Technical Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website athenaeumcenter Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture

Job Title: Technical Director

Location: Chicago, IL

Terms: Full-Time

Requirements: Ability to work evening and weekend hours per events scheduled

About Us:

The Athenaeum Center for Thought & Culture is a not-for-profit organization whose mission and principal activities are to promote and support fine arts, cultural programming, and spiritual development for Catholics and the general public in Chicago, Illinois. Our mission is to invite people into encounters with beauty and to revitalize the great Catholic tradition of the arts from our location in one of Chicago’s most unique religious, artistic, and civic buildings.

Our performing art center was built in 1911 as part of St. Alphonsus in the Lakeview neighborhood of Chicago, as a place for the spiritual, physical, and intellectual growth of parishioners and the community. The Center has multiple performance and event spaces, including our 985-seat proscenium, Historic Main Stage theatre.

At ACTC, we believe that beauty has the capacity to build up culture, transform society, and change lives. We hope to help our patrons contemplate, encounter, and delight in beauty.

Job Overview: 

The Technical Director is primarily responsible for supervision and implementation of all production elements (lighting, sound, set design and construction, etc.) of all Athenaeum Center events. The Technical Director ensures safeworking practices, supervises the use of the venue spaces by outside groups, and facilitates repair and maintenance of the theatre resources and equipment. Key to this is a strong work ethic centered on excellent organizational skills, mission drive, and the ability to develop and maintain positive, collaborative relationships and communications with all artistic parties (designers, actors, etc.), as well as administrative staff, board members, and volunteers.

Responsibilities and Duties:

Technical Operations & Safety Management

Oversees and develops policies to safeguards the technical assets of all performance spaces, including supervising the use of rigging, lighting, and sound equipment, and the use and maintenance of all stage and room facilities.
Develops, implements and monitors room policies to ensure a safe work environment in the backstage and stage areas of all performing spaces.
Designs, sets up, maintains, and operates lighting plot and sound systems for theatre, dance, music, and other productions and projects; assists guest designers and artists with technical matters.
Serves as Building Supervisor after normal hours of operation, or during assigned productions and rental events
Monitors the condition of equipment including lighting, sound, and rigging equipment; arranges for the repair and replacement within budgetary constraints
Maintains and tracks all equipment inventory of performance and event spaces
Performs and manages regular preventive maintenance schedules on all equipment.
Orients facility renters and visiting productions to safety, technical characteristics and other areas of facility operations; facilitates the use of the technical facilities by the resident company and others engaged by or renting the facility.

Advancing / Events

Advances all third-party technical riders and approves and advises on all technical designs
Maintains and updates technical advancing forms and processes
Provides technical consult and technical sales support from inquiry to event day
Advises production managers, lighting and sound designers, on the technical specifications, costs and usage of technical equipment required for ACTC events, and supervises the implementations of approved technical designs.
Supervises and assists with set and stage construction and management of ACTC events
Attend all event calls, including load-in, technical rehearsals, production, and load-out, in order to supervise and assist in the technical aspects of mounting, executing, and striking a show.
Attend regular event production meetings with internal and third-party renters throughout advancing process
Assist Venue Booking Agents and Events Manager with tours of facilities as needed
Assist events as needed with lighting or audio board
Operate fly system or any run crew positions as needed

Management & Administration

Oversees and manages the recruiting, training and assignment of annual Technical Crew Roster
Manages ACTC Tech Crew during events that have added Event Crew Services
Assists with the preparation and control of ACTC production and maintenance budgets; maintains inventory and orders specialized supplies.
Manage and approve third-party rentals as needed
Ensures that invoices for payment and/or receipts for disbursement, with respect to authorized expenditures, are promptly submitted being proficient and efficient with all expenditures made within the budget
Update and maintain venue technical riders, manuals, and supporting documents for all spaces
Makes recommendations to the Center’s leadership regarding capital purchases of technical equipment, as well as performance space upgrades and improvements.
Compare and evaluate third party vendors, negotiate contract terms and pricing, and prepare cost analyses and reports on purchases
Attend trade shows and exhibitions to stay up-to-date with industry trends

Professional Skills:

Carpentry (sets and props)
Painting (sets and props)
Lighting (programming and rigging)
Rigging/Fly (counterweight systems)
Theatrical sound design
Technical effects (including pyrotechnics, video, projection, etc.)
Electrical engineering
Project management
Personnel management


Maintain a positive attitude
Very strong organizational abilities and excellent attention to details
Strong Proficiency in computer skills
Excellent written and verbal communication skills
Excellent leadership and team management skills
Ability to keep a peaceful, Christ-like demeanor in demanding situations
Ability to be flexible in an environment that is subject to spur of the moment change
Ability to inspire and motivate teams of volunteers and leaders
Must have the ability to coordinate several activities at once and quickly analyze and resolve specific problems
Independent problem solving and multitasking skills in a fast-paced, high energy environment


The Technical Director should have the following skills, educations, and experience:

Minimum of 2 years of experience working with theatrical lighting or electrical equipment
Minimum of 2 years of experience working with truss or counterweight rigging system
Minimum of 4-5 years of experience at a performing arts center, theatre production, or related production environment
Minimum of 3 years of direct customer service experience
Proficient in technical theatre practices
Experience with Vectorworks
Experience with VenueOps, CRM, or other event management software a plus
A working knowledge of AutoCAD and experience with IATSE, AEA, and USA agreements are beneficial
ETCP certification preferred
While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand, walk, sit, reach with hands and arms, stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl.  The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 50 pounds.
Ability to work a flexible schedule, including evening and weekend hours

Reports To:

This position reports to the Production Manager
This position’s direct reports for some events:Lighting Department Head
Audio Department Head
Video Department Head
Master Carpenter
Stage Hands
The position often interacts and collaborates with the Venue Booking Manager, Box Office Manager, Event Manager, Artistic Director, and Executive Director


Pay Rate/Range: $60,000 – $80,000 per experience
Holiday and paid time off
Full benefits package including medical, dental vision, life insurance, disability, accident, flexible spending and transit
401(k) plan with 5% company match

Instructions to Apply:

Apply at the link below

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: 60,000-80,000