Theatre Policies, Procedures, and FAQs

The Empty Space is committed to creating a safe and inclusive environment for all artists and patrons who collaborate with The Empty Space to create art and help us fulfill our mission of providing theatre and visual art to the community of Bakersfield no matter their situation. We are constantly looking for ways to grow as an organization and have found success in the following policies and procedures. Please contact us if you require any further assistance.


Assistive Listening

The Empty Space will soon be able to provide a limited number of complimentary Assistive Listening device headsets to the hard-of-hearing. If this is something you would be interested in using, please send us an email and let us know! We will notify our patrons as soon as they become available. Please note that due to the size of our theatre, most plays and musicals do not use amplification.

Large Print

For events with playbills, Large Print programs are available for those with limited vision. To avoid waste, Large Print playbills will be created on demand. Please indicated your need in the special requests section of your reservation and we will hold it at our front door for you. On the day of a show, we will make every attempted to create a large print program. Please request a program from an usher and one will be delivered to your seat as quickly as it can be created.

Special Accommodation

The Empty Space seeks to make live theatre accessible to everyone. If you have a special request, please contact our Box Office at or indicate on the special request section at check out and we will do our best to accommodate your needs.


Ushers will assist those with walkers to their seat. Walkers must be stored in the lobby until requested at intermission or the conclusion of the performance.


The Empty Space currently provides 2 wheelchair positions available for patrons. Seating is available for request at checkout. There are also sixteen seats that allow for easier transfer from a wheelchair. If a patron is able to transfer from a wheelchair to a seat, ushers will store the wheelchair in the lobby.

Charitable Causes and Fundraisers

To request a ticket donation on behalf of your organization, please contact a member of our board of directors. Donation requests are processed approximately once a month. Please indicate if you will pick up donated tickets or if you would like them sent via U.S. mail. The Empty Space will make every effort to support other local non-profits.

Send requests no later than 60 days prior to your event to: The Empty Space 706 Oak Street Bakersfield, CA 93304 Or email:

Group Sales

A group must purchase at least 10 tickets to a single performance to qualify for a discounted pricing of $2 per ticket. Group rates are available for all admission types.

Contact our Box Office at to request a group disount.

Harassment & Discrimination Policies

Updated: 07.23.19

Zero Tolerance Policy for Harassment, Discrimination, and Retaliation

The Empty Space is committed to creating a safe environment for all artists including actors, directors, designers, technicians, visual artists and anyone else who collaborates with The Empty Space to create art and help us fulfill our mission of providing theatre and visual art to the community of Bakersfield. We believe it is imperative that our environment remain free of any harassment or discrimination.


To create and maintain an environment free of harassment and discrimination where every person is treated with respect. All members of The Empty Space community are expected to comply with this policy and will be held responsible for their actions should they violate it.


Harassment of any kind is strictly prohibited at The Empty Space and violations may result in disciplinary actions up to and including an individual being removed from a current production and banned from involvement in future productions.

Harassment may include a range of behaviors, including subtle and overt verbal and non-verbal behavior.

  • Verbal harassment includes comments that are offensive or unwelcome regarding a person’s nationality, origin, race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, body, disability or appearance, including epithets, slurs and negative stereotyping.
  • Nonverbal harassment includes distribution, display or discussion of any written or graphic material that ridicules, denigrates, insults, belittles or shows hostility, aversion or disrespect toward an individual or group because of national origin, race, color, religion, age, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, appearance, disability, sexual identity, marital or other protected status.

Sexual Harassment is defined as unwelcome sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature when (i) submission to such conduct is made either explicitly or implicitly a term or condition of participation or as a basis for artistic decisions or (ii) such request or conduct has the purpose or effect of unreasonably interfering with an individual’s artistic performance by creating an intimidating, hostile, humiliating, or offensive environment.

Sexual harassment can happen between same-sex individuals as well as opposite-sex individuals and does not require that the harassing conduct be motivated by sexual desire.

  • Violations of this policy may include, but are not limited to, any of the following:
  • epithets, derogatory jokes, comments, slurs, or verbal or physical innuendoes based on sex or another protected characteristic;
  • engaging in verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, including conduct that expressly or implicitly constitutes an unwanted sexual advance, invitation, or request for sexual acts or favors;
  • making verbal or physical conduct of a sexual nature, or the refusal to engage in such conduct, the basis of any artistic decision or a condition of an artist’s continued participation;
  • subjecting others to obscenity or offensive language including displaying offensive or sexually suggestive photographs, objects, pictures, cartoons, graffiti, etc., using offensive language or gestures, and similar conduct;
  • unwelcome and repeated flirtations, propositions or advances;
  • using stereotypes;
  • bullying or abusive conduct;
  • commentary about an individual’s body or sexual matters;
  • mimicking, mocking or ridiculing another’s culture, accent, appearance or customs;
  • displaying on walls, bulletin boards or elsewhere on theatre premises or circulating in the theatre, written or graphic material that denigrates or shows hostility or aversion toward a person or group because of any protected characteristic;
  • tricks, horseplay or pranks based on a protected characteristic;
  • leering, whistling, unwanted touching, pinching, or assault, or intentionally blocking normal movement or interfering with work because of any protected characteristic listed above; and
  • retaliation for reporting or threatening to report any violation of this policy.

The above examples are not meant to be all-inclusive.


It is a violation of The Empty Space’s policy to discriminate in the provision of artistic volunteer opportunities; to create discriminatory conditions; or to use discriminatory evaluative standards in volunteer selection if the basis of that discriminatory treatment is, in whole or in part, the person’s race, color, national origin, age, religion, disability status, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or marital status.

Discrimination of this kind may also be strictly prohibited by a variety of federal, state and local laws, including Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. This policy is intended to comply with the prohibitions stated in these anti-discrimination laws.

Discrimination in violation of this policy will be subject to disciplinary measures up to and including removal from a current production and a ban from all future productions.


No hardship, loss, benefit or penalty may be imposed on an artist volunteer in response to:

Filing or responding to a bona fide complaint of discrimination or harassment.

Appearing as a witness in the investigation of a complaint.

Serving as an investigator of a complaint.

Retaliation or attempted retaliation in response to lodging a complaint or invoking the complaint process is a violation of this policy. Any person who is found to have violated this aspect of the policy will be subject to sanctions up to and including removal from a current production and ban from future productions.

Complaint Process

The Empty Space will receive any complaint of harassment, discrimination or retaliation and will diligently work to handle the issue with as much confidentiality as possible.

Any individual who feels this policy has been violated is encouraged to report the violation by filing a written complaint to any sitting member of The Empty Space board of directors. This can be done in person or by email. If the individual does not have the personal email of a board member, they are encouraged to email All members of the board will be instructed to swiftly pass on the report to the Executive Director. Should the report involve the sitting Executive Director, the Communications Director will be delegated to deal with the violation. No formal action will be taken by The Empty Space unless a formal, written complaint has been provided with sufficient details to determine if the policy has been violated.

If it is determined that harassment or discrimination in violation of this policy has occurred, the Executive Director or other delegated party will recommend appropriate disciplinary action. The appropriate action will depend on the following factors: a) the severity, frequency and pervasiveness of the conduct; b) prior complaints made by the complainant; c) prior complaints made against the respondent; and d) the quality of the evidence (e.g., first-hand knowledge, credible corroboration).

Nothing in this policy may prevent the complainant or the respondent from pursuing formal legal remedies or resolution through local, state or federal agencies or the courts.

Reciprocity with Other Theatres

The Empty Space reserves the right to take action based upon an artist, or prospective volunteer being suspended or banned from any team / theater / festival for harassment, inappropriate conduct, or behavior which makes any individual feel unsafe.

Report incidents to Heather Irvin, Executive Director at

Inclement Weather

In the case of inclement weather, refunds will be awarded only if the performance is canceled. If the artist(s) is/are present at the theatre, then the event will take place as scheduled. If the performance is postponed and re-scheduled, then the original tickets issued are valid for the new date. In the event that a show is canceled, we will make every effort to inform all ticketed patrons via phone and/or email as soon as possible.

Methods of Payment

The Empty Space accepts:

  • Cash
  • Check
  • Credit & Debit Cards: American Express, Discover, MasterCard, Visa

Online Box Office

Reservations are available 24/7 through our online box office You can also contact our board of directors for general questions or assistance at

Prohibited Items

Photography & Video

Photography and video recording during the performance is strictly prohibited unless otherwise noted. We encourage you to take photos before and after the show, and during intermission!

Electronic Devices

Electronic devices such as cell phones, pagers, digital watch alarms, etc., are permitted into the theatre, however PLEASE turn them off prior to taking your seat! Please do not just silence a cell phone - any use of a phone with a lit screen creates a distraction for other patrons and the performers. PLEASE NO TEXTING DURING THE SHOW.

Food & Beverages

Outside food and beverages are discouraged in the theatre, with the exception of bottled waters and sodas. ABSOLUTELY NO outside alcoholic beverages are allowed in the theatre at any time. Items from our bar and concession stand are allowed in the theatre.

Reservations & Tickets


All sales are final. Reservations may be exchanged for another performance of the same production. No refunds are available unless a show is canceled.

Rush Seating

The Empty Space is committed to making live theatre accessible to everyone in our community, regardless of financial situation. Each performance saves a minimum of 10 seats that are available at the door each night for pay-what-you-can, and subject to availability to the first people in line. You must be present in line to claim a rush seat. Spots and seats cannot be held. Additional unclaimed seats will be released to our rush line promptly at showtime.


No children under age 10 will be admitted unless specified on event listing.

Physical Tickets

We're paperless! Printed tickets are not necessary for our productions, however we encourage you to keep your confirmation email handy for any discrepancies.

Seating Chart

A PDF version of our seating chart is available here.

House Layout

The Empty Space is a 1-level venue with approximately 85 seats.

There are three seating sections:

  • Center (19 seats top row, 14 seats middle row, 10 seats OR 4 tables bottom row)
  • Left (10 seats top row, 7 seats middle row, 3 seats bottom row + 1 accessible seat)
  • Right (10 seats top row, 7 seats middle row, 3 seats bottom + 1 accessible seat)

There really isn't a bad seat in the house! We are a 3/4 thrust stage, meaning the seating sections surround the main stage in rising platforms.

Seating Policies

Reserved Seating:

Reserved seating is available for VIP Tables (when available) and Preferred Admission only and is reserved as best seats available to accommodate the party. For specific seats, please note in the special request section at checkout. General, Student/Senior, and Rush Admission is open seating, first-come, first-serve.

Please arrive early to ensure your choice of seating. Doors open approximately 30 minutes in advanced and close promptly at show time.


The Empty Space reserves the right to remove anyone who causes a disturbance or disrupts the experience of other patrons or our actors. Patrons who are removed will not receive a refund.

Late Seating

Due to the configuration of the theatre, late seating is not allowed. Please arrive early to ensure your choice of seating. Those who arrive after the doors have closed will need to reply to their confirmation email to transfer tickets to a new date. Please do not knock on doors once they are closed.