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Director of Production – Chicago Opera Theater – Chicago, IL

Company: Chicago Opera Theater

Address: Chicago, IL

  • Full Time

Chicago Opera Theater

This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary commensurate with experience, health insurance and retirement benefits available.
Position Description:
The Director of Production is responsible for managing all production operations of the company, including planning, budgeting, supervising technical production activities and personnel, and final execution of all production activities of the season. The Director of Production is a key member of the senior management team and actively participates in strategic planning, maintenance of production standards, and planning of future seasons.
Production: research, identify rentals, new production development, liaison to designers and managers, assist with the negotiation and administering of co-production & rental contracts.

Finance: Cost control, budget development, oversight of ongoing expense forecasts.

Personnel: Identify and engage production staff, prepare all Production contracts and payroll.

Schedule & Operations: Participate in preparing rehearsal & performance schedules, supervise all in-theater activity.
Responsibilities include:

  • Production:
  • Coordinate interdepartmental communication between artistic, production, marketing and development departments as relating to rehearsal and performance operations
  • Provide design team management
  • Oversee stage management throughout rehearsal and production periods
  • Oversee communication with costume, scenic, properties and electrics teams
  • Liaise with performance venue management and personnel
  • Serve as a primary COT liaison to each production’s technical staff
  • Negotiate contracts with production vendors
  • Maintain compliance with production health and safety requirements
  • Work with Finance to establish appropriate production insurance requirements
  • Supply feasibility recommendations on future performance venues
  • Execute agreements with performance venues
  • Primary liaison with performing venue and stage crews
  • Assess all production designs, providing budget projections and timelines for their implementation
  • Participate in the creation of rehearsal schedule and create and maintain technical production calendar
  • Oversee the delivery, installation, and removal of all production elements in and out of rehearsal and performance venues
  • Liaise with any co-producing companies on technical and logistical aspects of production design, transport, and venue specifications
  • Oversee the preparation and/or rental of projected supertitles
  • Personnel:
  • Negotiate, issue, and manage contracts for all Production staff
  • Oversee scheduling and management of all Production personnel
  • Negotiate contracts with Designers or their managers
  • Oversee preparation of Production staff payrolls
  • Participate in all union negotiations
  • Supervise hiring of other contract and overhire production personnel
  • Finance:
  • Create and manage technical production budgets and expense projections
  • Oversee production expense tracking and reporting
  • Clearly and accurately communicate results/variances to General Director and staff
  • Administrative:
  • Maintain historical documentation of all COT productions (PSM books and archival recordings)
  • Track and maintain all warehouse inventory and assets
  • Manage all technical aspects for any COT events as required
  • Assist the General Director and COT staff at company eventsKnowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
  • Thorough knowledge of all production-related aspects of live theater
  • In-depth familiarity with IATSE, AGMA, and USA regulation and procedure a plus
  • Proficiency with using and understanding drafting software programs preferred
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills
  • Ability to negotiate contracts and rental agreements.
  • Organized and detail-oriented
  • Strong inter-personal relationship skills
  • Thoughtful problem-solving skills and decision-making ability
  • Background or interest in the arts and music in particular is preferred, but not requiredDesired Traits and Characteristics:

The Director of Production must have extensive knowledge of all aspects of technical production. They must be able to accurately budget for production designs and formulate realistic time-tables for their implementation, while negotiating with vendors and hiring the necessary personnel to effect the production. The Director of Production must forge productive working relationships with union liaisons and designers alike, collaborating with both to ensure the production meets the Company’s professional standard all while remaining within budget.

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage multiple projects in a production environment and to deal proactively with company requirements
  • Prior experience in the field of Opera and/or musical theater technical direction and administration
  • Bachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university required
  • Analyze information logically, drawing on one’s knowledge and experience base and calling on other references and resources as necessary to generate appropriate and/or creative solutions
  • Highly self-motivated with leadership qualities; an effective team player
  • Ability to communicate effectively
  • Complete understanding of theater techniques and processes, including industry safety standards
  • Experience with union crews; interpretation and implementation of union agreements
  • Experience with industry standard contracting, including AGMA, IATSE, and USA
  • Demonstrable detailed specialist knowledge in all areas of scenic, properties and costume construction
  • Additionally, a high level of competence in one or more of the following disciplines: lighting, sound, video and film technology
  • IT literate with intermediate or above understanding of Microsoft Office, Outlook, Mac OS, office tools typical of an office environment
  • Ability to work in a basic fashion in VectorWorks, AutoCAD, or similar CAD-program and Lightwright
  • Interest and connections in the Chicago theater community, national and international Opera industry a plusSpecial Requirements:
  • Ability to work nights and weekends during productions and special events. Must be able to work during the production season (January through June), and fundraising event(s), and/or other events as requested by General Director.
  • Ability to help with various COT set-ups, may be expected to lift or move boxes weighing up to 25 pounds.

Submit Cover Letter & Resume

This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary commensurate with experience, health insurance and retirement benefits available.

Chicago Opera Theater is committed to enhancing diversity within our organization and the field of opera more broadly. Candidates from underrepresented groups are highly encouraged to apply.

Job Type: Full-time


  • Chicago, IL 60601 (Required)

Application Question:

Work Location:

  • One location


  • Health insurance
  • Dental insurance
  • Vision insurance
  • Retirement plan
  • Paid time off


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