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Theater ,
submitted by
Gianna Schuetz

Costume Shop Supervisor


The Costume Shop Supervisor serves as the head of the costume department, providing leadership for a team of full-time staff and overhire in the planning, budgeting, purchasing, construction, and maintenance of costumes for Chicago Shakespeare Theater. They are responsible for supporting the artistic vision of the production and executing the realization of the costume designs collaboratively and creatively, ensuring that the costumes are realized in a fiscally responsible and timely manner.


• Manage the scheduling, coordination and supervision of the fabrication and procurement of costumes for all productions.

• Develop budget estimates based on preliminary designs through creation of plots and projections around materials, labor, rentals, and outsourcing anticipated. Provide suggestions on scope adjustments as needed.

• Proactively collaborate with and guide costume designers to realize their designs within the bounds of budget, time, and infrastructure

• Manage labor and material budgets and build schedules over the course of the production and the broader season. Work with creative team and Production Management to maximize the artistic impact of available resources.

• Oversee workflow and prioritization between multiple projects, while maintaining appropriate production values

• Realizing design ideas while also meeting the needs of the performer and running/maintenance of the show

• Collaborate with Hair and Makeup Supervisor, Properties Supervisor, and other production department heads in support of all elements of each production.

• Attend technical rehearsals and previews as required by Production Management.

• Adhere to and enforce CST health and safety protocols by training employees on safety protocols, providing necessary safety equipment, reporting incidents, monitoring evolving safety practices, and advising on adjustments to policy.

• Ensure that the costume shop work environments, fittings, quick change spaces, and all other workspaces and activities in the costume department’s purview are inclusive, and respectful for performers, designers, and staff. Maintain discretion and diplomacy in all activities to ensure that performers feel supported and safe.

• 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


• Support all other activities of the theater requiring costume department involvement including fundraising and audience development initiatives, access programming, and education initiatives.

• Develop, and maintain relationships with outside production companies and theaters to cultivate opportunities for contract projects when the CST production schedule allows


• Hire, supervise, train, and evaluate costume shop staff and overhires including; Costume Design Asst, Wardrobe Supervisor, Drapers, First Hands, and Stitchers


• 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 Clearly track expenses across budgetary lines.

o Successfully adhere to established budgets.

o Complete and submit 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 possible in the course of fundraising, cultivation, outreach, and education initiatives.

• Correspondence with the public via email or by phone is possible.


• Perform a variety of physical tasks including but not limited to climbing stairs, stooping, bending, kneeling, reaching, lifting, and pulling.

• Assist in the pushing, pulling, lifting, or moving of objects up to 50 lbs.

• Use of manual dexterity in the operation of computers, and other equipment.


• 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 fabrication shops, dressing rooms, shared offices, warehouses, and outdoors.

• Work environment may at times be dirty, noisy, in low-light, or in a tight and cramped space.

• Will be exposed, at times, to potentially hazardous materials and equipment.


Required Job Qualifications

• Five or more years supervisory and leadership experience in a theater costume shop

• Strong financial/business skillsets including: estimating project costs based on provided design information, tracking and projecting expenses, financial reconciliation.

• Excellent written and verbal communication skills

• A demonstrated ability to creatively collaborate with a diverse range of designers and design processes and a willingness to adjust the production process to the needs of a given project

• Demonstrated ability to manage multiple overlapping and on-going projects to highest standards within the time, human resource, and budgetary constraints

• An ability to balance design ideas with the more practical operational needs posed by the demands of theatrical costuming

• Knowledge of safety policies and procedures within a costume shop environment

• Ability and commitment to working with diverse groups in terms of gender expression, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class, and immigrant status

• A demonstrated understanding of body diversity and a commitment to leading a body positive costume shop

Preferred Job Qualifications

• Significant high-level professional experience in multiple genres, including theatre, new works, and musicals.

• Experience managing production transfers nationally and internationally


$64,000-$70,000 annually

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL