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Russell Auditorium Guidelines

A campus landmark, Russell Auditorium features Greek Revival architecture and an elegant decor which serves the university and community well. The auditorium, built in 1928 and renovated in 1996, is fully air-conditioned and handicapped accessible. The auditorium seats up to 982 including the balcony, has a 1,000 square foot stage, an orchestra pit, computerized lighting system and two large dressing rooms with lighted mirrors and a shower.

Russell Auditorium is a high demand facility which is reserved for events at least 50 weeks out of each year. Each December, the Department of Public Services calls a meeting of all regular users of the auditorium and others who have requested to use the building, to discuss their needs for the next year and a half, and to negotiate times for using the facility. Once campus use of Russell Auditorium has been determined, all of the events are entered into the university's computerized event management system, R-25. A few dates usually remain available for other campus and community events. To reserve the facility, submit a facility request online at:

Not only is Russell Auditorium a high demand facility, but it is also a highly complex facility with sophisticated lighting and sound systems and stringent fire safety and ADA/504 requirements. Failure to follow the guidelines below could result in serious injury or death to facility users and audience members. In addition to the potential for injury, operation of the theatre's sophisticated lighting and sound equipment by untrained event organizers could result in damage to expensive equipment. For these reasons, all users of Russell Auditorium must utilize the services of the Auditorium Specialist.  Contact the Auditorium Specialist at or phone 478-363-3574.

Sound and A/V in Russell Auditorium must be provided by an approved A/V professional. Generally, Theatre is responsible for providing its own sound and A/V for all other events is provided by the Auditorium Specialist. A/V equipment and services can be obtained by contacting the Auditorium Specialist at or by phone 478-363-3574. Event organizers should contact Audio Visual Support Services to discuss specific A/V needs after the facility request has been approved, but no later than five business days before the event. The hourly rate for evening and weekend hours is $25 per technician. The technician fee includes up to 30 minutes of equipment set-up and 30 minutes of take-down per event.

Russell Auditorium is cleaned by campus custodians daily Monday through Friday. However, weekend custodial support is not provided as a matter of course. Productions that extend over a weekend may wish to contact the custodial manager at 478-445-1533 to arrange to have the auditorium cleaned between performances. Those weekend events that utilize Lanier Hall as an assembly or holding area for cast members will be required to contract with Plant Operations to have Lanier cleaned prior to 7 a.m. on Monday morning. Custodial support should be arranged at least five business days in advance. The cost for such support is $18 per hour for each custodian with a minimum of three hours.

Lanier Hall, which is attached to Russell Auditorium, is a busy office building that is occupied from 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To avoid disturbing employees or students, events that use Lanier Hall as an assembly or holding area for cast members should not allow cast members into Lanier prior to 5 p.m. on weekdays. Lanier furniture should not be moved. In addition, the halls, dressing rooms, and other spaces should be straightened up and all debris, props, costumes, makeup and trash removed at the conclusion of each production.

Organizers of external (non-Georgia College sponsored) events will be required to show proof of $1,000,000 of liability insurance and $500,000 damage to property insurance in order to rent the facility. Proof of insurance must be verified prior to confirmation of space.

In case of accidents, injuries, deaths, thefts or other emergencies or if there are after-hours or weekend maintenance issues, contact public safety at 478-445-4400.

The auditorium specialist serves as building manager for Russell Auditorium. If there are maintenance issues, scheduling conflicts or other concerns or issues related to the building, please contact the auditorium specialist at 478-363-3574.

Occasionally, a campus office may identify a need to modify Russell Auditorium's equipment or structure in some way. In such cases, that office should contact the Director of Public Services who will then facilitate a meeting or communication between all parties with some responsibility for the auditorium including the Department of Theatre, Plant Operations, A/V, Public Services and Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety.

Russell Auditorium: Fire Safety/ADA/504 Requirements

Exceptions to Fire Safety/ADA/504 requirements must be approved by the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety (EPOS) and by the Technical Director for Theatre. EPOS can be contacted at 478-445-2025 and the Technical Director for Theatre at 478-445-1241.

Stage Area

• The stage must be clear of all trash, debris, furniture, equipment and set pieces not being used in the current production.
• No candles or pyrotechnics are allowed on stage unless otherwise approved by the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety and the Technical Director for Theatre.
• Stage lighting work must be supervised by a theatre professional or an approved theatre student. No electrical work will be conducted unless by a state certified electrician from Plant Operations.
• When audience seating is built on the Russell stage, disabled persons must be accommodated.
• All tape must be pulled up off the stage floor before painting.
• If painted for a production, the stage floor must be returned to flat black when finished.
• All personal property should be removed from Russell Auditorium and Lanier Hall after the conclusion of productions.

Russell Auditorium Equipment

• Russell Auditorium lighting must be operated by an approved theatre professional. The services of trained Student Technical Specialists can be obtained through the Auditorium Specialist at or at 478-363-3574.
• Sound must be operated by an approved A/V professional. Generally Theatre is responsible for providing its own sound, and sound for all other events is provided by the Auditorium Specialist.  A/V equipment and services can be obtained by contacting the Auditorium Specialist at 478-363-3574.

Dressing Rooms (Located in Lanier Hall)

• All costumes, makeup and other personal items and equipment must be removed from the dressing rooms. Hair dryers, curling irons, irons and other equipment must be unplugged except while in use.
• The dressing rooms must be kept clean during performances and returned to a clean condition at the conclusion of performances.
• It should be understood that the dressing rooms are also used as Theatre classrooms, so they are not safe places to leave personal items.

Auditorium Seating Area

• The piano, speakers and other equipment must be kept out of the aisles on the front and sides of the auditorium when the auditorium is occupied by patrons.
• No audio/visual cables or extension cords are allowed on the floor of the auditorium while occupied by patrons.
• The aisles and doors must not be blocked in any way and must have at least 34 inches of free space.
• The swinging doors at the front of the house must be opened inward prior to performances and outward at the end of performances.
• No folding chairs or tables are allowed in aisles or doorways.
• No candles are allowed in the seating area. No "Christmas tree" type lights are allowed without the prior knowledge of the Auditorium Specialist and only then with proper safety and fire restraining procedures in place. Christmas tree lighting must be certified by Underwriters Laboratories with an authentic UL marking on the strand of lighting. No frayed or damaged lighting is permitted.
• Hanging wall decorations should not obstruct aisles or doorways.


• No tables for ticket sales or literature distribution are allowed in the lobby.
• All lobby doors and exit doors will remain unlocked prior to and during a performance.
• No electrical cables or extension cords are allowed on the floor without proper restraints placed over them.
• No candles, flower arrangements or other decorations will be allowed to hinder or block access to exits. This applies in all areas except the stage area.
• All unused programs and other handouts should be removed from the theatre or placed in the trash at the conclusion of events.

Front Porch

• Ticket sales and distribution of literature may be made from tables or booths set up on the far right and left of the front porch.
• No electric cables or extension cords will be allowed on the floor of the porch without proper restraining procedures in place.

ADA/504 Compliance

• All flyers, posters, mail-outs, invitations etc., should announce that disability accommodations are available and give the name and number of the event organizer who will be responsible for providing the accommodations. Posters should state that a 24-hour notice is required for accommodations.
• Handicapped seating areas for wheelchairs and wide seating areas must remain open. A folding chair can be used for companion seating in these areas. A few folding chairs are stored in the handicapped seating area. Event organizers will be responsible for providing folding chairs to guests who request them. (If folding chairs have been removed from the handicapped seating area, please contact the Department of Public Services for replacements prior to the event.)
• Assisted listening devices are available for use by hearing impaired individuals who request them with a minimum 24-hour notice as stated on performance flyers or posters. Event organizers will be responsible for providing assisted listening devices to audience members who request them. Please contact the Auditorium Specialist, the Department of Public Services or your Student House Manager to access the listening devices.

Other Matters

The foregoing requirements are subject to revisions and additions.
• Requests for exceptions to Fire Safety/ADA/504 requirements must be made to the Office of Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety and the Technical Director for Theatre at 478-445-1241.
• The Office of Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety will be copied on all facility confirmations for the use of Russell Auditorium by the Department of Public Services.

Important Contact Information

Director of Public Services
Phone: 478-445-6542

Auditorium Specialist
Phone: 478-363-3574

Emergency Preparedness and Occupational Safety
Phone: 478-445-2025

Coordinator of Office Services, Department of Public Services
Phone: 478-445-2749

Custodial Manager, Plant Operations
Phone: 478-445-1533

Moving Foreman, Materials Management
Phone: 478-363-4255

Public Safety
Phone: 478-445-4400

Russell Auditorium Guidelines, Last Updated 5.31.13
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