Guthrie Theater | Technical Director

Rate of Pay: 

Reports to: Director of Production

Compensation: $95,000 annually plus benefits



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 and Inclusion; 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 Technical Director leads the scene shop in supporting the director’s and designer’s vision related to the engineering, construction, and procurement of all scenic elements within the allotted time, budget, and scope of resources.  This position is also responsible for managing and supervising all scene shop employees. All employees are expected to center, model and champion the Guthrie’s core values of Artistic Excellence; Community; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Fiscal Responsibility.

This position is full-time, exempt and benefits-eligible. Compensation for this position is $95,000 annually plus benefits. The typical schedule for this role will vary based on the dynamic schedule of a theater including nights and weekends. The typical schedule of the scene shop is Monday-Friday, 7:00 a.m. - 4:15 p.m. Technical rehearsals and Preview Weeks may require additional hours. 

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. Leadership and Supervision

  • Lead, manage and supervise the Associate Technical Director, Assistant Technical Director, Overhire Carpenters, Lead Carpenter, and Head of Scenic Arts.
  • Actively participate in team building. Fostering a work environment of artistic excellence, community, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and fiscal responsibility.
  • Use the organizational monthly check-in form to complete monthly check-ins with all direct reports.
  • Hire staff members to ensure quality work.
  • Attend and/or run department meetings to communicate pertinent information to employees.
  • Coach and develop staff members by monitoring employee productivity and providing constructive feedback; facilitating conflict resolution among employees; ensuring adherence to legal and organizational policies and procedures and undertaking disciplinary actions if the need arises; and completing annual performance evaluations.
  • Maintain and approve direct report timesheets, Personal Time Off requests, and other personnel records.
  • Ensure standards set by the CBA are maintained and followed.

2. Designer Collaboration and Support

  • Collaborate with the design team and other production departments to establish methods for the design, engineering, construction, and procurement of all scenic elements of Guthrie productions.
  • Consult with designers and production department members on any issues that arise during the production process which pertain to the build, installation, and strike of the scenery.
  • Attend production meetings, production department head meetings, load-in meetings, and all staff meetings. Where appropriate, share pertinent information with scene shop employees.
  • Ensure technical notes sessions are attended by the Technical Director or an associate.

3. Scenery Construction/Install Process

  • Manage the scene shop in procuring, creating, building, and maintaining scenic elements, for both performance and rehearsal, so that the productions can be built, installed, and struck by shop employees in a timely, safe, and resource efficient manner.
  • Proactively plan and foster communication on upcoming shows with all relevant personnel.
  • Review/revise budget estimates for each production by tracking all relevant information through the rehearsal reports and ensuring these requests match the allocated budget and resource, as given to you by the Director of Production.
  • In collaboration with the Associate and Assistant Technical Director, and Production Manager, prepare and review a build, load-in, and strike schedule for each production based on the available staff labor and the calendar issued by production management.
  • Manage the workflow of Associate Technical Director and Assistant Technical Director to effectively produce technical drawings in a timely fashion.
  • Manage workflow of scene shop staff to effectively produce scenery in a timely fashion.
  • Communicate the design and technical information to scene shop employees and other departments so the productions can be built and installed in a safe, timely, and resource efficient manner.
  • Monitor and oversee the progress of technical drawings for all scenic elements based on the designer drawings so they can be built by the shop staff or vendors.
  • Collaborate with the Scene Shop Coordinator daily to monitor project progress, equipment and staffing needs.
  • Determine and monitor tool and supply needs and purchases.
  • Maintain a running dialogue with the designers to ensure that changes to the design are communicated to the appropriate members of the production team.

4. Shop Maintenance

  • Organize and prepare information for daily maintenance of the scene shop.
  • Manage stock and common areas to ensure safety and security.
  • Collaborate with Shopper/Buyer to ensure materials are purchased in a timely and resource efficient manner, and correctly allocated to various budgets.
  • Work with the Shopper/Buyer and Shop Supervisor to maintain an inventory of materials and a safe working environment for the scene shop employees so they may work safely and efficiently.
  • Work with the Shopper/Buyer to research and prepare requests for capital improvements.
  • Work with Director of Production to prepare and maintain capital expenditure lines.

5. Administration

  • Work with Production office to manage budget to ensure effective utilization of financial resources
  • Project expenses and manage expenses on a per-show basis.
  • Analyze and monitor budgets.
  • Work collaboratively with other departments to determine and implement archival systems about each production for future reference.
  • Act as the Scene Shop liaison on other Guthrie projects and programs.
  • Maintain files on shows.
  • Actively develop and implement theater best practices and Health & Safety initiatives.



  • Demonstrated technical direction experience or a combination of equivalent experience and training. 
  • Skill and experience in creative problem solving to meet the artistic needs of the show within time and financial requirements. 
  • Advanced knowledge and experience of drawing in 2D and 3D AutoCAD programs.
  • Knowledge of rigging, hydraulics, pneumatics, and theatrical automation.
  • Knowledge of engineering and structures for theatrical use.
  • Demonstrated experience in preparing budgets and labor estimates to keep projects within an acceptable timeframe, budget, and scope.
  • Demonstrated leadership, supervision, and project management experience.
  • Demonstrated professional diplomacy in personnel management and designer collaboration.
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office® products, specifically Word, Excel, Outlook and Teams.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills.
  • Knowledge of IATSE collective bargaining agreements strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of current best health and safety practice within the US theatre industry.
  • Knowledge of construction drafting techniques to create drawings used by employees for scenic construction.
  • Knowledge of a wide variety of construction materials commonly used in the theater to implement in technical designs and how to use them appropriately.
  • Skills in carpentry, welding, rigging, and sewing to draw upon when engineering technical designs.
  • Skill in preparing budgets and labor estimates to keep projects within an acceptable timeframe, budget, and scope.
  • Skill in researching an unknown process or material so it may be applied to a technical solution for a scenic element.
  • Capability to balance the scale and scope of productions. Negotiate design elements to fit within labor and resource budgets.
  • Ability to work well under pressure and respond calmly and efficiently to frequent changes during the production and rehearsal process.
  • Strong commitment to safety and ergonomics in the workplace.
  • Experience, ability, 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.



For the safety of our guests and staff, the Guthrie Theater requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. Documentation of vaccination status must be provided if an offer of employment is made.

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

Apply online here:

Contact information

Guthrie Theater
Ava Skrade
Web site

Posted July 26