Director of Production

Job #6204

Job Type Full Time
Location Indianola, Iowa
Field Management
Post Date Mar 20, 2024
Salary $65,000 - $80,000 annually

Responsible for the technical implementation of Des Moines Metro Opera’s Summer Season during which DMMO produces 3-4 new productions in a rotating repertory. The Director will maintain high artistic standards and initiate and engage in early, efficient and thorough communication with design teams and department heads to ensure that new production designs are realized on time and within budget. This position has direct supervision for departments including scenery, props, stage operations, costumes, lighting, audio/video, wigs/make-up and designer relations. Previous experience as a Technical Director of Assistant Technical Director is ideal.

The position will work closely with the current seasonal Technical Director in ensuring that complex, new productions can effectively share the same theatre spaces and to ensure that designs work together to fulfill the artistic vision of the company while creating effective work schedules for all crews. The position is a part of the senior leadership team and works closely with all departments in planning and executing strategy for DMMO, its productions and events.

Primary responsibilities include directing all production planning and operations in a safe, orderly and efficient manner and in keeping with the overall mission of the Company. The position also includes direct supervision of a year-round, on-site Assistant Production Manager (APM). The APM directly oversees a robust Design and Production Internship program in partnership with this position and has oversight in the design process of productions for Opera Iowa educational touring productions.


Duties / Responsibilities:
• Promote an inclusive, respectful and compassionate working environment that prioritizes the Company’s values towards equity, diversity and inclusivity.
• Assist the General Director in the search for designers. Negotiate designer agreements.
• Interview and/or hire all Production Staff in collaboration with Department Heads.
• Work in conjunction with leadership team to develop annual production budget.
• Work with the design and production staff in the execution and supervision of all off-site construction within budget parameters during the pre-season. This includes communicating and working with all theatrical shops and vendors for off-site bidding and construction.
• Oversee occasional new scenic build on-site during summer season.
• Manage all mainstage theatre-related activities at the festival. This includes advancing all aspects of the incoming productions, equipment, and rentals along with projecting and adhering to budget.
• Develop and maintain professional business relationships with all staff, board, union representatives, industry colleagues and producing partners as well as relevant local and national vendors.
• Establish and maintain a workplace that prioritizes health and safety standards.
• Ensure compliance with all applicable Simpson College theatre facility policies.
• Represent management on collective bargaining teams as appropriate and oversee adherence to CBA terms.

Season Planning:
• Participate in season planning discussions as they relate to budgeting and workability of new productions for approval approximately 12-18 months before the start of the season.
• Schedule and attend off-season design meetings in person, by phone or video conference.

Design and Production Internship Program:
• Embrace the role of mentor and teacher, sharing knowledge, experiences and best practices.
• Facilitate documentation for academic credit as needed by members of intern program.
• Schedule and help prepare the Stage Supervisor to lead a basic Stage Safety course for all interns.
• Moderate post-show talkback production-related forums with designers and production staff.

The list below is intended as a starting point for conversations. We welcome inquires and discussions about this position from applicants who have serious interest but may possess each quality listed below.
• Experience or background in technical direction is strongly preferred.
• Experience in repertory opera or theatre is highly valued.
• Experience in leading a professional scenic and costume design process including reading and interpreting designs and build drawing and renderings, stewarding a fair bidding process, working with build shops and integrating their delivery into a complex rehearsal pattern.
• A BA is required. An MFA in Theatre or comparable professional experience in technical theatre production is preferred but not required. Experience and understanding of set and prop construction and rigging, lighting and video projection, sound reinforcement and costuming is preferred.
• Training in and understanding of safe practices for the theatre environment.
• Training in and understanding of basic scenery, props, costumes, lighting, video projection, and sound designs and implementations.
• Previous experience in theatre renovation and redesign is helpful.
• Strong organization, communication, and interpersonal skills.
• Flexibility and solution-oriented focus within fast-paced and ever-changing environments and personalities.
• Ability to maintain and work within a budget.
• Willingness and ability to work with a variety of different personalities and skill levels.
• Strong computer skills, including knowledge of Microsoft Excel and Word. Auto CAD is a plus.
• Valid Driver’s License.
• The ability to drive and operate a 26’ box truck a plus, but not required.

This position involves moderate work with lifting or moving up to 50 pounds occasionally, occasional climbing and work from ladders and standing for long periods of time. The position requires ability to use computer equipment, manual dexterity, and the ability to communicate verbally and in written word. This position requires long hours and a flexible work schedule in support of rehearsals, performances and special events.