Set Builder for Steampunk Style "Willy Wonka" Set

Rate of Pay: 

CastleCo Theatre is seeking a set builder with design skills to turn concept art into set pieces for its late March 2023 production of Willy Wonka. The overall artistic vision for the show is to re-imagine the story with a slight steam-punk / factory feel for the sets and costumes.

The show performs March 22 - April 2 at the Lakeville Area Arts Center.

To be considered for this position, please read the information below and submit a work summary or resume, and photos/videos of past work to [email protected] with the subject line Set Building Application. Submissions should be received by Fri. Jan. 20th. Submissions will be reviewed as they are received. Position is open until filled.


  • Experience designing/building sets for theater productions strongly preferred. Experience and/or degrees in theater set design or other carpentry/ design fields accepted in lieu of theater design experience.
  • Must have a portfolio (images or videos) of past work you can share.
  • Must have access to tools needed to build items. If tools need to be purchased by CCT, they must be ok'd by CCT's Artistic Director and will remain the property of CCT after the show.
  • Must have a location to build set pieces and props OR have ideas of locations that may be leased short-term, at a low rate. (CCT is open to leasing a space for you but has had trouble, historically, finding short-term rentals that are affordable.) CCT has a carpeted rehearsal space which can be made available on Sundays, however cutting and other dirty/messy tasks should occur off-sight. Loud tasks can only occur on Sundays as the building is leased by other tenants and noise travels easily through the walls.
  • References are preferred since this position makes purchases using CCT funds.

Job Duties

  • Meet with Artistic Director (and potentially other members of the artistic staff) to discuss concept art, suggest any changes that may need to be made, and review thoughts on a a general construction schedule. Share thoughts on feasibility of creating the sets/props as drawn.
  • Draft building plans (as needed). Concept art provided by the Artistic Director only includes rough drawings/ideas of what the sets and props should look like and does not include instructions on how to build items. Some design assistance may be requested by CCT's former set designer (who recently retired from the position) if needed. If you would like to view concept art and/or a list of items to be created, please view the images attached to this listing.
  • Visit CCT storage space with staff and volunteer crew (if desired) to help determine if any items from storage can be used in the build. Some items in concept art already exist and may require assembly, but will not need to be built from scratch. CCT staff and volunteers can help assemble these items.
  • Purchase building materials (wood, screws, etc.) using provided credit card and save receipts to be turned in to CCT Artistic Director. Manage set budget and bring any concerns for staying within budget to CCT Artistic Director.
  • Build sets/props off-site to be structurally sound and safe, in advance of Dress Rehearsal week so that items can be moved into the theater and assembled quickly on-site.
    • For several items (example; pipes, machines in Wonka's factory, etc.) you will be responsible for the structural build, but do NOT need to add finishing details, which can be done by other CCT staff if the structural portion is complete early enough (detailsĀ  include; faux metal strips, rivets, etc.)
    • Smaller pieces should ideally be complete before or by Feb. 20 and can be brought to CCT's rehearsal space on a rolling basis as they are completed.
    • This position does not require any painting to be done as CCT has a set painter. Any painting you choose to assist with would be considered voluntary.
  • Orchestrate set pick-up (from the location where items are being built), load-in at performance venue, and assembly during normal business hours on Mon. March 13. CCT can have volunteers available to assist with moving items but you should preferably take the lead on what gets moved, how the truck is loaded, etc. Evening hours on Mon. March 13 may also be available if needed.
  • Assemble items at performance venue on March 13, completing as much as possible prior to rehearsal at 6:30pm. You can choose to assemble items on your own or choose to or lead a crew of volunteers to assist you. CCT set volunteers are usually age 18+, have their own tools, and have some experience assisting in assembly for set building days. The venue is also available most days during business hours to work on remaining set assembly as needed. CCT volunteers are traditionally only available one day, though if we can notify volunteers a few days in advance, some may be able to rearrange their schedules.
  • Assist in strike and transportation of set items to CCT's storage or rehearsal space. CCT's storage space is currently very full. CCT may choose to sell pieces instead of storing them. Proceeds from set sales will go to CCT.
  • If you wish to view some images of the set design concept art for Willy Wonka, please view the attached PDF. Images only show select sets/props, several additional items (both large and small) that are not pictured, will also need to be created. These items are listed on the PDF.

Other Details

  • Stipend: Up to $2000 to be paid at the completion of the work. (If you are unable to commit to building all items needed, stipend could be split between multiple builders.) Negotiation for higher stipends is accepted, but should be submitted right away with your resume and work samples.
  • Concept art for some set pieces is included as a PDF. If you'd like a higher res copy, please email [email protected] to request one.
  • Set Budget: Up to $5000. This includes the budget for other props that must be purchased, paint, etc. Actual costs for structural set materials (based on past shows) should be closer to $3000 or less.
  • CCT currently produces three shows each year in Lakeville / Farmington and has the opportunity for recurring contract work throughout the year. Our ideal candidate would be someone we could work with on an on-going basis.
  • CastleCo Theatre is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) community theater organization with a mission of "Theatre For All". Most CCT productions include large casts with up to 150+ actors with the majority of actors being age 5-adult.
  • Promo Videos from CCT's past productions can be viewed by using the links below. Videos give some glimpse's of past set designs. Note that the stage for Willy Wonka measures approx. 20' across and many promos were filmed on larger stages.
  • Website:

Contact information

CastleCo Theatre
Kayla Yaeger
Web site

Respond by
Friday, January 20
Posted January 5