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Costume Manager

DEPARTMENT: Production

POSITION: Costume Manager

REPORTS TO: Director of Production

JOB TYPE: Full Time, Exempt


SALARY: $78,000



  • Comprehensive medical and dental benefits

  • Generous employer funded retirement plans

  • Significant annual PTO

  • Transportation assistance and commuter benefits including 50% subsidy on MBTA and Commuter Rail passes 

  • Tuition reimbursement programs and much more

Position Summary

Directs all aspects of costuming for ART productions and advises on costuming needs for undergraduate performances.

Essential Duties

​Promote an inclusive and safe work environment:

  • Foster a culture of community, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism among staff and guest artists

  • Foster a culture of psychological and physical safety, and ensure safe work environment and practices are observed

  • Maintain and promote a safe work environment by following and enforcing all safety regulations, ensuring placement and maintenance of safety equipment, training employees on safety practices, reporting and managing records of incidents, staying current on safety issues and advising management and staff on related policy

  • Hire and supervise Costume Staff (Assistant Costume Shop Manager, Head Draper, Crafts Artisan, and additional staff as needed)

  • Foster the professional development of the team with annual performance reviews, periodic feedback, and training opportunities. Encourage use of paid-time off.  Staff appropriately for redundancy to ensure time can take be taken and promote a healthy work-life balance.

  • Collaborate with all costume and wardrobe departments (Costumes, Crafts, Wardrobe, Wigs, Hair & Makeup) to finalize the hiring and onboarding of overhire, and ensure compliance with the union (HUCTW) and Harvard employment policies

  • Regularly schedule opportunities for staff to participate in relevant industry and professional development trainings

Support Artistic Vision and Goals:

  • Collaboration with Costume Designers and in partnership with the Wardrobe Manager, collaborate with Makeup/Hair/Wig Designers to accomplish their designs within budget (materials and labor) and timeline (including factoring in meetings, fittings, and construction time)

  • Collaboration with Stage Management and Costume Designer on costume plots, entrance/exit charts, the scheduling of fittings, and responding to costume notes in rehearsal and performance reports


Budget Management:

  • Manage cross-seasonal costume budgets for supplies and shop maintenance

  • Collaborate and maintain open lines of communication

  • Keep Production Management up to date on Costume budget, expenses, and timeline tracking

  • Oversee the daily operation of the costume department, including facilitating conversation between costume sub-departments as projects move between areas, and communicating changes as they come up

  • Collaboration with other production departments on cross-departmental projects

  • Attend production meetings, studio rehearsals, tech rehearsals, and previews as needed

  • Maintain offsite costume storage and document stock and saved shows. Rent or lend stock to student groups or outside organizations as possible

  • Represent Costume in building meetings as we design and build our new theatre

Skills and Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualification in order to be considered for this role:

  • Strong knowledge and vocabulary of costume and craft construction methods and materials.


Additional Qualifications:

  • Willingness to continue research and grow personal knowledge in the area of makeup, hair, and wigs, particularly global majority styling and care resources

  • Ability to quickly and accurately budget and report the amount of time needed for costume and craft production, sourcing, and show running tasks

  • Empathy, listening skills, and a strong ability to read body language and other nonverbal clues are essential

  • Conflict resolution skills - diffusing tension, navigating difficult conversations, mediating resolutions

  • Ability to adapt and quickly communicate changes throughout the production process

  • Must be capable of overseeing multiple projects happening simultaneously via delegating and collaborating with Costume sub-department team members

  • Class D driver’s license and comfort driving sprinter van preferred, but not a requirement

  • Ability to maintain and repair sewing machines preferred, but not a requirement


Working Conditions

A.R.T. is a multi-story building without an elevator, with work taking place on all levels. The Costume Manager may be asked to assist with moving costumes, wardrobe boxes, and other materials to and from storage or around the building. This position requires night and weekend work, particularly during tech and previews. It also requires occasional local and out-of-state travel, primarily for shopping and rehearsals in NYC. The costume storage area is offsite and housed in the A.R.T. scene shop building, approximately a mile from the theater. The storage area is on a second level loft, accessed via a staircase


Software Used: Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Dropbox, Harvard-specific payroll software

About The American Repertory Theater

The American Repertory Theater (A.R.T.) at Harvard University is a leading force in the American theater, producing groundbreaking work that is driven by risk-taking and passionate inquiry. A.R.T. was founded in 1980 by Robert Brustein, who served as Artistic Director until 2002, when he was succeeded by Robert Woodruff. Diane Paulus began her tenure as Terrie and Bradley Bloom Artistic Director in 2008 and co-leads the theater in partnership with Executive Director Kelvin Dinkins, Jr., who began his tenure in June 2022.
Mission & Vision

The American Repertory Theater at Harvard University is dedicated to expanding the boundaries of theater, always including the audience as a partner.
We focus on the research and development of groundbreaking theatrical experiences that catalyze dialogue and transformation. We believe that by engaging our hearts, minds, and bodies, theater has the power to heal and imagine collective pathways forward. We commit to advancing public health in our practice and our programming, recognizing that racism in America is a national public health crisis. Our new home in Allston will be a breathable and healthy building envisioned as a town hall for the twenty-first century. Inspired by the model of a teaching hospital, the building will be a vibrant center for research, experiential pedagogy, and performance. We build community with our audiences, artists, students, staff, and neighbors across Greater Boston, embracing theater’s power to cultivate the full breadth and beauty of our shared humanity. We affirm and celebrate a multitude of perspectives and experiences that reflect the diversity of our country and world. We are dedicated to making a welcoming and accessible space for people of any identity, background, or ability.
Anti-Racism Statement and Action Steps

A.R.T. is centering anti-racism as a core value, including in our policies, structure, programming, philanthropy, communications, pedagogy, and workplace culture. Our journey will be sustained, ongoing, and foundational to our theater. Read more at 

Covid Safety Policy
Vaccines are required for all Harvard community members, including faculty, staff and researchers. Exemptions may be provided for medical or religious reasons. Note that unvaccinated people with an approved exemption may be subject to additional public health measures (e.g., masking, testing) above and beyond what is required of vaccinated individuals. Updates and information regarding the University's vaccine requirement can be found at the University's vaccine webpage, and additional details will be provided when available.

American Repertory Theater

Costume Manager

A word from Jeff Burrows, Crafts Artisan 

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