This is a full time / seasonal job working the production year (37 weeks) from mid-August to the end of April annually. The salary posted is the full year FTR. The seasonal salary range is $35,520 – $41,440 per season ($960 – $1120 per week / $24 – $28 per hour).

As a comprehensive performing arts school set in one of the world’s best public institutions of higher education, the School of Music, Theatre & Dance (SMTD) is engaged in the creation, practice, scholarship, and pedagogy of music, theatre, and dance. We aim to provide leadership, nationally and internationally, in all three fields. We assert and celebrate the value of the arts to the mission of the University of Michigan. SMTD is committed to sharing values of diversity and inclusion, especially regarding historically underrepresented individuals. In the theatrical Paint Shop, this work includes promoting an inclusive space welcome to all and allowing everyone to increase their comfort with technical skills.

University Productions presents ten mounted main stage shows each season, serving the departments of Theatre & Drama, Musical Theatre, Dance, and Voice in three different campus venues. These productions are directed by faculty and guest directors; designed by faculty, students, and guests; and crewed by undergraduate SMTD students. Design & Production majors work as stage managers, shop assistants, and technicians for each production; advanced students may design costumes, scenery, or lighting for these productions.

To assist and participate in the supervision and organization of all aspects of the creation, construction, procurement, costing, and crewing of scenic painting for approximately ten productions per year for University Productions; to assist with overall management of Paint Shops in Power Center and Walgreen Drama Center; to assist with the practical training of students in areas of scenic artistry.

Duties to be Performed

-Assist with the supervision and the production of the painting of scenery, the production of three-dimensional sculpture, and the layout of design elements according to approved designs within budgeted amounts.

-Assist with the carving and painting of large props. University Productions creates approximately ten fully produced main stage theatrical productions for the Departments of Dance, Voice (Opera), Musical Theatre, and Theatre & Drama.
-Collaborate with designers regarding materials, techniques and costs relating to painting a particular set.  Techniques include texturing, faux finishes, and two-dimensional illusions.
-Assist with scheduling and directing temporary help and student assistants in the painting of scenery and associated arts. Use hands-on techniques to show student assistants how to accomplish scenic tasks.
-Assist with coordinating the use of Power Scene Shop and its equipment with Scenery and Properties Departments. Assist with coordinating work schedules with Walgreen Scene Shop as relates to painting in order to meet scheduled deadlines and to share resources equitably.
-Assist with estimating costs of assigned productions, including both materials and labor. Upon approval of the Charge Scenic Artist, make subsequent expenditures within budgeted amounts.
-When requested by Charge Scenic Artist, attend scheduled production and occasional technical or dress rehearsals as needed to monitor paint quality under theatrical lighting. Attend staff meetings.
-Assist with mentoring students in practical areas of scenic artistry. This mentoring can take many forms, but most important to this position is training and modeling best industry practices to maintain a culture of safety.
-Assist with informal small group instruction to students as part of their coursework in the practical aspects of scenic painting during theatre labs.

-Assist with advising student designers on the process of realizing their designs (faculty will advise on aesthetics).

-Assist with making technical recommendations to theatre students on their extra-curricular productions when requested.
-Assist with maintaining accounting records, including material purchases, purchasing-card reports, and labor expenses.
-Ability to read technical drawings is necessary.
-Ensure safe work practices and compliance with safety regulations in the shop and theatres.

-Assist with giving practical instruction to students on the safe operation of equipment & chemicals, and general safety procedures for scenic painting.
-Assist with maintenance of painting equipment and facilities, including cleaning of brushes, buckets, and other painting supplies.

-Assist with specifying and recommending new equipment or the modification of existing equipment to meet operational or special production needs in shops or theatre.
-Assist with occasional special projects and facility improvements.

Guidance to be Received
The Charge Scenic Artist is the immediate supervisor for personnel issues, budgets, and scheduling. The chair of the Department of Theatre and Drama, along with the Design and Production Area head, oversee mentorship and instructional policies.

Guidance to be Exercised
Functional supervision is exercised over temporary employees, work-study students, and students completing practicum and lab hours.

Required Qualifications
-A Bachelor’s Degree in theatre with an emphasis in scenic design and painting, or an equivalent combination of education and experience is necessary.
-Some experience with a recognized professional theatre company or an institution of higher education is necessary.
-An interview including the presentation of a professional portfolio is necessary.
-An understanding of historical and institutional racism in the American theatre, and/or a commitment to learning and joining University of Michigan’s efforts to be an anti-racist organization is necessary.
-Position routinely uses aerial-work platforms, ladders, catwalks, and scaffolds to paint scenery. Position is required to attain and maintain aerial-work platform and vehicle certifications.
-Position routinely moves scenery and painting equipment up to 75 lbs. Positions travels to multiple locations on and off campus to conduct UM business and purchase materials.

Desired Qualifications

-Experience with some supervisory responsibility in scenic art with a recognized professional or educational theatre company is desirable.
-Experience or training in the visual arts and digital media is desirable.
-Experience in theatrical carpentry (with a recognized professional company or equivalent), theatrical rigging and basic welding is desirable.

Background Screening
A pre-employment background check must be conducted before a candidate may receive a firm offer of employment to a staff position at the University of Michigan.

U-M EEO/AA Statement
The University of Michigan is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.

U-M COVID-19 Vaccination Policy

COVID-19 vaccinations, including boosters when eligible, are required for all University of Michigan students, faculty and staff across all campuses, including Michigan Medicine.  This includes those working remotely.   More information on this new policy is available on the Campus Blueprint website or the UM-Dearborn and UM-Flint websites.