Costume Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago
  • May 25, 2024

Website steppenwolfthtr Steppenwolf Theatre Company


For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the w­orld. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors, stage managers and playwrights. Steppenwolf’s artistic ambitions are made possible by its incredible workforce of individuals, who help create a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and accountability. To that end, we attempt to use an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens in our roles and everyday decision-making. Join us in this ongoing process, as we navigate our complex world together.

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is seeking candidates for the full-time position of Costume Director.

This position leads the costume shop in budgeting, purchasing, construction, and maintenance of costumes for a season of five mainstage productions.

The Costume Director oversees a permanent full-time staff of 4 plus part-time positions, and collaborates with the Wardrobe, Hair, and Makeup Supervisor in executing costume designs and maintaining productions.

This position reports to the Producing Director.


  • Develop budget estimates based on preliminary designs and provide suggestions on scope adjustments as needed.
  • Proactively collaborate with costume designers to realize their design within the bounds of budget, time, and infrastructure.
  • Manage labor and material budgets and build schedules over the course of the season
  • Seek out, develop, and maintain outside relationships including costume designers/assistants and other costume shops/artisans.
  • Oversee workflow and prioritization between multiple projects, both internal and external, while maintaining appropriate production values
  • Realizing design ideas while also meeting the needs of the performer and running/maintenance of the show
  • Adhere to strict health and safety guidelines and play a leadership role in maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.
  • Hire, supervise, coach, and evaluate costume shop staff, overhire, and outside contractors
  • Collaborate with Wardrobe, Hair, and Makeup Supervisor, Properties Director, and other production department heads in support of all elements of each production and other institutional needs
  • Collaborate with staff to explore work outside the primary productions, including developing income generating initiatives and other programs
  • Ensure that the costume shop work environments are inclusive, and respectful for performers, designers, staff, overhire, and contractors. Uphold the Costume Shop’s core values of curiosity, communication, respect, and excellence.

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Track record of leadership promoting a culture of high performance that values curiosity, communication, mutual respect, and excellence.
  • Five or more years supervisory and leadership experience is preferred.
  • A collaborative communication style that empowers the entire costume team
  • Readiness to cooperatively manage change and evolution in the workplace.
  • Adaptability to adjust the production process to the needs of a given project and to creatively partner with a diverse range of designers and design processes, including new works.
  • Capacity to balance design ideas with the more practical needs of quick changes and durability for the demands of a production
  • Experience managing production transfers/coproductions nationally (including Broadway) and internationally
  • Knowledge of safety policies and procedures within a costume shop environment
  • Commitment to understanding issues of body diversity and to leading a body neutral costume shop
  • Ability and commitment to working with diverse groups in terms of gender expression, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class, and immigrant status
  • Ambition to create and innovate, including developing income generating initiatives and other programs


Salary range: $69,020 – $75,871 per year with excellent benefit package for full time employees, including Medical, Dental, Vision, Critical Illness, Hospital Indemnity Insurance, Short-term and Long-term disability insurance, Life Insurance, Vacation Pay, paid Sick Time, Personal Days, Ventra transit benefit program, Employee Assistance Program and 401(k) matching retirement program.


About Steppenwolf:

]Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 400-seat Ensemble Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a five-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multigenre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Audrey Francis and Glenn Davis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit,, and

Steppenwolf Mission: 

Steppenwolf Theatre Company strives to create thrilling, courageous, and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our ensemble as we navigate, together, our complex world.

Steppenwolf Core Values: 

Equity + Inclusion
Integrity + Curiosity
Courage + Collaboration
Accountability + Leadership

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Steppenwolf complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Instructions to Apply:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references through the link provided, by May 25, 2024.   This position has an estimated start date of on or about July 1, 2024.

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $69,020 - $75,871 per year