Harvard University Assistant Technical Director in Cambridge, Massachusetts

47001BRAuto req ID:47001BRJob Code:AR0255 Stage Associate I Location:USA - MA - Cambridge Business Title:Assistant Technical DirectorSub-Unit:------------ Salary Grade:055Time Status:Full-time Union:00 - Non Union, Exempt or Temporary Basic Qualifications:Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

  • Two years of college or equivalent and four years in a scenic fabrication environment—educational or professional.

Additional Qualifications:Additional Qualifications:

  • Proficient with AutoCAD and MS Outlook and Excel.

  • Command of engineering fundamentals and experience with their applied application to non-theoretical problems.

  • Hands on experience with the execution/application of a range of automated systems such as motors and their control, pneumatics, hydraulics, etc. as well as the design of such systems.

  • Solid experience set with safe, industry standard rigging practices and hands on experience building rigging systems.

  • Strong, clear communication skills—expressing oneself as well as listening.

  • Class D driver’s license and the ability to drive 26’ trucks in urban settings preferred.

  • Experience with TIG welding, CNC routing, sewing, Creative Conners, PRG Automation, Hudson Automation, Cybermotion, machining, wiring, budgeting, sculpting, painting, plastics fabrication techniques, aluminum, etc.

  • ETCP certification.

  • Experience building in off-site facilities, touring, repping, and working with transfers to commercial and other venues is helpful as is prior professional experience fabricating for the entertainment industry.

  • Comfortable working at heights—climbing scaffold, stairs to grid, or similar.

  • Ability to lift 50 pounds and working in confined quarters when working on automation and FX systems.

Additional Information:Position Summary

The Assistant Technical Director (ATD)—one of two individuals with similar title and responsibilities—is responsible for the technical design and drafting of scenery as well as coordination with the scene shop supervisor, purchaser, scenic charge and other relevant stakeholders regarding necessary scheduling, staffing, material acquisition, product research, prototyping, and similar to complete construction on time, safely, and to standards of quality expected by ART. Attention to trucking, touring, structural integrity, reliability, efficiency in manufacturing, load-in, and strike, as well as a high standard of finish are critical to success. The position will also be involved with supervising load-in, attending occasional tech rehearsals, supervising some strike activities, archiving of shows, maintaining a high level of clear communication with colleagues, and promoting training and safe practices among theatre staffing. The ATD is responsible for the design and execution of mechanical and motion control systems as called for, and some interaction with contracted expertise such as code compliance, engineering, automation, outsourced specialized scenery or over-capacity scenery. Participation with maintenance and other project work will also be required.Department:Production/Scene ShopPre-Employment Screening:Identity Schedule:Monday – Thursday: 7:30am – 6:30pm; some Friday, Saturday & Sunday calls to meet deadlines; and additional required hours including evenings during periods of tech, strike, load-in, etc.Job Function:Arts Duties & Responsibilities:Position Responsibilities

Technical Design, Research, & Prototyping

  • Remain within budgetary and timeline parameters, develop technical solutions that are mindful of rep, transfer, scene shifts, truck loading, code, structural concerns, rigging parameters, visual (design) requirements, and performer requirements, and coordinate with other production department needs.

  • Lead product research when necessary—often working with Purchaser.

  • Collaborate with shop supervisor and staff fabricators to develop prototypes of solutions to scenic problems or new techniques. This is generally done in close coordination with the Technical Director (TD) to identify and resolve specific areas of concern.

  • Some interfacing with designer to clarify specific needs and details as well as communicate progress and concerns.


  • In accordance with drafting standards, generate construction drawings in AutoCAD for all fabricated scenery.

  • Ensure accurate conversions of design drawings from other platforms to AutoCAD

Automation & FX Development

  • Work with TD developing suitable automation solutions—hydraulic, winches, pneumatics, hoists, etc.—when appropriate.

  • Work with TD developing suitable FX (rain, fog, magic, water/pools, flame/pyro, flying, rigging, etc.) when necessary.

  • Coordinate cross departmental needs with other departmental heads (rigging requirements, power and distribution needs, etc.).

  • Work directly with both ART staff and outside vendors when suitable to effectively execute automation and/or FX solutions.

Load in, Tech, & Strike

  • Load-in planning with heads of other ART production departments.

  • Generate piece lists, truck packs, and similar documentation of shows including assembly drawings/instructions, operational requirements, etc.

  • Attend some technical rehearsals and/or previews to representing scene shop interests.

General Communication

  • Attend, and contribute to brief daily morning meetings and afternoon scheduling meetings..

    • Remain up to date with rehearsal and performance reports as well as communications internal to the scene shop.
  • Participate in coordination of fabrication with paint and other dependent participants.

  • Comprehensive hand-off of drafting to Scene Shop Supervisor and/or fabricators.

  • Regular follow-up communication with project advancement on the floor.

  • Contribute to shared shop systems of records, drafting templates, archiving, general record keeping and conventions, etc.

  • Engagement with stage management, stage operations department members, and other heads of departments regarding load-in/strike requirements, scenic operation and maintenance requirements, safe automation operations and protocols, and similar.

  • Foster an environment of safety, professionalism, diligence, appropriate conduct, collaboration, and growth.

School/Unit:American Repertory Theater EEO Statement:We are an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, gender identity, sexual orientation, pregnancy and pregnancy-related conditions, or any other characteristic protected by law.