The first session I attended at the USITT Conference was titled, “The Proscenium Zone.” I thought it would be a broad overview of safety issues and regulations concerning the Proscenium Zone. I was half right. While the session focused heavily on safety issues pertaining to the Proscenium Zone, the session seemed to mainly focus on the fire curtain, and why the firemarshall needs to be your best friend.

First off, was anyone aware of the apparent regulation, prescribed by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration-the federal task force aimed at making the work place safer), that states that the fire curtain must be closed every night? Because well over half of the people in my session were not aware. Apparently it is there to prevent people from falling off the stage in the dark. I have checked the OSHA website,, and im going to be honest, I can’t find it anywhere. 

When the fire marshall got mentioned, however, I was all ears. Having previously had an incident in High School where the fire marshall shut down the theatre for a short period of time for an infraction I can’t recall, I’m always attentive when it comes to fire marshalls. The panel, luckily consisted of a few theatre owners, who shared their experiences with the fire marshall. One mentioned, that they became so close to the fire marshall, that when their theatre was largely violating safety codes, the fire marshall ignored the infraction, and told the to fix it after the show.