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Job Summary

NOTE:  This is a full time / seasonal job working the production year (38 weeks) from mid-August to the end of April annually.  Salary listed is the full time- 12 month salary; seasonal salary range is $48,00 – 54,100.

Candidates must include a cover letter specifying their interest in and qualifications for this position.  The cover letter should be the first page of your resume and uploaded as one document. 

As a comprehensive performing arts school set in one of the world’s finest public institutions of higher education, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) is deeply engaged in the creation, practice, scholarship, and pedagogy of music, theatre, and dance. We aim to provide leadership, nationally and internationally, in all three fields. We assert and celebrate the value of the arts to the mission of the University of Michigan. SMTD is committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion, especially regarding historically underrepresented individuals, in order to achieve goals and sustain excellence. In the theatrical lighting shop, this work includes fostering an inclusive space welcome to all and enabling everyone to increase their comfort with technical skills.

University Productions presents ten fully mounted main stage shows each season, serving the departments of Theatre & Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance, and Voice in three different venues. These productions are directed by faculty and guest directors; designed by faculty, students, and guests; and crewed by performance and design and production majors. Design & Production majors work as stage managers, shop assistants, and technicians for each production; talented students may design costumes, sets, or lighting for these productions.



Overall management of Theatrical Lighting Shop.  Responsibilities include (1) supervision of all phases of theatrical lighting for approximately ten fully staged productions per year, two studio productions and one Musical Theatre showcase; (2) mentor students in practical areas of theatrical lighting; and (3) assistance with theatrical lighting maintenance of three theatres.
Duties to be Performed


  • Supervise and assist with the installation, operation, and striking of theatrical lighting, special effects, and associated specialties for University Productions according to approved designs and cost estimates. Supervise installation, focus, technical rehearsals, and dress rehearsals within scheduled times.
  • Collaborate with designers to meet creative and budgetary goals. Estimate material and labor costs, and upon approval of the Production Manager, make subsequent expenditures within budgeted amounts. 
  • Coordinate work schedules during construction & technical rehearsals with other production departments in order to meet scheduled deadlines and to share resources equitably. 
  • Schedule, oversee and direct professional staff, temporary help, student assistants and paid student crews in all aspects of theatrical lighting. Use hands-on techniques to show staff and students how to accomplish complex tasks safely. 
  • Attend scheduled production meetings. Attend run-throughs, technical rehearsals, and dress rehearsals as needed to provide adequate supervision.
  • Make recommendations to the Production Manager on crew requirements for each production.
  • Participate in discussions regarding the direction of emerging technologies (such as video projection) that closely align with lighting and special effects, and their place in the organizational structure.


  • As a Mentor Instructor, give informal small group instruction to students as part of their coursework in the practical aspects of theatrical lighting and associated specialties during theatre labs in the Theatrical Lighting Shop, and as lighting crew members during productions.  Teach and advise student designers on the process of realizing their designs. Make technical recommendations to theatre students on their extra-curricular productions when requested.
  • Train students in the safe operation of equipment and general safety procedures for installation, rigging, and operation of theatrical lighting. 
  • Collaborate with Design & Production faculty in setting policy, goals, and standards of performance for design and production students.


  • Maintain accounting records, including purchasing-card statements and labor expenses.
  • Schedule biweekly, part-time, IATSE, and work-study staff within budgeted parameters. Verify time to be submitted for payroll.
  • Supervise maintenance of shop’s lighting inventories, equipment, and facilities. Specify and recommend new equipment or the modification of existing equipment to meet special production or shop needs.
  • Assist with the maintenance and repair of lighting equipment in the Power Center, Mendelssohn Theatre, and Arthur Miller Theatre by providing house technicians with theatrical-lighting shop staff and expertise.
  • Assure safe work practices and compliance with safety regulations in shop and theatre. Contact appropriate supervisors when coordination is needed with Plant Department’s Electrics Shop due to unsafe electrical conditions in building infrastructure, or when projects require a licensed electrician to handle wiring beyond the scope of theatrical lighting.
  • Make recommendations to the Facilities Manager on the operating policies and standards for lighting equipment located in the performance spaces managed by University Productions, keeping the best interests of all users in mind. Recommend new equipment or the modification of existing equipment. Assist with the determination of budget and appropriate personnel to achieve these recommendations.
  • Assist with occasional special projects and facility improvements.

Required Qualifications*

  • A Bachelor’s degree in technical theatre or design, or an equivalent combination of education and experience with a recognized professional company or university is necessary.
  • A strong background in the construction, installation, and running of theatrical lighting, stage effects, stage rigging, and general theatrical practices is necessary.
  • Experience with Vectorworks and Lightwright is necessary.
  • Experience in DMX-controlled devices, and in repairing moving lights is necessary.
  • Experience with ETC consoles and ETC entertainment networks is necessary.
  • Supervisory experience with union stagehands is necessary.
  • Position routinely uses ladders, catwalks, scaffolds, grids, and aerial work platforms to safely perform work duties; this position routinely moves equipment weighing up to 75 pounds across campus for various events.
  • This position involves traveling to various locations on and off campus to conduct UM business and deliver materials.
  • This position is required to work some evenings and weekends when in production.
  • The ability to work effectively with individuals from diverse communities and cultures is necessary.

Desired Qualifications*

  • An MFA in technical theatre or related field is desirable.
  • At least three years’ experience with some supervisory responsibility in the theatrical lighting shop of a recognized professional theatre company is desirable.
  • Professional relationships with other theatrical lighting managers, production electricians, and lighting shops is desirable.

Additional Information

This job will be posted for a minimum of seven days and may be removed anytime following this period.  

U-M EEO/AA Statement

The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.