Scenic Designer

  • Contract / Stipend
  • Evanston

NHSI Theater Institute

The National High School Institute (Cherubs Program) at Northwestern University is a 5-week summer intensive for students entering their senior year of high school.  They come from around the world and spend five weeks receiving a conservatory-style theatre education, culminating in 6 fully-mounted productions that all perform in rep.  Students serve as cast, crew, and stage managers for the productions.  Professional directors, designers, and technicians oversee and guide students through the process.

Scenic Designer will be primarily responsible for designing 3 shows in our six-show season.  In addition to standard design responsibilities, Scenic Designer will also work with the rest of the team to train and supervise student scenic crews in the afternoon.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • Designing three 60-minute plays, directed by professional directors with a student cast. Also helping to facilitate/design Faculty Recital and student-led Design Challenge.
  • Participate in online pre-production process, with flexibility regarding meeting times and meeting style. We have a Slack channel for communication, but in-person meetings, phone calls, and zoom calls are options for large group discussions or smaller breakout meetings.
  • Attend in-person NHSI orientation at the start of the program
  • Attend in-person production meetings. We will have one production meeting prior to students arriving on campus; a second meeting once rehearsals start, which will include our student stage managers; and a third meeting just before going into tech, again with our student stage managers.
  • Attend weekly NHSI all-staff meetings.
  • Be present during every afternoon crew session to help train and work with student scenic crews in the theater. The Technical Director will be responsible for planning tasks, but requires assistance from knowledgeable adults to help execute these tasks.
  • Attend on-stage evening rehearsals for assigned shows and program cues prior to tech.
  • Attend tech and dress rehearsals for assigned shows
  • Participate in strike at the end of the program
  • Attend the final banquet.
  • While this represents roughly 95% of responsibilities, it is not exhaustive.

Ideal candidates are those who enjoy working with students and have a passion for instruction and understand that our process is more important than our product.  While we do want our shows to look and sound beautiful, that should not come at the expense of anyone’s safety or mental health.

Compensation is $3,750 plus room and board if needed.

Dates on campus are June 21 – July 29, 2023.

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to

Instructions to Apply:

To apply please send a cover letter and resume to     

To apply for this job email your details to

Pay Rate/Range*: $3,750 plus room and board if needed