Props Supervisor

  • Full Time
  • Chicago
  • December 9, 2021

Website Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Job Title: Properties Supervisor
Reports to: Director of Production
Reporting Staff: Overhire and Contract Artisans
Salary: $55,000-$60,000

The Properties Supervisor leads all activities of the Chicago Shakespeare Theater Props Department including the creation and facilitation of all props for CST productions, educational and outreach programs, and special events, as well as providing support for World Stage productions presented in any of the three Chicago Shakespeare performance venues. Working closely with the Director of Production and fellow Production Department Heads, the Props Supervisor is responsible for season-long and project-specific planning and execution of all activities related to the Props Department including attending design and production meetings, leading conversations with directors and designers, hiring and supervision of artisans and technicians, and tracking of schedules and expenses. In addition to the managerial duties, this position includes hands-on responsibilities in the creation and acquisition of props and will provide support to maintain or repair props as necessary.

• Collaborate with directors and designers to achieve the props each production.
• Devise creative solutions to projects at a high level of technical and artistic quality.
• Attend design and production meetings, and represent the Props Department during tech rehearsals and previews.
• Successfully complete projects both independently as well as collaboratively.
• Lead the creation and acquisition of props through fabrication or shopping from both local and online vendors.
• Adhere to established budgets for each production.
• Hire and manage over-hire employees as necessary.
• Effectively delegate responsibilities to over-hire artisans and technicians as appropriate.
• Accurately evaluate skills and capabilities of over-hire labor.
• Maintain a comprehensive understanding of best practices and techniques related to the efficient construction and maintenance of theatrical properties.
• Research script and historical references for productions.
• Maintain props department inventory database.
• Ensure strong communication systems with fellow employees to support efficient and high-quality completion of projects.
• Coordinate with Stage Management on all prop notes and updates during the rehearsal process.
• Collaborate with production staff as needed to maintain safe and constructive shared work environments.
• Maintain a safe work environment.
• Along with fellow supervisors, this position takes a leadership role in the development and implementation of the Production Department’s IDEA Objectives. Chicago Shakespeare Theater is committed to creating a diverse and accessible work environment through our Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity and Accessibility (IDEA) initiatives. For more information on these objectives, please visit

• Purchase and maintain shop tools, supplies, and infrastructure to ensure safe and productive shop operations.
• Support the work of marketing, events, and other departments as requested.
• Establish and maintain relationships with material vendors, both locally and online.
• Establish methods to effectively manage quality control within the Properties Department.
• Drive company vehicles as needed.

• This position may supervise between 1 and 4 over-hire employees.

• This position has responsibilities that will regularly involve purchasing, budgeting, and the tracking of expenses. Duties will include but are not limited to:
o Accurately keep records of all purchases and returns.
o Clear tracking of expenses across budgetary lines.
o Maintaining a petty cash fund.
o Successfully adhere to established budgets.
o Timely completion and submission of all financial paperwork including credit card logs, receipts, invoices, and petty cash logs.
o Work with the Production Office and the Finance Office to resolve any financial issues as necessary.

• This position has responsibilities that are occasionally in proximity to the public or will do work that can be observed by the public.
• Direct interaction with the public is unlikely but is possible.
• Correspondence with the public via email or by phone is possible.

• Perform a variety of physical tasks including but not limited to climbing, stooping, pushing, bending, kneeling, reaching, lifting, and pulling.
• Work at height in locations including but not limited to catwalks, grids, ladders, and genies.
• Perform a variety of physical tasks while wearing safety equipment including but not limited to respirator, hardhat, and safety glasses.
• Assist in the pushing, pulling, lifting, or moving of objects up to 25 lbs.
• Use of manual dexterity in the operation of tools.

• Work hours are primarily daytime, Monday through Friday, but will be variable depending on the phase of the project.
• Evening, weekend, and holiday hours will be necessary at times.
• Some work weeks will exceed 40 hours.
• Position will primarily function at the CST facilities on Navy Pier in Chicago, IL but will at times work in other locations such as warehouses and city parks.
• Working 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.
• Will be exposed, at times, to potentially hazardous materials and equipment.
• Will regularly be required to wear PPE during work activities.

o Strong Interpersonal communication skills, organizational skills, and attention to detail.
o Understanding of design and construction techniques associated with properties, including the ability to research time-periods and apply proper techniques.
o Thorough knowledge of the safe and effective usage of adhesives, pigments, stains, cleaners, and other basic products commonly used in a prop shop.
o Proficient understanding of the following areas:
 Furniture repair, refinishing, structures, and construction
 Basic metal work
 Soft Goods, sewing (hand and machine), and upholstery
 Mold making and casting
 Carving and sculpture
 Paper props and lettering skills
 Weapons handling, maintenance, and safety
o Literate in use of:
 MS Office
 Adobe Photoshop
 AutoCAD
o Electrical wiring and soldering
o Blood effects

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater
A leading international theater company and recipient of the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theaters year-round season offers a vibrant array of classics, musicals, new works, and family programs for 225,000 audience members annually. The Theater is Chicago’s leading international presenter and, through its education efforts, has impacted the learning of over 2 million students. The opening of The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare, with its innovative design that changed the shape of theater architecture, together with the Jentes Family Courtyard Theater and the Thoma Theater Upstairs, positions Chicago Shakespeare as the city’s most versatile performing arts center.

Chicago Shakespeare is committed to building diversity and inclusion onstage and throughout the organization. We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.

Instructions to Apply:

Click the link provided here
or visit the Chicago Shakespeare website at

Chicago Shakespeare is committed to building diversity and inclusion onstage and throughout the organization. We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply. Please provide cover letter and resume to the link provided.

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $55,000 to $60,000