Guthrie Theater
Technical Director

A word from Joseph Haj, Artistic Director

Technical Director

DEPARTMENT: Production

POSITION: Technical Director

REPORTS TO: Director of Production

JOB TYPE: Full Time, Exempt, Benefits Eligible




  • Full suite Competitive Benefits

  • Health Insurance

  • Health Savings Account

  • Flexible Spending Account (medical and dependent care)

  • Dental & Vision

  • Life Insurance and AD&D

  • Long Term Disability

  • Short Term Disability

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • 403(b) Retirement Plan with employer match up to 4.5% after one year of employment

  • Paid Time Off

  • Transportation

  • Subsidized passes for Metro Transit buses and trains

  • Discounted pre-tax monthly ramp parking

  • Discounted bike locker rental

  • Discounted Nice Ride annual membership

  • Complimentary Tickets to Guthrie productions

  • Discounted Tickets:

    • To all shows produced by the Guthrie

    • To some performances hosted by the Guthrie

  • Discounts to Guthrie classes and camps

  • Other Employee Perks

    • Wellness Program

    • Guthrie Store discount

    • Admission to opening night parties

    • Affinity Groups

    • Discounted Level Five Café and Express dining

    • Frequent Sea Change restaurant discounts

Position Summary

The Technical Director leads the scene shop in supporting the director’s and designer’s vision related to the engineering, construction, and procurement of all scenic elements within the allotted time, budget, and scope of resources. This position is also responsible for managing and supervising all scene shop employees. All employees are expected to center, model and champion the Guthrie’s core values of Artistic Excellence; Community; Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion; and Fiscal Responsibility. This position is full-time, exempt and benefits-eligible.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Supervision

  • Lead, manage and supervise the Associate Technical Director, Assistant Technical Director, Overhire Carpenters, Lead Carpenter, and Head of Scenic Arts.

  • Actively participate in team building. Fostering a work environment of artistic excellence, community, equity, diversity, and inclusion, and fiscal responsibility.

  • Use the organizational monthly check-in form to complete monthly check-ins with all direct reports.

  • Hire staff members to ensure quality work.

  • Attend and/or run department meetings to communicate pertinent information to employees.

  • Coach and develop staff members by monitoring employee productivity and providing constructive feedback; facilitating conflict resolution among employees; ensuring adherence to legal and organizational policies and procedures and undertaking disciplinary actions if the need arises; and completing annual performance evaluations.

  • Maintain and approve direct report timesheets, Personal Time Off requests, and other personnel records.

  • Ensure standards set by the CBA are maintained and followed.

Designer Collaboration and Support

  • Collaborate with the design team and other production departments to establish methods for the design, engineering, construction, and procurement of all scenic elements of Guthrie productions.

  • Consult with designers and production department members on any issues that arise during the production process which pertain to the build, installation, and strike of the scenery.

  • Attend production meetings, production department head meetings, load-in meetings, and all staff meetings. Where appropriate, share pertinent information with scene shop employees.nical Director or an associate.

  • Ensure technical notes sessions are attended by the Tech

Scenery Construction/Install Process

  • Manage the scene shop in procuring, creating, building, and maintaining scenic elements, for both performance and rehearsal, so that the productions can be built, installed, and struck by shop employees in a timely, safe, and resource efficient manner.

  • Proactively plan and foster communication on upcoming shows with all relevant personnel.

  • Review/revise budget estimates for each production by tracking all relevant information through the rehearsal reports and ensuring these requests match the allocated budget and resource, as given to you by the Director of Production.

  • In collaboration with the Associate and Assistant Technical Director, and Production Manager, prepare and review a build, load-in, and strike schedule for each production based on the available staff labor and the calendar issued by production management.

  • Manage the workflow of Associate Technical Director and Assistant Technical Director to effectively produce technical drawings in a timely fashion.

  • Manage workflow of scene shop staff to effectively produce scenery in a timely fashion.

  • Communicate the design and technical information to scene shop employees and other departments so the productions can be built and installed in a safe, timely, and resource efficient manner.

  • Monitor and oversee the progress of technical drawings for all scenic elements based on the designer drawings so they can be built by the shop staff or vendors.

  • Collaborate with the Scene Shop Coordinator daily to monitor project progress, equipment and staffing needs.

  • Determine and monitor tool and supply needs and purchases.

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

Shop Maintenance

  • Organize and prepare information for daily maintenance of the scene shop.

  • Manage stock and common areas to ensure safety and security.

  • Collaborate with Shopper/Buyer to ensure materials are purchased in a timely and resource efficient manner, and correctly allocated to various budgets.

  • Work with the Shopper/Buyer and Shop Supervisor to maintain an inventory of materials and a safe working environment for the scene shop employees so they may work safely and efficiently.

  • Work with the Shopper/Buyer to research and prepare requests for capital improvements. and maintain capital expenditure lines.

  • Work with Director of Production to prepare


  • Work with Production office to manage budget to ensure effective utilization of financial resources

  • Project expenses and manage expenses on a per-show basis.

  • Analyze and monitor budgets.

  • Work collaboratively with other departments to determine and implement archival systems about each production for future reference.

  • Act as the Scene Shop liaison on other Guthrie projects and programs.

  • Maintain files on shows.

  • Actively develop and implement theater best practices and Health & Safety initiatives.

Essential Knowledge and Qualifications

  • Demonstrated technical direction experience or a combination of equivalent experience and training.

  • Skill and experience in creative problem solving to meet the artistic needs of the show within time and financial requirements.

  • Advanced knowledge and experience of drawing in 2D and 3D AutoCAD programs.

  • Knowledge of rigging, hydraulics, pneumatics, and theatrical automation.

  • Knowledge of engineering and structures for theatrical use.

  • Demonstrated experience in preparing budgets and labor estimates to keep projects within an acceptable timeframe, budget, and scope.

  • Demonstrated leadership, supervision, and project management experience.

  • Demonstrated professional diplomacy in personnel management and designer collaboration.

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office® products, specifically Word, Excel, Outlook and Teams.

  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills and interpersonal skills.

  • Knowledge of IATSE collective bargaining agreements strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge of current best health and safety practice within the US theatre industry.

  • Knowledge of construction drafting techniques to create drawings used by employees for scenic construction.

  • Knowledge of a wide variety of construction materials commonly used in the theater to implement in technical designs and how to use them appropriately.

  • Skills in carpentry, welding, rigging, and sewing to draw upon when engineering technical designs.

  • Skill in preparing budgets and labor estimates to keep projects within an acceptable timeframe, budget, and scope.

  • Skill in researching an unknown process or material so it may be applied to a technical solution for a scenic element.

  • Capability to balance the scale and scope of productions. Negotiate design elements to fit within labor and resource budgets.

  • Ability to work well under pressure and respond calmly and efficiently to frequent changes during the production and rehearsal process.

  • Strong commitment to safety and ergonomics in the workplace.

  • Experience, ability, and commitment to working with individuals and teams that are mixed across lines of difference such as race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class and immigrant status.

About the Guthrie

History: Founded in 1963, the Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Under the artistic leadership of Joseph Haj, the Guthrie produces a mix of classic and contemporary plays on three stages and continues to set a national standard for excellence in theatrical production and performance. Land Acknowledgement: The Guthrie would like to acknowledge that we gather on the traditional land of the Dakota People and honor with gratitude the land itself and the people who have stewarded it throughout the generations, including the Ojibwe and other Indigenous nations.


Mission, Vision & Values

MISSION: To engage exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays, connecting the community we serve to one another and to the world. Through its extraordinary artists, staff and facility, the Guthrie is committed to the people of Minnesota and, from its place rooted deeply in the Twin Cities, influences the field as a leading 21st-century arts organization.

VISION: The Guthrie creates transformative theater experiences that ignite the imagination, stir the heart, open the mind and build community through the illumination of our common humanity.

CORE VALUES: Our commitment to these four principles is at the heart of everything we do. Artistic Excellence Community Equity Diversity and Inclusion Fiscal Responsibility


Anti-Racism Statement and Action Steps


The Guthrie is a historically and predominantly white institution, which means we must first acknowledge that we have participated in systemic racism. While we had taken strides prior to 2020 to expand the diversity of our work on and off the stage, we have simply not done enough to include and herald Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) voices. In the wake of George Floyd’s murder, the Guthrie’s Senior Management Team began gathering insight from Black artists and community leaders, staff, board members, national advisers and industry colleagues on how the theater might work toward becoming a more anti-racist and equitable organization.

The following is a sampling of the actions we have taken towards that goal:

  • We have continued our policy that all creative teams must be diverse in race and gender except when it may be necessary for all members of a team to be from an underrepresented community.

  • We have continued our policy to require a qualified slate of candidates diverse in race and gender identity before interviewing for an open position.

  • Starting in August 2020, we began working with Team Dynamics — a Minnesota-based firm selected by the Guthrie’s staff-led Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee — with a focus on anti-racism work for a minimum of 18 months. 

  • Our board of directors is participating in anti-racism training with Team Dynamics.

  • We have continued our work with Native communities including: free Native-led classes for Native community members; paid fellowships for emerging Native artists; free Guthrie tickets for members of Native communities; and a continued commitment to evolving together.


Along with these ongoing conversations, we are proactively and publicly sharing our commitments to anti-racism work at the Guthrie — not only to communicate what we are doing with candor but to hold ourselves accountable and be held accountable by everyone we serve. To see our full anti-racism work and commitments, follow this link: 

There is no completion date for this work.

Covid Safety Policy

For the safety of our guests and staff, the Guthrie Theater requires employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.  Documentation of vaccination status must be provided if an offer of employment is made.