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Technical Designer


POSITION: Technical Designer

REPORTS TO: Production Manager

JOB TYPE: Full Time, Exempt

START DATE: May 1st 2023

SALARY RANGE: $75,000 - $85,000



  • Complimentary Tickets

  • UCSD Campus Card

  • Opening Night Celebrations

  • 11 Paid Holidays

  • 2 Weeks paid vacation (increasing in year 3 to 3 weeks and again in year 5 to a total of 4 weeks)

  • Paid sick leave up to 2 weeks

  • Medical Insurance

  • Dental Insurance

  • Vision Insurance

  • Long-Term Disability Insurance

  • Life Insurance

  • Employee Assistance Program

  • Flexible Spending Account

  • 403(B) Investment Plan

  • Workers' Compensation Insurance

  • CA Stage Disability Insurance (Wage Supplement)

  • Paid Family Leave Insurance (Wage Supplement)

Position Summary

Under the direction of the Scenery Supervisor and in collaboration with the Production Management team the Technical Designer serves as a key member of La Jolla Playhouse’s Scenery Department. The Technical Designer will have the primary responsibility of overseeing the engineering, drafting and technical construction of scenery (built, purchased, rented, or otherwise) for all productions produced and presented by La Jolla Playhouse including festivals and special events. Key to the success of those projects, the Technical Designer, in collaboration with the other Production Department Supervisors, will take an active role in communication with Designers, IATSE Stagehands and La Jolla Playhouse Management with an emphasis on maintaining a safe and healthy work environment. Strong candidates will possess a strong working knowledge of structural and mechanical design and a demonstrated ability to safely engineer complex scenery solutions. The successful candidate is a collaborative technical engineer committed to La Jolla Playhouse’s mission and values.

Essential Duties


  • Create technical drawings for shop build based on designer drawings, layouts, and other visual aids

  • Draft detailed assembly and installation drawings for use by production crew during load in

  • Research materials and hardware required to execute the construction of designed units and inform Production Foreman of ordering needs

  • Actively communicate with shop crew to monitor build progress and help monitor quality control

  • Work closely with Scenery Supervisor and Production managers to meet budgetary and scheduling goals

  • Communicate closely with production design team during the engineering and construction phases of the project 

  • Compile relevant drawings and documents to facilitate successful future transfers of LJP productions as necessary

  • Enhance and support the educational and institutional mission of La Jolla Playhouse

  • Maintain regular communication regarding coordination of artists’ requirements and La Jolla Playhouse resources

  • Function in a professional and collegial manner



  • Commitment to a culture of learning, community, anti-racism, inclusion, belonging, and respect among employees and visiting artists

  • Commitment to a culture of safety, both psychological and physical, ensuring a safe work environment

  • Represent as necessary, the Scenery Department during Safety Inspections in Production facilities

  • In collaboration with Production Management and other Department Supervisors, contribute to production risk assessments to achieve workable and safe productions at all levels

  • Maintain current knowledge of safety best practices and standards



  • Assist Scenery Supervisor on estimating cost for designs based on designer drawings

  • In collaboration with the Scenery Supervisor, direct the Scenery Department Staff in the Construction, Installation, Strike and Transfer process for all productions beginning with early design consultations through completion of projects

  • Instruct the Draftsperson on the preparation of ground plans and sections of designer drawings, rigging and technical drawings, and any other such drawings pertinent to the scenery, stages or other performance locations in AutoCAD and PDF formats for use by technical, stage management and design staffs

  • Attend production meetings, run throughs, tech rehearsal, previews, and note sessions as requested by Production Management.



Skills and Qualifications

  • Professional experience in theatrical technical direction, engineering and/or drafting

  • Strong working knowledge of mechanical and structural design for the stage

  • Proficient in 3D AutoCAD

  • Working knowledge and experience with specialized tools used in advanced scenic construction. (Wood and Metal Working tools, CNC, 3-D Printing)

  • Detailed knowledge and demonstrated skill in scenic construction, welding, rigging, structural engineering, complex automation solutions and soft goods/fabric maintenance and repair

  • Ability to read and create CAD scenic construction and engineering drawings

  • Computer skills: Mac, PC, Networking, IP, TCP/IP, AutoCAD, Vectorworks, Automation (UDP, Artnet, DMX, MIDI a plus)

  • Deep knowledge of and dedication to safe work practices, industry best rigging practices, and automation practices

  • Strong attention to detail and proactive monitoring of processes with excellent communication skills and a collaborative demeanor

  • Possess strong critical thinking, problem solving, and organizational skills

  • Works well under pressure and time constraints, maintaining a calm demeanor in the face of new and unexpected challenges

  • Ability to climb and work on ladders, lifts, catwalks, and grids



  • Bachelor’s degree or Advanced Master’s in Theatrical Technical Direction

  • Experience working in a LORT Theater

  • OSHA 30 and ETCP Rigging Certifications.

Working Conditions

  • The production facilities at La Jolla Playhouse are in a multistory building with work taking place on all levels. Work may take place on ladders, mobile elevated work platforms, steel grids at heights between 18-60’ above deck level accessed by a straight ladder

  • This job may require the ability to stay in a stationary position for long periods of time. Use of limbs, good manual dexterity, strength, coordination and stamina may be required at times.

About La Jolla Playhouse

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 105 world premieres, commissioning 60 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. These works include the Broadway hits Come From Away, Diana and Memphis, all directed by Ashley; The Who’s Tommy; the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife; and Jersey Boys. La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage. We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply. La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).


La Jolla Playhouse advances theatre as an art form, telling stories that inspire empathy and create a dialogue toward a more just future. With our intrepid spirit and eclectic, artist-driven approach we will continue to cultivate a local, national and global following with an insatiable appetite for audacious work. We provide unfettered creative opportunities for a community of artists of all backgrounds and abilities. We are committed to being a permanent safe harbor for unsafe and surprising work, offering a glimpse of the new and the next in American theatre.



Vision and Values


At La Jolla Playhouse, we believe that stories enhance the human experience, instill empathy and help us see the world in new ways. We respect all races, ethnicities, cultures, physical/cognitive abilities, ages, genders and identities, and endeavor to be an anti-racist and accessible organization that removes barriers to engagement. As a community of life-long learners who celebrate the spirit of play, we innovate and collaborate to bring theatre to life.


We practice empathy by listening, challenging our assumptions and staying open to all perspectives.


We respect and recognize the complexities of all lived experiences, identities and cultural backgrounds.


We honor the Kumeyaay Nation, the original caretakers of the land on which our theaters sit.


We will fight against anti-blackness, the many forms of racism directed at BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) and all types of discrimination and harassment, to be a more inclusive space where everyone feels welcome onstage and off.


We work with our community to identify, understand and address ways to make our theatre more equitable and accessible.


We infuse the spirit of play into everything we do, sparking creativity, fun and life-long learning.


We innovate and take risks to propel theatre as an art form and as a pathway toward fostering belonging and enhancing human connection.


We collaborate by prioritizing inclusive practices from which diverse voices, talents and ideas can strengthen engagement and creative thinking.


We vow to grow and embrace these values.


When we falter, we will hold ourselves accountable through transparent communication, measurable outcomes, self-reflection and humility.


With great joy and a strong sense of responsibility, we commit to these values in every aspect of our work.


La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage. We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply. La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Anti-Racism Statement and Action Steps

La Jolla Playhouse stands in solidarity with BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) artists, audiences and community members in the fight to end racism. Our detailed Action Plan can be found at the link below and is comprised of opportunities in Artistic Production, Development, Residencies, Internships and Fellowships. We also detail steps for our Producing and Institutional Practices.

Please see the full Anti-Racism Action Plan on our website for more.

Covid Safety Policy

COVID-19 Safety at La Jolla Playhouse - Updated October 31, 2022


COVID-19 Safety Policy for La Jolla Playhouse will be announced 2 – 4 weeks prior to each show’s first performance.


Effective Monday, October 17, 2022, La Jolla Playhouse will no longer require patrons to wear masks indoors while attending shows or events at our theatres. However, we still recommend indoor masking while at La Jolla Playhouse. You should feel comfortable wearing a mask if you choose. Staff and volunteers will be encouraged to wear masks indoors. Concession food must be enjoyed outside or in the lobby and concession drinks with lids will be permitted in the theatre. If you have purchased tickets for others, please share this important information with your theatre companions.


We will continue to evaluate our health and safety policies in light of evolving local health conditions and guidance from authorities, and will notify you of any changes. If at any time prior to your performance, you are not feeling well, or feel uncomfortable attending, we are happy to assist you with a return or date exchange when available. Please contact Patron Services at (858) 550-1010 for further assistance.


As always, the health and safety of audiences, artists, staff, volunteers and our community are our highest priority. We are committed to following guidelines and strategies provided by UC San Diego, San Diego County, California Department of Public Health, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Playhouse works very closely with UC San Diego to regarding COVID-19 safety on campus, including participating in the university’s healthy building practices.


Thank you for helping us create a safe and enjoyable environment for audiences, artists and staff. We are grateful to you for your continued support of the Playhouse and of live theater in San Diego.

La Jolla Playhouse
Technical Designer

A word from Becca Duhaime, Production Manager,
and Jonathan Gilmer, Scenery Supervisor

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