Master Props Craftsperson
City: Minneapolis, MN
Salary: Depends on qualifications
Reports to: Prop Manager and Associate Prop Manager
The Guthrie Theater engages exceptional theater artists in the exploration of both classic and contemporary plays connecting the community we serve to one another and to the world. Through its extraordinary artists, staff and facility, the Guthrie is committed to the people of Minnesota, and from its place, rooted deeply in the Twin Cities, influences the field as a leading 21st century arts organization.
Every year more than 500 people, both on stage and off, help ensure our success in creating and supporting the highest level of theater. As an organization, we are committed to our values of Artistic Excellence, Community, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion, and Fiscal Responsibility.
The Master Props Craftsperson is responsible for fabricating and modifying props and set dressing for all Guthrie Theater productions to help create a powerful visual theatrical experience for the audience; and providing assistance to the Prop Manager/Associate Prop Manager with the day-to-day operations of the Prop Department. Support Prop Manager/Associate Prop Manager in leading prop staff and overhire so props are completed in a timely, safe, and well-executed manner. Interpret technical plans, pictures, and verbal ideas to produce functional props and set dressing. Oversee the organization, maintenance, and upkeep of the shop and warehouse to provide a safe and efficient work environment.
1. Engineer and construct props
• Build, create, modify and install props, special effects and set dressing to convey the designer’s vision, meet the functional requirements of the play and ensure durability and safety standards.
• Provide technical assistance and solutions to address issues of safety, function, aesthetics, and fabrication.
• Coordinate with other production departments to develop plans for the efficient integration of prop elements.
• Determine efficient building process including accurate time estimates and materials needed.
• Communicate as needed with Stage Management, Designers, and Directors to evaluate use and function of Props.
• Take an active and positive role in setting and maintaining the levels of production craftsmanship and artistic excellence.
• Monitor and supervise other artisan’s work when directed by the Prop Manager/Associate Prop Manager in order to accomplish the goals of the show and guide shop workflow.
• Advise and assist other artisans when requested.
• Become familiar with script, design concepts and construction drawings in order to efficiently address questions from staff and overhire.
• Ensure information and materials are available to complete all shop projects in a timely and accurate manner.
3. Maintenance of spaces and supplies
• Organize and direct the weekly and seasonal maintenance and cleaning of the shop. Monitor and participate in this regular practice.
• Maintain appropriate inventory levels of stock shop materials and supplies.
• Restore props to the proper storage location when no longer in use.
• Communicate problems and unsafe conditions to appropriate person(s).
• Maintain safe and operable shop tools, notifying Prop Manager/Associate Prop Manager as needed.
Qualifications or requirements
• A minimum of five years of experience as a full time props artisan.
• Experience and commitment to working with diverse groups in terms of gender expression, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class and immigrant status.
• Advanced skills in a variety of areas including, but not limited to, woodworking, welding/metalworking, casting, electronics, Photoshop, sewing, upholstery, special effects, and crafts.
• Knowledge of advanced construction techniques, tools and materials to produce functional, durable props and set dressing.
• Ability to create working props from written and verbal information as well as visual images.
• Ability to produce accurate working drawings and/or templates to achieve design concepts.
• Skill and experience in creative problem solving to meet the artistic needs of the show within time and financial requirements.
• Ability to work well under pressure and respond calmly and efficiently to frequent changes during the production and rehearsal process.
• Ability to work on multiple projects and meet deadlines.
• Ability to work both independently and collaboratively with members of the prop department and other departments to ensure proper development and completion of props.
• Ability to effectively communicate by asking informed questions, relaying information to others, and effectively giving and receiving criticism.
• Knowledge of safety procedures to maintain a safe working environment.
• Skill in repair and maintenance of standard shop equipment.
• Knowledge of period styles, theatrical terms and practices to develop accurate and precise props and set dressing.
• Experience researching for special projects as needed
How to apply
Applicants must submit the following to be considered for the position:
• Cover letter
• References (3 total)
The Guthrie is dedicated to building a culturally diverse and equitable environment and strongly encourages applications from people of color and women. This position will remain open until filled and until a diverse and qualified pool of candidates is identified. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply.