side of the page will be the link to the “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider”. Please remember to submit your request after you have filled it out. You should receive a confirmation email, once the form has been submitted.

UMW Sponsored Outside Group Tech Riders

When a UMW department or group sponsors an outside group or individual to perform in Dodd Auditorium, they must supply a copy of the performer’s technical rider (if they have one) with the request to book Dodd Auditorium. This is to insure that the Dodd Auditorium staff can handle the outside groups requirements and if not to allow the sponsoring club/department a chance to either negotiate a change in the Tech Rider, before the sponsor has signed the contract; or to hire an outside sound or light company to supply and run the event according to the groups Technical Rider. It also makes sure that there are no surprises at the time of the performers’ arrival for the event when the sponsoring group has agreed to something that Dodd Auditorium cannot support.


  1. Piano


Dodd Auditorium has a concert grand piano available for clients to use. However, clients will be responsible for having the piano tuned at their expense. Piano tuning is arranged through the Department of Music. If you are a campus department or club you will need to supply the Music department with a FOAP; if you are an outside organization, you will need to supply a check to the Music department for the cost of the tuning.


  1. Dressing Rooms/Restrooms

Dressing rooms may be requested for use for any event (Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider). It is up to the sponsoring organization to return the dressing rooms in the same or better condition than when the found them. A housekeeping fee will be accessed to the sponsoring organization if this guideline is not followed. Dodd has three dressing rooms, two have the capacity to hold 10 performers and one has the capacity to hold 4 performers. There is a Male and a Female restroom located next to the dressing rooms to be used by performers and Dodd Staff.


  1. Scenery/Props/Equipment for Events

Dodd Auditorium does not supply any props or scenery for any events. Any props or scenery that is brought into the auditorium for your event must be taken down and removed immediately after the event. This includes any signage.

Dodd Auditorium has a few stackable chairs and 3 or 4 folding tables that can be used by our clients for their events. Please request these on the “Dodd Auditorium Tech Rider” in the “other” section at the end of the form.

Any large equipment or musical instruments that are brought into the auditorium for an even must be removed by the following business day after the event.

Dodd Auditorium does not have storage space available for storage of any items.


  1. Staffing

Dodd Auditorium is a student run facility with limited resources. All events will be supplied with at least one Dodd Auditorium Technician to assist with the event. In most situations, the minimum number of technicians will be four (4); a sound operator, a light operator, a stage manager, and a house manager. Additional staff will be determined by the scope and size of the event, and based on the needs listed on the “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider”. All equipment in Dodd Auditorium will only be handled by Dodd Auditorium Technical Staff. The sponsoring organization may be asked to supply additional staff to assist with the handling of the performers or running of the event, this will be determined prior to the event. One Dodd Auditorium Technical Staff member must be present during the entire time that the sponsoring organization is present in the Dodd facility.

ALL events must supply ushers if programs are to be handed out and/or assigned seating is sold. The Dodd Auditorium House Management Staff have other duties and will not be available for this task.


Front-Of-House Procedures

  1. Food and Drink Procedure

There is no food or Drink allowed in the Auditorium for any reason. Food and Drink are allowed in the Dodd Foyer and the Dressing Rooms only.

Dodd Foyer

Food and Drink in the Foyer can be served prior, during, and after an event under the following conditions:

  1. Food and Drink are provided by Sedexo Catering
  2. Volunteers from the sponsoring organization are assigned at the entrances to the Auditorium to prevent food or drink from entering into the Auditorium.
  3. Volunteers from the sponsoring organization are assigned to clean the auditorium after the event is complete, to remove any food or drink items that are present.

Dressing Rooms

Food and Drink are allowed in the Dodd Dressing rooms for the performers under the following conditions:

  1. NO ALCOHOL is present. Alcohol is not permitted under any circumstance – violation of this policy could result in the cancellation of the event, police involvement, and/or reporting the incident to the Judicial Review Board.
  2. Fulfillment of the performers/groups contract as part of their Technical Rider under the Hospitality section.
  3. Performers are in rehearsal/show for more than 5 hours without any breaks.

All food and drink must be removed after the events and the dressing rooms must be cleared of all containers, cartons, and serving devices immediately after the show. Failure to do so could result in the assessment of a $35.00 cleaning charge to the groups FOAP.


  1. Ticket Sale Procedure

All tickets and staffing of a box office will be left to the task of the sponsoring organization. If an admission fee is collected by a student club or organization, they must follow the “Cash Collections and Deposits policies” located in the Student Club Handbook. This policy determines if a police officer is needed in the Dodd Foyer while tickets are being sold. Any cost related to this policy will be incurred by the sponsoring organization. Dodd Auditorium Staff are not allowed to handle or collect any money.


  1. Seating

Seat Removal

Due to the amount of wear and tear on the seats and their supports, seat removal is prohibited as of Nov. 1, 2015.

The only exception: The UMW President gives written approval directing the Director of Dodd Auditorium to remove seats for a specific event and the organization requesting removal of seats agrees to pay a seat removal charge of $500 per row/section to be paid to the general fund, and any additional damage fee while the seats are removed.


Dodd Auditorium has 1273 seats. All seats are numbered and all rows are lettered for reserved seating. There are currently 915 seats on the main (orchestra) floor, and 358 seats in the balcony. There are also 10 spaces on the main floor for wheel chaired patrons. Of the 358 balcony seats, 72 of them have an obstructed or blocked view of the stage.


  1. Pipe and Drape

Pipe and Drape are available in Dodd Auditorium to be used to limit the seating capacity on the main floor. Blue is the only available color.   Pipe and Drape must be requested separately from the “Dodd Auditorium Technical Rider”, by way of an email to the Director of Dodd Auditorium. The request will be discussed between the client and the Director to determine feasibility of the request. If time and staffing does not allow for set-up and take-down, then the request will be denied.


  1. Music Playlists

Music playlists need to be supplied to the Dodd Auditorium Staff a minimum of 30 minutes before the house opens. All music selections must be appropriate for any age group. Playlists need to be supplied on a USB Memory Stick or a CD. Internet music providers such as Spotify or Pandora are not allowed because of copyright laws. Dodd Auditorium has a Classical, Pop, and soft jazz playlists available, however, the client will not be allowed to edit or change these playlist in any manner. The Dodd Staff is not responsible for the timeliness of the music selection in the Dodd playlist.


  1. Safety and Emergency Protocols

All UMW Safety and Emergency Procedures will be adhered to regardless of sponsoring organization.

No standing, dancing, or sitting in the aisles while the performance is in progress will be allowed. Due to the possible safety implications, this policy is strictly enforced and audience members who violate this policy will be requested to return to their seat by the House Managers. If incident continues, UMW Police will be called and the patron will be removed.

Special Effects:

The use of any pyro-technics or fire/flames/sparks will not be permitted in Dodd Auditorium.

The use of Fog or Haze machines will not be permitted in Dodd Auditorium.