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Theater ,
submitted by
Chris Thoren

Director of Production

Chicago Opera Theater seeks a Director of Production.

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.

Please send cover letter and resume to

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 operationsProvide design team managementOversee stage management throughout rehearsal and production periodsOversee communication with costume, scenic, properties and electrics teamsLiaise with performance venue management and personnelServe as a primary COT liaison to each production’s technical staffNegotiate contracts with production vendorsMaintain compliance with production health and safety requirementsWork with Finance to establish appropriate production insurance requirementsSupply feasibility recommendations on future performance venuesExecute agreements with performance venuesPrimary liaison with performing venue and stage crewsAssess all production designs, providing budget projections and timelines for their implementationParticipate in the creation of rehearsal schedule and create and maintain technical production calendarOversee the delivery, installation, and removal of all production elements in and out of rehearsal and performance venuesLiaise with any co-producing companies on technical and logistical aspects of production design, transport, and venue specificationsOversee the preparation and/or rental of projected supertitlesPersonnel:Negotiate, issue, and manage contracts for all Production staffOversee scheduling and management of all Production personnelNegotiate contracts with Designers or their managersOversee preparation of Production staff payrollsParticipate in all union negotiationsSupervise hiring of other contract and overhire production personnelFinance:Create and manage technical production budgets and expense projectionsOversee production expense tracking and reportingClearly and accurately communicate results/variances to General Director and staffAdministrative:Maintain historical documentation of all COT productions (PSM books and archival recordings)Track and maintain all warehouse inventory and assetsManage all technical aspects for any COT events as requiredAssist the General Director and COT staff at company eventsKnowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

Thorough knowledge of all production-related aspects of live theaterIn-depth familiarity with IATSE, AGMA, and USA regulation and procedure a plusProficiency with using and understanding drafting software programs preferredStrong written and verbal communication skillsAbility to negotiate contracts and rental agreements.Organized and detail-orientedStrong inter-personal relationship skillsThoughtful problem-solving skills and decision-making abilityBackground 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 requirementsPrior experience in the field of Opera and/or musical theater technical direction and administrationBachelor’s degree in a related field from an accredited college or university requiredAnalyze 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 solutionsHighly self-motivated with leadership qualities; an effective team playerAbility to communicate effectivelyComplete understanding of theater techniques and processes, including industry safety standardsExperience with union crews; interpretation and implementation of union agreementsExperience with industry standard contracting, including AGMA, IATSE, and USADemonstrable detailed specialist knowledge in all areas of scenic, properties and costume constructionAdditionally, a high level of competence in one or more of the following disciplines: lighting, sound, video and film technologyIT literate with intermediate or above understanding of Microsoft Office, Outlook, Mac OS, office tools typical of an office environmentAbility to work in a basic fashion in VectorWorks, AutoCAD, or similar CAD-program and LightwrightInterest 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.

Please send cover letter and resume to

Job Type: Permanent
Location: Chicago, IL