Woolly Mammoth: Technical Director

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WOOLLY MAMMOTH MISSION

 

Woolly Mammoth, a national innovator in the development and production of new plays, is one of the best known mid-sized theatres in the country and “the hottest theater company in town” (Washington Post). For almost four decades, Woolly has held a unique position at the leading edge of the American theatre, earning a reputation for staying “uniquely plugged in to the mad temper of the times” (New York Times). We’ve garnered that reputation by holding fast to our unique mission and our core values:

 

  • To create rousing, visceral, enlightening theatre experiences that galvanize diverse artists and audiences to engage with our world in unexpected and often challenging ways.

  • We are a radically inclusive community—across race, ethnicity, nationality, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, physical ability, socioeconomic background, and political viewpoint—in which all are encouraged to exchange ideas freely and reach for new understanding.

  • We are a supportive home for creative risk-taking by our company and guest artists, staff, board, volunteers, audiences, donors, and colleagues.

  • Through relentless inquiry and experimentation, we strive for world-class excellence and innovation in every aspect of our work.

 

More here

 

CULTURE

 

At Woolly, our culture is driven by our stated core values of radical inclusivity, creative risk-taking, relentless inquiry & experimentation, world-class excellence, and innovation. We expect both personal and collective accountability in how these values are applied to the work of each employee of WMTC. We acknowledge that Woolly Mammoth has upheld and benefited from systems of oppression in our country and we aim to do better; using the principles of anti-racism to guide our actions and decision-making. How we do things is as important as what we do, and we expect our core values and anti-racist practices to influence the way we work together as a team. We strive to center openness, integrity, and care in our policies, processes, and how we interact with one another. We embrace a culture of transparency, accountability, and mutual respect as the foundation of all our collaborations, both inter-departmentally and externally. We take seriously our role as a civic leader, and strive to address local and national challenges using our knowledge, skills, commitment, and resources. As part of this work, all employees are expected to develop meaningful internal and external relationships that are mutually beneficial and impact-aware. We believe that everyone in the Woolly community is worth engaging in conversations about the art we make and how that art intersects with the world. We lean into the unconventional, especially if a nontraditional and inventive approach will help us reach new understandings of our art form, our industry, and our world. 

ABOUT THE ROLE:

The Technical Director leads the scene shop in its successful and safe execution and implementation of scenery for the stage, ensuring the process is completed smoothly, within the allotted time, budget, and scope, and in alignment with and service to Woolly’s artistic mission and commitment to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access. The Technical Director reports to the Production Manager.

 

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

PRODUCTION: 

 

Scene Shop Leadership, Mentorship, and Internal Communication

 

  • Manage and support the personnel in the scene shop to promote a safe, healthy, and productive working environment, in line with Woolly’s mission;

  • Work with the Production Manager to continually improve the capacity of the scene shop and the quality of our work and work place through staff mentorship, coaching and a commitment to professional development;

  • Participate in high level brainstorming, planning and budgeting with the Production Manager as a thinking partner and collaborator in expanding the boundaries of the production department’s work;

  • Adapt to and support many different styles of working, thinking, and collaborating;

  • Lead daily Check In and Out meetings with the scene shop staff and other production departments, and attend weekly Production Staff meetings;

  • Actively support Woolly’s commitments to Equity, Diversity, Inclusion, and Access.

 

Collaboration and Preparedness on Projects

 

  • Collaborate with the design team and other production departments to establish methods for the design and execution of the scenery and/or other elements of productions;

  • Prepare and organize the technical information pertaining to the scenery for specific productions so that the productions can be built, installed, and struck by shop employees in a timely, safe, and resource efficient manner;

  • Prepare a thorough build, load-in, and strike schedule for each production based on the available staff labor and the calendar issued by the Production Manager;

  • Hire and supervise over-hire carpenters as needed for shop build and load in.  Work with local community to identify an over-hire pool and maintain relationships with local freelance pool;

  • Prepare a thorough cost out of each and every production with flexibility, contingency and creativity to maximize resources in an efficient manner, with suggestions and plans to adhere to the allocated budget and resources predetermined by the Production Manager.  Track and submit expenses in a timely fashion;

  • Maintain a proactive dialogue with the designers to ensure that changes to the design are communicated to the appropriate members of the production team;

  • Think creatively to engineer technical solutions to scenic designs, concepts and ideas.  Maintain positive and collaborative attitude including when faced with challenges;

  • Work with Stage Management to build run crew responsibilities.  Train and supervise run crew with specific consideration for performer safety;

  • Lead the execution and monitor the progress of technical drawings for all scenic elements based on the designer drawings so they can be built by the shop staff;

  • Collaborate with presenters to ensure all technical specifications and requirements can be met safely in our space, ensuring presenters have a clear understanding of and adhere to all our safety measures;

  • Attend Production Meetings, including production meetings after all technical rehearsals.

 

Scene Shop, Technical Maintenance and Safety

 

  • Actively support Woolly’s commitment to safety in the workplace, including participating in Woolly’s Safety Committee and leading the curation and implementation of new and improved safety practices in the scene shop, theatre, and technical work spaces;

  • Proactively update staff on the conditions of the theatre space, especially when the theatre is a construction zone during changeover;

  • Maintain an up-to- date inventory of resources, tools, and supplies, with special awareness and focus on upkeep and maintenance according to equipment guidelines;

  • Create and communicate a shop schedule for scenery build as well as overhire Carpenters.  Collaborate on departmental needs for production calendars including load-in and strike, and incorporate shop build schedule into overall season calendar;

  • Ensure continued scene shop support and maintenance throughout a show’s run as well as proper archival upon closing.

 

FACILITIES:

 

Safety and Code Compliance

 

  • Prioritize maintaining the facility and using the technical production skill set in service of the well-being of the facility, in collaboration with the Production Manager;

  • Maintain facility spaces and equipment according to city and state regulations, ensuring code compliance; 

  • Actively monitor and consider fire safety and maintenance in all aspects of the facility and work.

 

 

Inventory and Resource Management

 

  • Maintain up-to-date drawings of all facility spaces in the building with as much detail as possible, including but not limited to electrical outlets, data ports, and fire extinguishers;

  • In coordination with the Associate General Manager, maintain an up to date inventory of facility resources including but not limited to replacement parts, spare flooring, paint, and electrical covers.

 

COMPANY-WIDE RESPONSIBILITIES:

 

  • Commit to Woolly’s policy of anti-racism and radical inclusivity. This includes participating in anti-bias/anti-harassment training, familiarizing yourself with the policies in the employee handbook, using Woolly’s Liberation Library as an educational resource, engaging in EDI work at Woolly, and furthering your own independent journey with anti-racism.

  • Cross-departmental collaboration, including participating in at least one Woolly working group, committee, and/or taskforce outside of your own department. 

  • Advocate for policies both internally and externally that further advance Woolly’s stated values on an organizational, local, and national scale. 

  • Contribute in meaningful ways to the culture. See “Our Culture at Woolly” section below for more information.

  • Act as an ambassador for Woolly Mammoth in the local community and beyond.

 

SUPERVISORY RESPONSIBILITIES: 

  • Responsible for providing employees timely, candid, and constructive performance feedback; developing employees to their fullest potential and providing challenging opportunities that enhance employee career growth; developing the appropriate talent pool to ensure adequate bench strength and succession planning; recognizing and rewarding employees for accomplishments. Additionally, this position will:

    • Select, train, and develop an effective and efficient staff including:

    • Interviewing applicants and select new employees; 

    • Supervising the department orientation and training of new employees;

    • Recommending salary increases, promotions, transfers, disciplinary actions, and dismissals in conformance with company policy and procedures; and

    • Conducting annual performance reviews.

  • Have substantial knowledge of leadership, teamwork, and management principles in line with the values of the organization.

  • Direct Reports: Technical Director supervises Assistant Technical Director.

 

QUALIFICATIONS:

 

Experience:

  • Minimum of five years of experience in technical direction or theatrical production.

 

Essential Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:

  • A broad skill base and knowledge in carpentry, rigging, welding, engineering, and automation;

  • Ability to quickly solve problems that may arise unexpectedly in order to get work done efficiently and safely;

  • Ability to research an unknown process or material so it may be applied to a technical solution for a scenic element;

  • Knowledge of standard theatrical scenic construction methods to use in technical designs.

  • Knowledge of a wide variety of construction materials and methods used in the theater to implement in technical designs;

  • Skill in preparing budgets and labor estimates to keep projects within an allotted time frame, budget, and scope;

  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and CAD software, especially AutoCAD and VectorWorks to create plans and drawings for scenic construction;

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
     

Other Skills or Qualities: 

  • Active engagement and leadership development in your individual position is integral to the overall health of our organization. This will be reviewed and defined with your supervisor to set individual goals. Woolly encourages employees to take personal responsibility and pride in their work.

  • See the larger picture and pull out the relevant details to diagnose problems. Think creatively about how to solve problems including new ways of working together. Woolly values innovative thinking, big ideas, and bigger passion.

  • Collaborate with and adapt to a wide variety of people and personalities, working styles, and artistic visions.

  • Ability to lead and/or supervise employees to get work done efficiently and safely with an appropriate level of quality and expectations;

  • Ability to communicate and delegate tasks to others in order to keep the flow of work moving forward at an efficient rate.

 

WORKING CONDITIONS: 

  • Normal office environment.

  • Extending viewing of computer screens.

  • Ladder- and stair-climbing is required to access the catwalks and rigging positions.

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds in tandem.

  • Use of aerial lifts and work at height.

  • Some evening and weekend work required.

  • Some travel required.

  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company is located in Washington, D.C.’s Penn Quarter neighborhood. It is air-conditioned, located in a wheelchair accessible building, and in close proximity to public transportation.

 

COMPENSATION:

  • Salary Range: $52k - $62k

  • Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company recognizes that conversations about salary can be difficult. In recognition of the necessity for top-tier talent, we strive to provide pay that meets the market by leveling with industry peers to determine the pay range for each position. Where the employee falls in that range is determined by experience and skill set. Woolly will work hard to administer the compensation program in a manner that is transparent, consistent, and equitable across the company.