Technical Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Position Overview

The Technical Director serves in a leadership position in the Production department and strategizes in the planning, staffing, and execution of the scenery for each CST production, including a diverse array of produced and presented work.  This position leads the scenery technical design, construction, installation, and maintenance planning processes.  The Technical Director manages coordination and communication with the commercial scene shops that build the majority of the scenery for CST productions.


  • Reviews, interprets, and troubleshoots design drawings to assess financial and practical feasibility.
  • Develops preliminary budget estimates based on early drawings and provides suggestions on scope adjustments as needed.
  • Actively collaborates with scenic designers to best realize their concepts within the responsible bounds of budget, time, staffing resource, and infrastructure.
  • Supervises the technical design process and provides quality control for scenery built for CST by commercial scene shops in Chicago and throughout North America.
  • Manages IATSE carpenters as well as a large workforce of overhire carpenters.
  • Creates and/or manages construction drawings and technical solutions to the productions that CST builds in house.
  • Along with other department heads, plans and manages load-in and strike for all CST productions.
  • Designs and supervises the installation of all rigging for CST productions.
  • Collaborates and brainstorms with other production department heads on interdisciplinary technical design projects.
  • In conjunction with the Director of Production, manages and continually develops the implementation of a rigorous safety program throughout all Production departments.
  • Manages automation system design for all productions.
  • Represents CST in communications with the technical departments of external collaborators in order to fully support their performances both on CST stages and in site specific work throughout Chicago.
  • Facilitates the transfer of CST productions to stages around the world.
  • Develops strategic and long-term planning for the Scenery department and its infrastructure.
  • Partners collaboratively with other CST departments to support and realize events related to fundraising, audience development, and educational initiatives.
  • Completes other duties as assigned and appropriate.


  • Minimum of 5 years of experience in technical direction or scenery supervision at a large regional theater or equivalent.
  • Broad working knowledge of all aspects of technical design and production.
  • Proven experience managing and delegating in a fast-paced environment while maintaining a spirit of collaboration.
  • Extensive knowledge of rigging, stage engineering, scenic/fabrication techniques, and safe working practices in the theater.
  • High level of AutoCAD literacy and drafting capabilities.
  • Thorough knowledge of scenic automation theory, system design, installation, and troubleshooting.  Experience with winches, elevators, and pneumatics.  Navigator experience preferred, but not required.

Physical Demands

  • Sit or stand for long periods of time.
  • Work at height in locations including but not limited to catwalks, grids, ladders, and personnel lifts.
  • Perform a variety of physical tasks while wearing safety equipment, including hardhat, and safety glasses.
  • Occasionally push, pull, lift, and move up to 50 lbs.
  • Use of manual dexterity in the operation of tools.
  • Work shifts of up to ten hours per day.

Working Conditions and Environment

  • Evening, weekend, and holiday hours will be necessary at times, with work schedule varying based on the needs of each production.
  • Position will primarily function at the CST facilities on Navy Pier in Chicago, Illinois, but will at times work in other locations such as warehouses or offsite performance spaces.
  • Work will take place in a variety of environments, including but not limited to construction shops, stages, trap rooms, catwalks and grids, warehouses, exposed loading docks, and outdoors.
  • Work environment may be dirty, noisy, in low-light, or in a tight and cramped space.
  • Work will require exposure to potentially hazardous materials and equipment.
  • Position will occasionally be required to wear PPE during work activities.

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Founded in 1986, the Chicago Shakespeare Theater’s onstage work includes as many as twenty productions and 650 performances annually.  A Regional Tony Award recipient, CST produces a bold and innovative year-round season—plays, musicals, world premieres, family productions, and theatrical presentations from around the globe—alongside nationally recognized education programming serving tens of thousands of students, teachers, and lifelong learners each year. As a nonprofit organization, the Theater works to embrace diversity, prioritize inclusion, provide equitable opportunities, and offer an accessible experience for all. On the Theater’s three stages at its home on Navy Pier, in classrooms and neighborhoods across the city, and in venues around the world, Chicago Shakespeare is a multifaceted cultural hub inviting audiences, artists, and community members to share powerful stories that connect and inspire.

Commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access

Chicago Shakespeare Theater is deeply committed to creating and sustaining an organizational culture that values diversity, inclusion, equity, and access, as well as promoting a safe and supportive work environment embodying the Theater’s core values of service, collaboration, and ingenuity.

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Pay Rate/Range*: $75,000-85,000/year