Assistant Technical Director

Assistant Technical Director

locationUnited States
PublishedPublished: 4/4/2024
Full Time


Assistant Technical Director

American Repertory Theater


Job Summary

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work in Cambridge and beyond. A.R.T. produces a mainstage subscription season, as well as additional artistic projects, which expand the boundaries of theater by transforming the ways in which work is developed, programmed, produced, and contextualized, always including the audience as a partner. A.R.T. produces a broad range of theatrical entertainment including new works, pre-Broadway premieres, co-productions and transfers, and international tours.

Through groundbreaking and transformational theatrical experiences, A.R.T. believes that theater has the power to heal and imagine collective pathways forward. A.R.T. affirms and celebrates a multitude of perspectives and experiences that reflect the diversity of our country and world, and is dedicated to making a welcoming and accessible space for people of any identity, background, or ability.

As the professional theater on the campus of Harvard University, A.R.T. is committed to the collaborative and creative exchange among a wide range of academic departments, institutions, students, and faculty members. A.R.T. plays a central role in Harvard’s undergraduate Theater, Dance & Media concentration and also mentors students in the Harvard Radcliffe Dramatic Club at the Loeb Drama Center.

The Assistant Technical Director (ATD)— is responsible for the technical design and drafting of scenery as well as coordination with the shop supervisor, purchaser, scenic charge and other relevant stakeholders regarding necessary scheduling, staffing, material acquisition, product research, prototyping, and similar to complete construction on time, safely, and to standards of quality expected by ART. Attention to trucking, touring, structural integrity, reliability, efficiency in manufacturing, load-in, and strike, as well as a high standard of finish are critical to success.  Additionally, the ATD will actively participate in load-in activities, attend tech rehearsals as needed, supervise load-in and strike operations, and oversee the archiving of shows. Clear communication with colleagues, along with promoting training and safe practices among theater staff, are essential aspects of the role. The ATD will also be responsible for designing and executing mechanical and motion control systems as required, collaborating with contracted experts on areas such as code compliance, engineering, and automation. Participation with maintenance and other project work will also be required.

Position Description

Position Responsibilities
Promote an inclusive and safe work environment:

  • Foster a culture of community, anti-racism equity, diversity, inclusion, and respect among staff and guest artists.
  • Foster a culture of safety, both psychologically and physically, and ensure safe work environment and practices are observed.
  • Participate in companywide anti-racism and anti-oppression initiatives.
  • Attending all company, department, shop meetings, and as necessary, safety training.
 Support Artistic Vision and Goals:
  • Uplifts the mission, vision, and values of A.R.T with staff and overhire
  • Works with the entire scenery department to implement scenic designs.
Technical Design, Research, & Prototyping
  • Remain within budgetary and timeline parameters, develop technical solutions that are mindful of rep, transfer, scene shifts, truck loading, code, structural concerns, rigging parameters, visual (design) requirements, and performer requirements,
  • Coordinate with other production department needs when scenic element directly affects them.  
  • Lead product research when necessary—often working with Purchaser.
  • Collaborate with shop supervisor and staff fabricators to develop prototypes of solutions to scenic problems or new techniques.  This is generally done in close coordination with the Technical Director (TD) to identify and resolve specific areas of concern.
  • Some interfacing with designer to clarify specific needs and details as well as communicate progress and concerns.
  • In accordance with drafting standards, generate detailed construction drawings in AutoCAD for all fabricated scenery.
  • Provide clarity on design drawings for scene shop team and coordinate with designers if intentions in drawings are unclear, as needed.
  • Ensure accurate conversions of design drawings from other platforms
Automation & FX Development
  • Collaborate with the TD to devise appropriate automation solutions, including hydraulic, winches, pneumatics, hoists, etc., as needed.
  • Collaborate with the TD to devise suitable special effects (FX) solutions such as rain, fog, magic, water/pools, flame/pyro, flying, rigging, etc., when required.
  • Coordinate cross departmental needs with other departmental heads (rigging requirements, power and distribution needs, etc.).
  • Work directly with both ART staff and outside vendors when suitable to effectively execute automation and/or FX solutions.
Load in, Tech, & Strike
  • Coordinate load-in plans with heads of other A.R.T. production departments.
  • Prepare detailed documentation for shows, including but not limited to piece lists, truck packs, assembly drawings/instructions, and operational requirements.
  • Attend select technical rehearsals and/or previews to representing scene shop interests.
General Communication
  • Attend and contribute to brief daily morning meetings with full scene shop staff.
  • Remain up to date with rehearsal and performance reports as well as communications internal to the scene shop.
  • Collaborate in coordinating fabrication with paint and other relevant departments.
  • Comprehensive hand-off of drafting to fabricators.
  • Regular follow-up communication with project advancement on the floor.
  • Contribute to shared shop systems of records, drafting templates, archiving, general record keeping and conventions, etc.
  • Engage with stage management, stage operations department members, and other heads of departments to address load-in/strike requirements, scenic operation and maintenance requirements, safe automation operations and protocols, and similar.
  • Foster an environment of safety, professionalism, diligence, appropriate conduct, collaboration, and growth.

Basic Qualifications

  • Two years of college or equivalent and four years in a scenic fabrication environment—educational or professional.
  • Command of engineering fundamentals and experience with their applied application to non-theoretical problems.
  • Proficient with AutoCAD and MS Outlook and Excel.
  • Demonstrated expertise in adhering to safe and industry-standard rigging practices, with hands-on experience in building rigging systems.
  • Ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment with multiple concurrent priorities, maintaining effectiveness and composure.
  • Strong working knowledge of Microsoft Office Programs, including Outlook, Word, and Excel. Sharepoint experience preferred.
  • Excellent communication abilities, both in expressing ideas and actively listening to others.
  • Punctuality and a proven track record of meeting deadlines consistently.
  • Self-motivated, detail-oriented individual with a proactive approach to planning and problem-solving.
  • Dedication to craftsmanship, coupled with a strong work ethic, commitment to safety, teamwork mentality, and a continuous drive for learning and improvement.
  • Maintain and promote a safe work environment by following and enforcing all safety regulations, providing safety equipment, training employees on safe practices, reporting incidents, managing record keeping, staying up to date on safety issues, and advising on safety-related policy and decisions.
  • With advanced notice, ability to work a flexible schedule including morning, evening, and weekend hours.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

If you believe this is a role that you will be excited to work in, even if you do not have the following we encourage you to apply:

  • Hands-on experience with the execution/application of a range of automated systems such as motors and their control, pneumatics, hydraulics, etc. as well as the design of such systems.
  • Have a class D driver’s license and the ability to drive 26’ trucks in urban settings.
  • Experience with TIG welding, CNC routing, sewing, Creative Conners, PRG Automation, Hudson Automation, Cybermotion, machining, wiring, budgeting, sculpting, painting, plastics fabrication techniques, aluminum, etc.
  • ETCP certification.
  • Experience building in off-site facilities, touring, repping, and working with transfers to commercial and other venues is helpful as is prior professional experience fabricating for the entertainment industry.

Physical Requirements

  • Comfortable working at heights—climbing scaffold, stairs to grid, or similar. 
  • Ability to sit in workstation, type and work with a computer for extended periods of time.
  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and work in confined quarters when working on automation and FX systems.

Additional Information

Monday through Friday. Full Time. 7:30a – 4:00p; some Saturday, & Sunday calls to meet deadlines; and additional required hours including evenings during periods of tech, strike, load-in, etc.

The health of our workforce is a priority for Harvard University. With that in mind, we strongly encourage all employees to be up to date on CDC-recommended vaccines. 


Work Format Details

This position is based primarily on-campus, in Massachusetts. This may include in-person during emergency situations (if applicable). Additional details will be discussed during the interview process. Certain visa types may limit work location. Individuals must meet work location sponsorship requirements prior to employment.


We invite you to visit Harvard's Total Rewards website (https://hr.harvard.edu/totalrewards) to learn more about our outstanding benefits package, which may include:

  • Paid Time Off: 3-4 weeks of accrued vacation time per year (3 weeks for support staff and 4 weeks for administrative/professional staff), 12 accrued sick days per year, 12.5 holidays plus a Winter Recess in December/January, 3 personal days per year (prorated based on date of hire), and up to 12 weeks of paid leave for new parents who are primary care givers.
  • Health and Welfare: Comprehensive medical, dental, and vision benefits, disability and life insurance programs, along with voluntary benefits. Most coverage begins as of your start date.
  • Work/Life and Wellness: Child and elder/adult care resources including on campus childcare centers, Employee Assistance Program, and wellness programs related to stress management, nutrition, meditation, and more.
  • Retirement: University-funded retirement plan with contributions from 5% to 15% of eligible compensation, based on age and earnings with full vesting after 3 years of service.
  • Tuition Assistance Program: Competitive program including $40 per class at the Harvard Extension School and reduced tuition through other participating Harvard graduate schools.
  • Tuition Reimbursement: Program that provides 75% to 90% reimbursement up to $5,250 per calendar year for eligible courses taken at other accredited institutions.
  • Professional Development: Programs and classes at little or no cost, including through the Harvard Center for Workplace Development and LinkedIn Learning.
  • Commuting and Transportation: Various commuter options handled through the Parking Office, including discounted parking, half-priced public transportation passes and pre-tax transit passes, biking benefits, and more.
  • Harvard Facilities Access, Discounts and Perks: Access to Harvard athletic and fitness facilities, libraries, campus events, credit union, and more, as well as discounts to various types of services (legal, financial, etc.) and cultural and leisure activities throughout metro-Boston.

Job Function


Department Office Location

USA - MA - Cambridge

Job Code

AR0255 Stage Associate I

Work Format




Salary Grade





00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary

Time Status


Pre-Employment Screening

Education, Identity


Monday through Friday. Full Time. 7:30a – 4:00p; some Saturday, & Sunday calls to meet deadlines; and additional required hours including evenings during periods of tech, strike, load-in, etc.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging

Harvard University views equity, diversity, inclusion, and belonging as the pathway to achieving inclusive excellence and fostering a campus culture where everyone can thrive. We strive to create a community that draws upon the widest possible pool of talent to unify excellence and diversity while fully embracing individuals from varied backgrounds, cultures, races, identities, life experiences, perspectives, beliefs, and values.

EEO Statement

We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.

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