DEPARTMENT: Production
REPORTS TO: Senior Production Manager
LOCATION: La Jolla, California on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego
CLASSIFICATION: This is a Full-time, exempt (salaried) position, eligible for a full array of benefits including health and life insurance, 403(b) retirement plan, paid time off (vacation, sick and 11 holidays), and complimentary tickets to Playhouse performances
COMPENSATION: $80,000 – $90,000 (DOE)
WORKS WITH:  LJP Staff, Production Management, Scenery Supervisor, Visiting Artists & Designers, IATSE Labor, LJP Operations, UCSD Residents & Students, UCSD Supervisors
SUPERVISES:  Production Foreman, Scene Shop Coordinator, Head Carpenter, IATSE Technicians, Scenic Charge Artist, IATSE Apprentices & Pre-Apprentices
HOW TO APPLY: Please send resume and references along with a cover letter to productionjobs@ljp.org.  Please include in the subject line – “Technical Director”

ORGANIZATION OVERVIEW

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls.   Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 105 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. These works include the Broadway hits Come From AwayDiana and Memphis, all directed by Ashley; The Who’s Tommy; the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife; and Jersey Boys.

La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage.   We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply.  La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

STATEMENT OF JOB

Under the direction of the Senior Production Manager, the Technical Director serves as a key member of La Jolla Playhouse’s Production Department.  The Technical Director works closely with the Scenery Supervisor and is responsible for managing projects from conception through completion with the design and creative teams for each production.  Key to the success of those projects, the Technical Director, in collaboration with the other Production Department Supervisors, will take an active role in communication with Designers, IATSE Stage hands and La Jolla Playhouse Management to ensure all departments are informed about Scenery designs, changes, technical planning, and scheduling for each production.  

The Technical Director will have the primary responsibility of overseeing the technical construction, installation, maintenance and transfer of scenery (built, purchased, rented, or otherwise) for all productions produced and presented by La Jolla Playhouse including festivals and special events while maintaining a safe and healthy work environment.  Strong candidates will possess a demonstrated ability to forecast labor and material budgets, track budgets throughout the production process, and present efficient technical and artistic solutions to the design and production teams.  The successful candidate is a technical engineer and manager committed to a culture of safety and inclusion and the artistic vision and mission of La Jolla Playhouse.

ESSENTIAL JOB DUTIES

Inclusive & Safe Working Environment

  • Foster and cultivate a culture of learning, community, anti-racism, inclusion, belonging, and respect among employees and visiting artists.
  • Foster and cultivate a culture of safety, both psychological and physical, ensuring a safe work environment.
  • Coordinate training for all Scenery and Paint Department employees on the proper and safe usage of facility, large equipment, stationary tools, hand tools and other production resources.  
  • Represent the Scenery and Paint Department during Safety Inspections in Production facilities.
  • In collaborations with Production Management and other Department Supervisors, contribute to production risk assessments to achieve workable and safe productions at all levels.
  • Monitor and enforce safety in the Production Department.  
  • Lead investigations and reporting for all accidents and near misses in the Scenery and Paint Departments.
  • Maintain current knowledge of safety best practices and standards.

Staffing, Scheduling & Workflow

  • Lead the recruitment of staff and the development of their skills.
  • Supervise season-wide labor planning for Scenery and Paints Departments on an on-going basis.
  • Supervise the scheduling, accounting, purchasing and planning for Scenery and Paints Departments for all productions and shop operations.
  • Estimate cost for designs based on designer drawings and adjust and present options to designers to assist in the budget process.
  • Create and maintain bid packages for commercial scenery shops and supervise the technical design process with those shops to provide quality and efficiency assurance.
  • Supervise and draft construction drawings for shows built by La Jolla Playhouse Scenery Shops.
  • Direct the Scenery Department Staff in the Construction, Installation, Strike and Transfer process for all productions beginning with early design consultations through completion of projects.
  • Instruct the Draftsperson on the preparation of ground plans and sections of designer drawings, rigging and technical drawings, and any other such drawings pertinent to the scenery, stages or other performance locations in AutoCAD and PDF formats for use by technical, stage management and design staffs.
  • In conjunction with Production Management, coordinate with UCSD Theatre & Dance Department technical personnel to ensure mutual success for all projects utilizing the Theatre District’s fabrication facilities and theaters.
  • Instruct the Production Foreman and Shop Coordinator on the maintenance & organization of La Jolla Playhouse Scene Shop, Theatres, materials and other resources.
  • Estimate and track labor and material costs for productions and advise Production Management of the potential financial consequences of any proposed changes or other alterations to technical plans.
  • Attend production meetings, run throughs, tech rehearsal, previews, and note sessions as requested by Production Management. 

Artistic Values and Goals

  • Enhance and support the educational and institutional mission of La Jolla Playhouse.
  • Maintain early and regular communication with Production Managers, Production Supervisors, and Designers regarding coordination of artists’ requirements and La Jolla Playhouse resources.
  • Oversee and advise on production value quality control during the build & load-in process.

REQUIREMENTS & PROFICIENCIES

  • A minimum of 4 years of professional experience in theatrical technical direction is required.  A bachelor’s or master’s degree in Theatrical Technical Direction is preferred.
  • Experience working in a LORT Theater (preferred).
  • OSHA 30 and ETCP Rigging Certifications (preferred).  
  • Strong working knowledge and experience with specialized tools used in advanced scenic construction.  (Wood and Metal Working tools, CNC, 3-D Printing).
  • Detailed knowledge and demonstrated skill in scenic construction, welding, rigging, structural engineering, complex automation solutions and soft goods/fabric maintenance and repair.
  • Ability to read and create CAD scenic construction and engineering drawings.
  • Computer skills: Mac, PC, Networking, IP, TCP/IP, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Automation (UDP, Artnet, DMX, MIDI a plus).
  • Demonstrated success in time and personnel management (Calendars, Schedules, Production Process).
  • Deep Knowledge of and dedication to safe work practices, industry best rigging practices, and automation practices. 
  • Demonstrated skill and success in the development, forecasting, management, and tracking of complex production budgets.
  • Strong attention to detail and proactive monitoring of processes with excellent communication skills and a collaborative demeanor.
  • Possess strong critical thinking, problem solving, and organizational skills.
  • Works well under pressure and time constraints, maintaining a calm demeanor in the face of new and unexpected challenges.  
  • Alignment with the values of La Jolla Playhouse.
  • A commitment to uphold and support the Playhouse’s Anti-Racism Action Plan.
  • Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by an FDA approved vaccine is a condition of employment.

PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS

  • The Technical Director may be asked to carry materials up and down stairs, and use hand and stationary power tools.  The production facilities at La Jolla Playhouse are in a multistory building with work taking place on all levels.  The Technical Director may be asked to move scenery or equipment in excess of 50 lbs with assistance.  Work may take place on ladders, mobile elevated work platforms, steel grids at heights between 18-60’ above deck level accessed by a straight ladder.
  • This job may require the ability to stay in a stationary position for long periods of time, with periods of intense movement.  Frequent movement and use of limbs, good manual dexterity, strength, coordination and stamina may be required at times.
  • This position works both inside and outside depending on weather.  
  • Must be able to work a flexible schedule, including nights, weekends and holidays.