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Department: Court Theatre Production Department
Position:  Technical Director
Reports to: Jennifer Gadda, Director of Production

This leadership position is responsible for the planning, budgeting drafting, construction, and installation of all theatrical scenery and special effects for all Court Theatre productions. This is a salaried, full time, year-round position which comes with a generous package of benefits. Some evening/weekend hours will be required. Position is open immediately.


  • Supervise Assistant Technical Director (full time), Scene Shop Foreman (seasonal), Scenic Charge Artist (seasonal) and Carpenters (overhire).
  • Analyze all scenic designs with regard to cost and feasibility.
  • Perform the technical design and drafting of all scenic elements, including selection and ordering of construction materials.
  • Oversee the construction of all scenic elements, special effects, and custom props.
  • Plan and execute all scenic builds, load-ins, and load outs, collaborating with other technical departments to ensure smooth workflow for all departments.
  • Attend production meetings, technical rehearsals, and preview performances as requested by Production Manager.
  • Exercise responsibility and accountability for the scenic department’s labor and materials budgets.
  • Maintain a clean and safe scene shop. Supervise storage, inventory and maintenance of all scenic elements, shop tools and equipment.
  • Lead by example to ensure that the scene shop work environments are safe, humane, and respectful.
  • Contribute ideas and viewpoints to the Production Manager on the schedule, scale, and feasibility of scenic elements during the planning and design process.Engineer creative solutions to design challenges within the constraints of time, resources, and physics.
  • Plan and supervise the maintenance, repair, purchase and upgrade of facilities and equipment for stage and scene shop areas.
  • With the Production Manager, liaise with University of Chicago regarding general maintenance of the stage and scene shop.


  • A leader who sets a positive tone for the work environment and demonstrates a strong spirit of collaboration, creativity, respect, and diplomacy.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and ability to research new techniques/materials/solutions.
  • Fine attention to detail and demonstrated commitment to quality.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and shifting priorities.
  • Knowledge of, and commitment to, safe working practices.
  • Superior oral & written communication skills.
  • Enthusiasm for working in a collaborative artistic environment.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Thorough knowledge of theatrical set construction techniques including stage carpentry, welding, interpreting technical drawings, and fabrication of special effects.
  • Thorough knowledge of theatrical rigging.
  • Preparation of accurate budget estimates and to execute builds within budget.
  • Drafting with AutoCAD.
  • Theatrical automation (Creative Connors).
  • Operating/programing CNC router.
  • Driving trucks (<25’) and forklifts.
  • Managing full time and overhire employees.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Manual dexterity
  • Able to lift, push, pull or otherwise maneuver up to 75lbs repeatedly
  • Able to sit, stand, or walk for long periods of time
  • Able to work in dusty or noisy environments
  • Able to work at heights, on ladders or mechanical lift
  • Able to safely operate a motor vehicle

Compensation & Benefits:

Compensation is competitive with prevailing compensation for similar positions within the non-profit performing arts industry. Details on benefits (vacation & personal holidays, sick pay, retirement contributions, healthcare, and dental) with the University of Chicago can be found here.

Education, Experience, and Certifications:

  • High school diploma or equivalent + five years experience working in a professional theatre scene shop and/or related fabrication field.
  • Leadership experience managing a crew of 3 or more
  • Valid driver’s license and clean driving record

Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to innovation, inquiry, intellectual engagement, and community service. A LORT-D company now in its 63rd year of operation, Court produces 5-6 main stage shows per year on an intimate, 250-seat thrust stage. Scenery is constructed in Court’s 10,000 sq ft shop and rehearsal facility located about 1 mile from the performance venue.


Required Documents:

  • Resume
  • Cover Letter
  • Three references

NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.

To apply, view the job posting on the University of Chicago Employment site.  Applications not submitted through the University of Chicago’s jobs site cannot be considered.

All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, protected veteran status, or status as an individual with disability.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity / Disabled / Veterans Employer.

Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process may contact Human Resources by calling (773) 834-1841 or by emailing with their request.

posted 11/13/2018