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University of California, Berkeley
Technical Director

Technical Director

DEPARTMENT: Theater, Dance and Performance Studies

POSITION: Technical Director

REPORTS TO: Production Manager

JOB TYPE: Full time exempt

START DATE: Spring 2023, but open until filled

SALARY RANGE: $79,000 - $105,000


  • Choice of medical plans

  • Choice of dental plans

  • Vision plan

  • Supplemental health plans (accident, critical illness and/or hospital indemnity)

  • Legal plan

  • Disability, life & accident insurance

  • Tax-savings programs:

    • Tax Savings on Insurance Premiums (TIP)

    • Health Flexible Spending AccountPDF

    • Dependent Care Flexible Spending AccountPDF

  • Family care resources

  • Pet insurance

*For more please see "full benefits" at UCnet

Position Summary

The Technical Director (TD) has primary responsibility of overseeing the research, development, budgeting, engineering, drafting, technical construction, installation, maintenance and strike of all scenery (built, purchased, rented, or otherwise) for all productions produced and presented by TDPS. The TD also supervises two full-time staff members, Scene Shop Supervisor and Scenic Artist/Carpenter and 4-6 work study students. Additionally, the Technical Director is responsible for training and supervising students completing Scenery Labs for THEATER 168 (Shop Lab Practice) and THEATER 169 (Advanced Shop Lab Practice).


The TD oversees annual scenery budgets for department productions, shop upgrades, maintenance, equipment and tool purchases and manages expense tracking and reconciliation. In addition, the TD takes an active role in communicating with faculty scenic designers and student scenic designers with an emphasis on honoring artistic integrity, while managing budget targets and ensuring appropriate design scale or scope, in order to maintain a balanced, safe and healthy work environment for scene shop staff and student workers.


Technical Director also has primary responsibility for the scene shop and related shops (paint shop, trap room, scenery storage, furniture storage, properties storage, etc.). In coordination with the Production Manager and Theater Supervisor/ Head Electrician, the Technical Director has shared responsibility for the four theater venues, for maintenance of facility and stage equipment, soft goods and rigging, and establishing procedures for operations for all users within the facilities. Assists in different tech areas as needed and as time permits. In addition to production related duties, the Technical Director consults (on a more minimal scale) on the technical needs for workshop or student group related productions.


Essential Duties

  • Administers annual scenery budgets, ensuring that expenditures are within agreed upon budgetary limits and manages expense reconciliation

  • Responsible for providing accurate estimates and feedback on proposed designs, and working 
    with faculty designers and student designers to reach final design choices that can be attained 
    within budget

  • Determines construction techniques and details of construction and installation

  • Researches materials and hardware required to execute the construction of designed units and informs Scene Shop Supervisor of ordering needs

  • Coordinates borrowing/rental of theatrical production elements

  • Prepares detailed construction drawings of designer drawings, rigging and technical drawings, and any other such drawings pertinent to the scenery, stages, or other performance locations, in AutoCAD, Vectorworks and PDF formats for use by scene shop staff, shop work study students, stage management and other production department staff

  • In conjunction with the Scene Shop Supervisor and Scenic Artist, trains and leads students in Theater 168 AND Theater169, laboratory settings associated with theatrical productions, and evaluates students in laboratory work

  • Trains and leads a team of 4-6 work study students with varying levels of experience

  • Analyzes and proposes staffing requirements, identifies/resolves work flow problems, recruits, trains, assigns work and schedules; recommends merit increases, salary adjustments, and classification reviews

  • Attends technical and dress rehearsals and consults with designers regarding notes, changes, and/or additions

  • Establishes procedures and leads users (staff and students) in safe, proper practices of theatrical construction and installation and in safe use, proper handling, and maintenance of all machinery, power and hand tools, and other shop and theater equipment

  • Ensures professional and safe general shop conditions and operations, including fulfilling reporting and record keeping requirements and all applicable rules/regulations including federal, state, OSHA and Cal/OSHA guidelines and regulations

  • Works with Fire Marshall and Environmental Health & Safety to ensure the use, and documentation, of safe practices in all shops and performances spaces

  • In conjunction with the Production Manager, creates shop timelines, inclusive of design deadlines plus associated deliverables, budgeting deadlines and build, install and strike timelines per project

  • In collaboration with the Scene Shop Supervisor, maintains shop facilities and equipment and coordinates with senior managers regarding theater facilities and property management

  • Recommends expenditures for equipment; advises on planning of major alterations of existing facilities or development of new facilities

  • Supervises two full-time staff members, Scene Shop Supervisor and Scenic Artist/Carpenter and 4-6 work study students

  • Additionally, the Technical Director is responsible for training and supervising students completing Scenery Labs for THEATER 168 (Shop Lab Practice) and THEATER 169 (Advanced Shop Lab Practice)

  • Attends all department, staff and production meetings; serves on department committees

  • Advises on all problems associated with multiple aspects of production operations

Required Qualifications

  • Expertise knowledge of tool use and maintenance specific to the scene shop, and theater facilities

  • Knowledge of standards of practice in the field, and standards of safety and safe operation in theater and related fields (concert, dance, opera, film, etc.)

  • Good working knowledge/ basic skill in financial administration

  • Team Management: 1-3 years experience supervising and leading a team of staff members and students with varying levels of experience

  • Scenic Construction: Standard techniques and practices of scenic construction including: carpentry and scenic carpentry; hand and power tool use, and stationary power tool operation; jig construction; sewing and construction of soft goods and scenic drops; furniture building; painting and finishing techniques; welding and metal working of steel and aluminum; fabrication in other media (e.g. plastics, concrete, copper-mesh); electrical wiring; safe lifting; drafting; specialty skills (e.g. foam carving, sculpting, model building)

  • Rigging: Operation of theatrical rigging equipment including: counter-weight purchase systems (single or double); hemp systems (block and tackle, block and fall, sand bag picks); chain motors and electric winches; trouble-shooting, maintenance, and repair or adjustment of rigging systems; maintenance of purchase system, line-sets and peripheral equipment; proper identification and assemblage of rigging components and knots; hanging and flying of scenery and/or lighting equipment

  • Working knowledge of advanced rigging theory and physical law

  • Knows and applies principles of mathematics, especially geometry

  • Scenic Painting: Awareness of standard scenic painting techniques

  • Production Coordination: Must be familiar with all aspects of production

  • Coordinate across all technical areas to ensure timely realization of event

  • Advanced knowledge of production methods and techniques

  • Ability to prioritize competing needs over time between short (production based) and long term (organizational) goals

  • Computer Skills: VectorWorks, Google Suite, Excel, Microsoft Word

  • Bachelor's degree in related area and/or equivalent experience/training

Preferred Qualifications

  • Lighting: (some knowledge): Hanging and circuiting of a light plot. Basic operation of most lighting components (follow spots, ellipsoidal spotlights, PARs, Fresnels, dimmers, control systems). Troubleshooting of lighting systems and plots. Basic operation of standard theatrical lighting control consoles

  • Sound: (some knowledge): Correct and appropriate installation of a sound system. Operation of most sound system components, esp. communication systems, and industry-standard control consoles). Troubleshooting of sound systems and plots

  • Computer Skills: AutoCAD, Filemaker Pro, BFS, UCB EH&S Chemical Inventory Database, PPCS Facilities management database

  • Working knowledge of and/or can quickly learn University and collective bargaining policies, practices, rules, regulations, etc., including safety rules and regulations

  • OSHA 10

  • OSHA 30

  • Entertainment Rigging

Application Requirements

  • Document requirements:

    • Resume or CV

    • Cover Letter


About The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies

at the University of California, Berkeley


Located within the College of Letters and Science, the faculty, staff, and students in TDPS — and in the allied Graduate Group in Performance Studies — pursue a wide spectrum of research and production activities. We see performance as an interdisciplinary form, exploring verbal, visual, spatial, and embodied registers of experience. We see performance as a transnational cultural form, exploring the politics and poetics of social life in all parts of the world. We see performance as a public forum for contemporary ideas, allowing us to test and debate the central concerns of our time in a space that is at once critical, emotional, and collective.


Our faculty and staff are nationally and internationally known, both for their scholarly research and their artistic work in design, directing, choreography, acting, and experimental performance. Our curriculum ranges from the classics to the contemporary; it cuts across theatrical, dance, and visual art forms; it spans all corners of the globe, using the site of performance to deepen UC Berkeley’s critical education in the humanities.


Undergraduate majors and minors are well prepared for the future, both as artists and as engaged citizens of the world. Through the course of their studies, students pursue intensive work in acting, technical theater/design, or dance. At the same time, they take critical and cultural studies courses that set the literary, historical, political, theoretical, and aesthetic concerns of performance in dialogue with other disciplines in the arts, humanities, and social sciences. This flexibility and integration of our programs in Theater and Performance Studies and in Dance and Performance Studies make our students excellent candidates for a variety of professions in the social, corporate, legal, and arts sectors, as well for admission to graduate programs in the arts and to professional schools.


Our professors teach at all levels, and students have an ample opportunity to study with important scholars and practitioners in theater, dance, and performance studies. Our Playhouse Productions and Workshop Performances breathe life into an annual season of classic, modern, and original works, along with our annual concert of new dance works, Berkeley Dance Project. Auditions are open to all students, staff, and faculty on campus, and students receive course credit for successfully completing a production. Most entry-level performance courses (acting, directing, dance technique, playwriting, choreography, and technical design) are open to all Berkeley students. Declared majors and minors can deepen their study with challenging courses and performance projects. Advanced students can also receive course credit for internships and apprenticeships and can propose Honors Projects (in both critical writing and performance) for their final year.


Our faculty, staff, and students welcome you to our diverse and energetic department. In the Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies, you will find small class sizes, inspiring faculty, engaged staff, talented student colleagues, and multiple opportunities to pursue your artistic creativity and intellectual adventures in ways that are both challenging and fulfilling.




The Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies (TDPS) teaches performance as a mode of critical inquiry, creative expression, and public engagement. Through performance training and research, we create liberal arts graduates with expanded analytical, technical, and imaginative capacities. As a public institution, we make diversity, equity, and inclusion a key part of our teaching, art making, and public programming. Successful candidates for our design faculty positions will demonstrate evidence of a commitment to advancing equity and inclusion through their teaching, research, and service.

Anti-Racism Statement and Action Steps

The UC Berkeley Department of Theater, Dance, and Performance Studies acknowledges that colleges and universities, including UC Berkeley, are primarily white-led/founded institutions that have long benefited from deep-rooted systems of white supremacy and settler colonialism. We acknowledge this entrenched order to have influenced our curriculum, teaching, casting practices, and performances. We are committed to dismantling these systems and their violence (both silent and overt) within our department, and within the campus community.


As a community of researchers, artists, and educators, we have come together to articulate a vision and to enact change in service of our values on equity and inclusion. We are dedicated to the principles of anti-racism, anti-oppression, allyship, LGBTQ+ inclusivity, and a sense of belonging for BIPOC members of our community. These values insist and depend upon a climate of safety and trust for all. We reject all forms of oppression, including white supremacy, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, classism, and misogyny.


We recognize that we must confront our own shortcomings and biases on this journey to racial equity and the inclusion of under-represented communities. We accept that this is a sustained effort and we are engaged in a long-term process of learning and growth. Our commitment is to be in continual dialogue with our community and to evolve and change together.



Covid Safety Policy


As a condition of employment, you will be required to comply with the University of California Policy on Vaccination Programs – With Updated Interim Amendments. All Covered Individuals under the policy must provide proof of receiving the COVID-19 Vaccine Primary Series or, if applicable, submit a request for Exception (based on Medical Exemption, Disability, Religious Objection, and/or Deferral based on pregnancy or recent COVID-19 diagnosis and/or treatment) no later than the applicable deadline. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of receiving the most recent CDC-recommended COVID-19 booster or properly decline such booster no later than the applicable deadline. New University of California employees should refer to Exhibit 2, Section II.C. of the SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19) Vaccination Program Attachment for applicable deadlines. All Covered Individuals must also provide proof of being Up-To-Date on seasonal influenza vaccination or properly decline such vaccination no later than the applicable deadline. Please refer to the Seasonal Influenza Vaccination Program Attachment. (Capitalized terms in this paragraph are defined in the policy.) Federal, state, or local public health directives may impose additional requirements.


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