Guthrie Theater | Lead Carpenter

Guthrie Theater Logo in Midnight Blue

Reports to: Associate Technical Director

Compensation: $30.49 per hour plus benefits

This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with IATSE Local 13



The Guthrie Theater engages exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays connecting the community we serve to one another and to the world. Through its extraordinary artists, staff and facility, the Guthrie is committed to the people of Minnesota, and from its place, rooted deeply in the Twin Cities, influences the field as a leading 21st century arts organization. 

Every year more than 500 people, both on stage and off, help ensure our success in creating and supporting the highest level of theater. As an organization, we are committed to our values of Artistic Excellence; Community; Equity, Diversity, Inclusion and Accessibility; and Fiscal Responsibility.



The Guthrie Theater would like to acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the Dakota People and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, including the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations.



The Lead Carpenter participates in and oversees production builds, load-in, strike and maintenance of scenic elements and effects for all Guthrie productions. In addition, this role works with the Scene Shop Supervisor to assist in the maintenance and upkeep of the Scene Shop and storage areas to provide a safe and efficient work environment. All employees are expected to center, model and champion the Guthrie’s core values of Artistic Excellence; Community; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility; and Fiscal Responsibility.

This position is full-time, non-exempt and benefits eligible. Compensation for this position is $30.49 per hour plus benefits. This position is covered by a collective bargaining agreement with IATSE Local 13. The work schedule for this role will vary based on the dynamic schedule of the theater which may include occasional nights and weekends. Typical Schedule Monday – Friday 7am –3:30pm. This position works 40 hours per week and is guaranteed a minimum of 44 workweeks per fiscal year.

The Guthrie is dedicated to building an equitable environment that is mixed across lines of difference and strongly encourages applications from Black, Indigenous, People of Color, women, transgender, and non-binary candidates.  This position will remain open until filled and until a diverse and qualified pool of candidates is identified. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply.



1. Construction, Installation and Maintenance of Scenery & Effects

  • Build, create, modify, and install scenery, effects and rigging to convey the designer’s vision, meet the functional requirements of the play, and ensure durability and safety standards. 
  • Interpret design and working drawings.
  • Work individually or as part of a team on projects as assigned.
  • Maintain a running dialogue with the Scene Shop Supervisor, fellow Carpenters, Technical Direction (TD) team and other members of the organization as needed.
  • Provide technical assistance and solutions to address issues of safety, function, aesthetics, and fabrication.
  • Communicate with other production departments to clarify plans for the efficient integration of scenic elements and report any relevant information back to the TD team.
  • Become familiar with design concepts and construction drawings in order to efficiently address questions from full-time and overhire staff.
  • Transition between tasks and projects when designs or priorities shift.
  • Revise elements as directed by the TD team.
  • Assist with or perform standard rigging installations in a safe and efficient manner as necessary for any Guthrie productions or presentation.
  • Create prototypes when necessary to determine the most appropriate construction method and material needed.
  • Evaluate elements for artistic quality and design and ensure proper and safe functionality can be maintained.

2. Leadership

  • Lead crews, including full-time and overhire staff, on build, load-in and strike of scenic elements as assigned by the TD team.
  • Monitor all work for safety, quality, and best practices. Coach or direct other carpenters as needed.
  • Work within the production schedule and with the TD team to ensure daily/weekly targets are being met.
  • Communicate with the TD team daily on project progress.
  • Actively engage in daily shop meetings to ensure pertinent information is communicated to carpentry staff and the TD team.
  • Actively participate in team building, fostering a work environment incorporating the Guthrie values of Artistic Excellence; Community; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility; and Fiscal Responsibility.

3. Maintenance Of Spaces and Supplies

  • Work with the Scene Shop Supervisor to ensure tools and equipment are restored to the proper location when no longer in use. Assist with leading end of day clean up.
  • Communicate with Shopper/Buyer and Scene Shop Supervisor any material needs in order to maintain build and shop operations.
  • Actively assist the Scene Shop Supervisor in maintaining safe conditions and operable shop tools, notifying TD team as needed.
  • Clean and organize workspaces, tools, raw materials, and scenic elements.



  • Extensive experience in theatrical carpentry.
  • Flexible, collaborative and able to adapt to changing priorities.
  • Fosters a positive work environment.
  • Demonstrated leadership experience.
  • Advanced skill in interpreting drawings in order to reproduce designs accurately.
  • Advanced skill in metal and wood working.
  • Intermediate knowledge of construction techniques to build scenery.
  • Intermediate rigging knowledge.
  • Basic sewing skills.
  • Knowledge of a wide variety of materials to offer greater flexibility in executing designs.
  • Ability to lift 50 lbs continuously throughout an assigned shift.
  • Can creatively solve problems.
  • Forklift experience preferred.
  • Chain hoist experience preferred.
  • Strong commitment to health and safety in the workplace.
  • Must be willing and able to occasionally work additional hours beyond typical schedule, reflective of the dynamic schedule of the theater.
  • Experience and commitment to working with individuals and teams that are mixed across lines of difference such as race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class and immigrant status.



Applicants must submit a resume to be considered for the position.

Apply online here: