Production Director

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How to Apply

Submit cover letter and resume in one electronic packet [pdf preferred, with ProdDirector.YOURNAME as the file name] by Friday, July 13, 2022. Ap

Interviews for qualified candidates will begin immediately, with an anticipated start date in July or early August.


The Production Director oversees all production elements for performances on the UMS mainstage season programming for approximately 35 performances annually, as well as other community and educational programs.  This leadership position reports to and works in close collaboration with the VP, Programming and Production as well as other senior leadership team members, in the planning and budgeting of all production considerations of future UMS programming; directs and manages the seasonal operations of the UMS Production Department.  The Production Director directly supervises the production staff and part-time student employees.  This position’s work schedule includes extensive evening and weekend hours and operates with minimal supervision and many opportunities to collaborate with talented people across the organization.

What You'll Do

(60%) Production Planning, Budget Forecast, Administration

  • Plan, manage and implement all technical and staging aspects for mainstage performances and related educational/community programming, in a number of diverse performance venues
  • Advise other UMS departments regarding technical needs for non-event-related special events or residency activities
  • Fulfill and negotiate the requirements of contracts, technical riders and production operations
  • Work with directors, designers, producers, company technical directors and tour managers to assess and coordinate technical requirements and budgets in advance of company’s arrival
  • Advise and specify suitable and cost effective equipment to be used for presentations
  • Negotiate and secure rentals with local vendors for lighting, sound, stage, and other equipment as required
  • Update master schedule for each production with technical schedule and specifications (e.g. times of load-in/out, pre-hang, focusing, cueing, floor schedule, all rentals, and hired labor calls) and coordinate with visiting company’s representatives
  • Schedule, hire and supervise the work of IATSE union stagehands to support visiting artist’s contract requirements and UMS budget limitations
  • Create and maintain a good working relationship with the local IASTE business agent
  • Implement the IATSE 395/University of Michigan Memorandum of Understanding
  • Draw and design production layouts, including stage, rigging and lighting plans for performance venues using AutoCAD, Vectorworks and large scale plotting
  • Work with producers, designers and technical directors to assess, create and design presentations in unique performance spaces and environments
  • Communicate production needs with all University and non-University venue managers
  • Develop post-production reports detailing final crew calls, rental and incidental costs
  • Work with the VP, Programming and Production to estimate expenses for proposed UMS presentations based on projected technical requirements
  • Develop, control and implement a seasonal production budget
  • Process payables/receivables from Production Department, and Stagehand payroll
  • Maintain budget projection info and actual tracking
  • Work with the VP, Programming and Production in the assessment, budget and planning of future presentations, which may include site visits
  • Liaise with Fire Marshals, University Public Safety, and Police to obtain performance licenses and to maintain the public’s safety during to UMS presentations
  • Manage a team of full-time and seasonal Production managers, coordinators and project-based contractors.
  • Collaborate with in-house event advancing leads to fulfill all aspects of the presentation’s requirements.

(40%) Onsite Supervision of Mainstage Productions

  • Direct and implement all technical operations as the on-site UMS representative
  • Liaise with all staff in venues where presentations take place
  • Supervise a safe working environment and implement safe working regulations and practices
  • Act as stage manager, as required
  • Supervise artists’ safety and security

Who We Are

Housed on the campus of the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, UMS is one of the oldest performing arts presenters in the country, committed to connecting audiences with performing artists from around the world in uncommon and engaging experiences. With a program of touring music, dance, and theater, UMS contributes to a vibrant cultural community by presenting approximately 35 events and over 100 free learning and engagement activities each season. UMS also commissions new work, sponsors artist residencies, and organizes collaborative projects with local, national, and international partners.

UMS was selected as one of the 2014 recipients of the National Medal of Arts, the nation’s highest public artistic honor. For more information on UMS visit

UMS values a culture of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We are committed to the development of staff who thrive and contribute to a positive and inclusive environment.

Required Qualifications*

  • 5-7 years’ experience in professional live performance production with special expertise in technical theater rules and requirements
  • Demonstrated managerial and leadership skills to effectively train, motivate, and evaluate teams
  • A proven track record of working with artists and creative teams in the producing of theatrical events of varying scales in a number of different venues
  • Ability to assess the artistic and technical aspects of theatrical work as well as their budgetary and work schedule implications for touring and/or transfer to Ann Arbor
  • Initiative and ability to work independently and as part of a team
  • Excellent communication skills, both on the phone and in person
  • Strong writing skills to prepare a variety of correspondence, reports, policies and procedures, and schedules with great attention to detail
  • Excellent negotiating skills related to working with vendors and crew personnel
  • Strong knowledge of computer systems and software including word processing, spreadsheet, and data management software
  • A detailed knowledge of AutoCAD, Lightwright and other relevant production software
  • Demonstrated knowledge of budget projection and management
  • Demonstrated organizational ability under pressure to work on multiple projects with competing deadlines, establishing goals and workload priorities
  • A high level of dependability and professional work ethic
  • Ability to commit to an irregular seasonal work schedule including extensive evening and weekend hours
  • Ability to drive a University vehicle from location to venue to procure, transport and deliver production equipment, instruments and props on a regular basis.  A valid driver's license is required.
  • Must be able to move equipment and boxes weighing up to 50 pounds, have access to transportation to travel to various locations on and off the U-M campus, and be accessible on a mobile cellular device

Desired Qualifications*

  • Bachelor’s Degree in Technical Theater or related field

Additional Information

With generous benefits including health care and dental care options, vacation (2 days per month), sick time (15 days per year), paid holidays/season days, retirement plan that offers immediate vesting and a two-for-one match of eligible compensation after a 12-month waiting, and the opportunity to participate in other benefit programs such as vision care, life insurance, and long-term disability.

The hiring range for this position is $75,000-$90,000 annually

Application Deadline

Job openings are posted for a minimum of seven calendar days.  The review and selection process may begin as early as the eighth day after posting. This opening may be removed from posting boards and filled anytime after the minimum posting period has ended.

U-M EEO/AA Statement

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

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely.   More information on this new policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.