Production Manager, Committee on Theater and Performance Studies, University of Chicago

Unit Summary:

The Committee on Theater and Performance Studies supports innovative work at the intersection of theory and practice across a broad spectrum of disciplines.  The University of Chicago’s undergraduate and graduate programs in TAPS stand out for the intellectual commitment they demand, the interdisciplinary perspective they require, and the extraordinary collaborative opportunities they provide with theater, dance, and performance companies in partnership with other UChicago Arts entities, in Chicago, across the country, and around the world. TAPS also supports student-driven theater & performance related activities by a broad range of co-curricular organizations (e.g., University Theater, The Dean’s Men, Off-Off Campus, Dance Council, Le Vorris & Vox and Comedia).


Job Summary:

Reporting to the Chair of Theater and Performance Studies or his/her designee, the Production Manager oversees three performance spaces and at least five rehearsal spaces for co-curricular, departmental and professional productions. Supervises and manages Theater and Performance Studies part-time student and professional production staff. Leads weekly production staff meetings, and arranges for overhire and/or student support when necessary. Serves as Production Manager for departmental productions. Option to teach 1 course per year subject to the curricular needs of the TAPS program.

Trains and mentors all student stage managers and production managers. Serves as primary liaison with the Logan Center for the Arts for scheduling and maintenance in TAPS spaces. Advises student & faculty driven production-related projects including those driven by a range of co-curricular organizations (e.g., University Theater, The Dean’s Men, Off-Off Campus, Dance Council, Le Vorris & Vox and Comedia).


Responsibilities: (may perform all or a combination of the following):

35% Oversees production-related concerns for over forty productions annually, including student, faculty, and guest artist productions. Develops and approves budgets for supplies, shows, and equipment purchases, and advises students on the same. Encourages a collaborative environment between students, faculty and staff in curricular, co-curricular, and professional settings.                        

20% Advises student organizations and individual students, including those entering the profession and post-graduate study, in the areas of production and stage management.

15% Production manages selected TAPS-initiated and/or supported productions (e.g,, faculty driven projects, Chicago Performance Lab projects, and partner programs).  In collaboration with the Managing Director, coordinates with directors and designers to create production budgets, draw up contracts, and hire technicians.    

15% Trains and mentors all stage managers and production managers. Attends technical rehearsals and  leads weekly workshops for stage and production managers.       

10% Oversees space usage for TAPS curricular and co-curricular programs in coordination with the Logan Center for the Arts.                

5% Serves on relevant University boards and committees. Leads or attends production-related meetings and other duties as assigned.

Skills & Qualifications: 

Required Competencies:

●      Superior organizational and communication skills

●      Ability to thrive in both structured and unstructured work environments

●      Work effectively both as part of a team and independently

●      Ability to prioritize competing demands

●      Creative problem-solver, with a strong eye for details

●      Ability to work in a university setting

●      Availability to work evenings and weekends                                         


Desirable Qualifications:

●      An understanding of Chicago’s performance landscape


Education, Experience, and Certifications:


●      Bachelor's degree required, with a major in arts management or theater preferred



●      Three years professional production or stage management experience is required

●      Five years of post-undergraduate job experience in the arts is preferred

●      Demonstrated experience with light and sound boards is required


Technical Knowledge or Skills:

●      Proficiency in Mac and PC environment

●      Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook,  and Quickbooks as well as and online organizational tools

●      Working knowledge of basic and advanced design considerations required, including at least some familiarity with electrical theory and practice, construction of scenery and carpentry, lighting, rigging, safety, sewing, welding, carpentry and construction, sound systems, scenic painting, upholstery, special effects (e.g. pyrotechnics, stage elevators, moving scenery, etc.) and stage management.


Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

●      Production Office environment

●      Commitment to providing a high level of service and working in a team environment required

●      Attention to detail required

●      Ability to handle confidential information with utmost discretion required

●      Job requires physical strength and coordination, including set up of tables and chairs, light hangs, and scenery lifting

●      Ability to sit at a computer for 2-4 hours


Required Documents:

●      Cover letter enumerating your interest in this position

●      Résumé

●      List of three references with email and telephone contact information


NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application.


The statements above are intended to describe the general nature and level of the work being performed by people assigned to this job.  They are not an exhaustive list of all duties and responsibilities associated with it.

To Apply: 

To apply, visit the University of Chicago website.