Use of Space, Costume and Prop Rentals

Use of Space and Resources in the Theatre & Dance Building

  • If you are currently enrolled in Theatre and Dance classes or involved in rehearsals for a production, you may reserve a room by going to Instructions for using this reservation system can be found here or on the room scheduling bulletin board in the student lounge.
  • If you need to reserve a room on the same day, you may write your name on the room cards posted on the bulletin board in the student lounge. This only applies to same-day reservations. 
  • If you would like to reserve a room, and you are not currently enrolled in Theatre and Dance classes or involved in rehearsals for a production, please contact the Theatre and Dance Administrative Assistant at x7353. A list of protocols which must be followed is posted outside each room.

Costume Rentals

Costume rentals are available for class presentations and theatre or dance productions by pre-arranged appointment only. Each semester, a student rentals manager posts available hours and contact information on the board outside the costume shop door and on bulletin boards around the building.

Costumes are not rented out for Halloween, parties, or festivals.

Students may rent costumes for T/D course presentations free of charge. T/D faculty have agreed that grades can be held pending the resolution of costume/prop rentals.

Gustavus students can rent costumes for other course presentations for a nominal fee.

Costumes being rented for outside organizations incur a rental fee and require proof of dry cleaning.

Props Rentals

The Theatre & Dance Department maintains supply of properties (props) that may be checked out for use in class projects.

Property Rentals will be handled by a student property rental manager whose name and contact information can be found on the property room door, the call boards both upstairs and outside the black box and on the scene shop door.

Before renting props, you must have the approval of your instructor unless the class is within the Theatre & Dance Department where a standing approval for all class participants is made that requires the return of all props, or the replacement of missing props before a grade can be submitted for the semester. Approval by outside instructors will require then to hold your grade if props are not returned. You will want to pick up a rental form for them to sign BEFORE you can take the props with you.

You will be asked to make an appointment with the property rentals manager and also to email a list to them of what you need. Emailing the list provides extra time for the manager to check on items they are not sure we own or to see if the current shows will be using those items.

Please come to the prop room at the arranged time with your list in hand. We discourage people from “just rummaging” as it makes it hard to keep the prop room clean. Bringing along a friend to help is a great idea, but please do not invite the entire cast as the room is small and chaos happens easily.

Once a prop is checked out, you are responsible for it. We know accidents happen, but you need to try to avoid them by storing you props in a secure location and taking care of them. Before you alter a prop (paint, cut down, glue to, etc…) you must first check with the property rentals manager or the technical director. They may help you find another way to do the same thing, or find a better suited prop for you to use.

If a prop breaks, bring the parts to the property rental manager. There may be something they can do to fix it, or they will dispose of it properly. It is a good idea to email the incident to the property rental manger instead of surprising them at the time of return.

Make a second appointment with the property rental manager to return your props when you are finished using them. The items will be checked in at that time, checked for damage and put away with your help.

Rules for the Black Box

Sign-up and scheduling

  • See information at the top of this page for room reservation procedures.
  • No one normally may sign up for more than two hours per day-­ except main stage shows, and one acts and senior projects in tech/performance week.
  • If a person signs up for a time and does not show up within 10 minutes of the reserved time, the reservation is invalid and others may use the space.
  • In all cases, regularly offered classes have first priority. In extreme cases, main stage rehearsals may "bump" other previously scheduled events.

Use of furniture

  • For course work and scenes, only the black painted rehearsal furniture may be used.
  • For one-acts, T/D 370 and Honors Projects, period furniture may be checked out but will not be permitted in the BB prior to tech rehearsals (the weekend before performance). Each period item brought from storage must be signed out, have the director's name and date of performance taped on it, and must be struck from the BB within 24 hours of the final performance. Make arrangements with the Property Rental Manager to arrange for furniture use. Consult the Property Rental section of the Major Manual for more details.

Use and storage of props

  • Props are to be kept to a minimum, properly checked out and stored neatly when not in use. Make arrangements with the Property Rental Manager to arrange for furniture use. Consult the Property Rental section of the Major Manual for more details.
  • For department course work, props may be stored in the open cabinet. For one-acts and senior projects, props may be stored in the closed cabinet. Check with the Technical director to get a lock and sign up for a key.
  • All prop items must be labeled with the director's name and date of performance and must be struck from the BB within 24 hours of final use. This includes all items actually used in performance.

Alteration of the room

The floor will not be painted for performances. Students must provide at least two audience exits during the performances. Seating is limited by fire code to 49 audience member.

The railing on the stairs may be removed for your performance, but needs to be replaced each day after rehearsal and performances.

Set-up and move-in

  • Tech rehearsals for one-acts and senior projects normally should be scheduled the weekend before performances. Furniture and set pieces may be moved into the BB at this time. Lights also should be hung and focused over this weekend. Make arrangements with the technical director to store large furniture pieces. You may have to move furniture to Anderson Theatre for the safety of your furniture and the need for space in classes.
  • Platforms for seating may be moved into the BB two days before the scheduled performance. Directors should arrange for platforms with the Physical Plant through the Technical Director. Also, check-in with any professors using the space to make sure they know the risers are coming in and to see if you can install earlier. Also a good time to make sure they do not want to use them right after you—less work for you.
  • Because acting and other classes need to use the BB during the day, furniture and set pieces must not interfere with those classes. Directors should consult with the technical director about storage of furniture and set pieces between rehearsals and performances.


  • Class scenes (acting, directing) are to use only the regular room lights and Fresnel controlled by the Dove lighting system. These lights are hung to cover the space in the black box and are not to move. Check with the Technical Director if you need a special. The portable Matrix board and dimmers are not available.
  • One-acts and honor projects may use the permanent lighting set up for the Black Box in addition to using the portable lighting system. This will require someone who has some knowledge of lighting. Check with the Technical Director for a list of names if you are having difficulty finding someone.

The portable system includes: Matrix board, CD-80 Dimmer pack, Source 4 jar lights and additional cable. Remember that any lights hung for class maybe used, but can not be re-focused and MUST be re-patched to the Dove board for class times.

Requests for additional items must be made to the Technical Director prior to use. Availability of equipment varies with main stage productions. All extra equipment must be taken down and returned during strike. This additional equipment includes the use of instruments, gels, gobos and other special effects


There is a sound system for you to use in the Black Box. The cabinet should be locked when not in use, so you will need to get a key checked out if you need to use this for your project.

For T/D 370 and Honors projects, if you are in need of sound assistance, check with the Technical Director who can point you in the right direction for a student who might want to help, or to sound effects needed. Make sure the cabinet is locked when you leave.

Fire and weapons

The Department policy on Fire and weapons was made in conjunction with Campus Safety and the Health and Safety Department. Fire and/or weapons may ONLY be used after being approved by the technical director and in some cases Campus Safety. Using an open flame of any sort requires a fire extinguisher and a person devoted to the extinguisher as long as an open flame or smolder item is onstage. Some items, furniture, props or costumes may need to be flameproofed—this process can damage surfaces, so plan ahead. The technical director will help you in locating a fire extinguisher and determining if any items need to be flameproofed.

Weapons can only be used if they are fake, and look fake—the standard on a gun is an orange plug on the end of the barrel. If you need to use any kind of weapon, please check with the technical director who will walk you through the process and help you get approved by Campus Safety. Campus Safety will NOT approve a student alone, you MUST go through the Technical Director.


All props, furniture, lights, sets and costumes should be struck from the box within 24 hours of the final performance. Place platforms in the hall for pick-up by the physical plant. Make an appointment BEFORE strike with the property and costume rental departments. They may request you return items on the Monday following your show. You will still need to collect and store your costume and property items at strike so they are out of the way of classes.

Cleanliness, security, and courtesy

  • The use of the BB is a privilege, not a right. Please consider the needs of others. When possible, close the door to the hallway by the scene shop. Pick up after yourself; report accidental damage to faculty or staff.
  • After rehearsal or performance, put props away and place furniture pieces neatly at the sides of the room or in Anderson Theatre—whatever you have discussed with the Technical Director in advance.
  • Before leaving the Black Box, turn off the light board, the sound system, lock all cabinets and turn off all room lights.