Technical Director

  • Contract / Stipend
  • Evanston

National High School 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 8 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.

Technical Director will be primarily responsible for technical design, scenic budgeting, and construction of all shows in our eight-show season, as well as training and supervising student crews in all scenic construction and load-ins and changeovers.  Technical Director will work alongside ATD, Scenic Painter, and both Scenic Designers in all tasks.

Specific responsibilities include:

  • 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.
  • Budget construction materials for all 8 shows and place and required lumber and materials orders.
  • Create technical construction drawings from Scenic Designer’s design drawings.
  • Prep any materials that cannot be accomplished by student crews, including (but not limited to) using the table saw, chop saw, and CNC router (when needed). This often entails working in the morning to cut lumber to be ready for crews in the afternoon.
  • Be present during every afternoon crew session to help train and work with student Scenery crews in the scene shop. The Technical Director will be responsible for planning tasks, but will receive assistance from other members of Scenic/Technical team to supervise and execute these tasks.
  • Helping to facilitate student-led Design Challenge.
  • Be responsible for any overhead scenic rigging elements
  • Assist marking out and loading in scenery for on-stage evening rehearsals..
  • Attend on-stage evening rehearsals.
  • Train student run crews on changeover tasks, as well as specific run crew tasks for each production.
  • Attend tech and dress rehearsals.
  • Oversee scenic run crews and changeovers during performances.
  • 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 for the summer is $6,000 along with a University meal plan.  Housing is available for out of town candidates.

Instructions to Apply:

To apply, please email a cover letter and resume to:     

To apply for this job please visit     .

Pay Rate/Range*: $6,000