Stage Crew Head

POSITION TITLE:            Stage Crew Head

REPORTS TO:                Director of Production, Associate Director of Production, Production Stage Managers, Scenic Supervisors

REPORTING STAFF:        Stage Crew, Stage Crew Apprentice


Position Overview

Chicago Shakespeare Theater seeks a Stage Crew Head to be responsible for overseeing the backstage operation, maintenance and repair of CST theatrical productions, programs and special events (as necessary) across multiple venues. This position works closely with the Associate Director of Production, and Scenic Supervisors to determine the safest and most effective ways to operate physical elements of each CST production. The Stage Crew Head also works closely with the Stage Managers to facilitate the backstage needs for the cast and crew for each production.

Position will begin in fall, 2018.



  • Supervise all deck crew operations during technical rehearsals, previews, and performances.  This may include:
  • Determining stage crew assignments, scenery and prop storage arrangements, and scene shift choreography in consultation with Stage Management.
  • Moving furniture, set pieces, props, costume items, audio equipment, and lighting equipment during performances.
  • Programming and operating fly system and other motion control devices (motors, lifts, etc.).
  • Possible shifts in costume and in view of the audience.
  • Assisting in facilitation of programming adjacent to performances including talkback discussions, education programming, and fundraising events.
  • Serving as onsite safety manager during performances both onstage and backstage for all departments including Wardrobe, Cast, Sound, and Stage Management.
  • Training covers in their tracks as needed.
  • Creating schedules and timesheets for stage crew in coordination with the ADoP.
  • Attending and participating in Production Meetings following tech and previews.
  • Maintain and repair the physical equipment related to show operation during technical rehearsals, preview performances, and throughout the run.  This may include:
  • Repairing scenic pieces in consultation with the Scenic Supervisors, ADoP, Stage Managers, and other members of the Run Crew as needed.
  • Maintaining the appearance of the set through cleaning and paint touch-ups.
  • Routine maintenance of flys, motors, and other stage equipment.
  • Assisting in the repair of props in consultation with the Prop Run Crew Head and Prop Supervisor as needed.
  • Assist the Scenic Supervisors with install of scenic elements as needed.  This may include arena rigging/theater rigging, carpentry, truck loading and unloading, and crew management.
  • Facilitate needs of other departments for backstage and onstage areas as needed.
  • Maintain a clean and safe backstage area, including the stage, the staging area and the docks during technical rehearsals, preview performances, and throughout the run. 


Hours and Compensation

Position is full time and is often scheduled to work six days of work per week including nights, weekends, and occasional holidays.  Hours and scheduling will vary and are subject to change based on the needs of each production or project.  The position is hourly with benefits and will be covered under CST’s contract with IATSE Local 2.  Current IATSE members as well as non-members are welcome to apply.

About Chicago Shakespeare Theater

Situated in downtown Chicago on Navy Pier, Chicago Shakespeare Theater has risen since its founding in 1986 to become a leading international theater company and recipient of both the Regional Theatre Tony Award and three Laurence Olivier Awards. Guided by the partnership between founder and Artistic Director Barbara Gaines and Executive Director Criss Henderson, the Theater is dedicated to creating extraordinary productions of Shakespeare and other classics, new works, musicals and family programming; to unlocking Shakespeare’s work for educators and students; and to serving as Chicago’s cultural ambassador through its World Stage Series. Through a year-round season encompassing more than 650 performances, Chicago Shakespeare attracts 225,000 audience members annually. During 2016, the Theater spearheaded Shakespeare 400 Chicago, one of the world’s largest cultural festivals inspired by Shakespeare’s legacy. In 2017, the Theater opened its innovative new performance venue, The Yard at Chicago Shakespeare.

Skills & Qualifications: 
  • Scenery automation and control experience (Navigator preferred)
  • Thorough understanding of motion control electronics and stage machinery including motors, drives, and safety system.
  • Carpentry and wood working
  • Power and hand tool proficiency
  • Stage rigging techniques
  • Time/Labor management
  • Basic computer skills
  • Strong Inter-personal communication
  • OSHA and industry safety standards for:
  • Work at heights
  • Materials safety information
  • Use of power tools
  • Personal protective equipment


Physical Demands

  • Lift 50 pounds repeatedly without injury
  • Work at heights of up to 50 feet in bosuns chairs
  • Work on lifts as high as 30 feet
  • Work long hours on their feet
  • Work safely in a dark environment
  • Move quickly backstage during show operations
  • Operate power tools, chain hoists, counterweight rigging systems, and other stage machinery
  • Tolerate occupational exposure to paints and other chemicals
  • Work primarily evening hours, including frequent required work on the weekends and on holidays


The Stage Crew Head will not routinely be in contact with patrons of the theater or the general public.  However, the Stage Crew Head is often a contact point between Chicago Shakespeare Theater and our guest performers, designers, directors and technicians.  As such, it is important that the Stage Crew Head be able to act in a professional manner at all times and be able to help our guests feel welcome for the duration of their time with us.  Stage Crew Head will often need to accommodate backstage tours for donors, and doing so in a fostering and welcoming way is necessary. 

To Apply: 

Interested candidates should send a cover letter, resume, and 3 references to  

Candidates of interest will be contacted by a representative of the Theater. Please no calls.

Chicago Shakespeare is committed to building diversity and inclusion onstage and throughout the organization.

We especially encourage individuals from underrepresented groups to apply.

Contact Information
Contact Phone Number: 
No Calls please.