Lighting Manager, Theater and Performance Studies

Updated: 2 months ago
Location: Chicago, ILLINOIS
Job Type: PartTime


College Theater and Performance Studies

About the Department

The Committee on Theater and Performance Studies (TAPS) supports innovative work at the intersection of performance theory and practice across a broad spectrum of disciplines. The University of Chicago’s undergraduate and graduate programs in TAPS stand out for the intellectual commitment they demand, the interdisciplinary perspective they require, and the extraordinary collaborative opportunities they provide with theater, dance, and performance companies in partnership with other UChicago Arts entities, in Chicago, across the country, and around the world. TAPS also supports student-driven theater and performance related activities by a broad range of co-curricular registered student organizations.

Job Summary

Reporting to the Chair and/or their designee, the Lighting Manager informally teaches the programming, focusing, historical and aesthetic research, design, and operating of all lighting over the course of approximately 25 productions per year. The Lighting Manager supervises and manages Theater and Performance Studies part-time student staff. Instructs volunteers in all theater lighting activities including, but not limited to, creating budget proposals, acquiring effects, building cues in software platform, creating and installing repertory plots in TAPS studio and performance spaces, sourcing, purchasing, and maintaining equipment, supplies, and storage spaces. Works directly with professional artists during academic year and (if and when applicable) summer residencies. Trains and mentors student lighting designers and board operators. Serves as primary liaison with Logan Center for the Arts for lighting storage and safety.


  • Oversees and instructs on all lighting hang, build, implementation, operation, and storage for TAPS.
  • Instructs student lighting designers and production workers in the art of lighting design such as analyzing the play for lighting needs, communicating and collaborating on a vision with the artistic and production team, interpreting design ideas, researching period, genre, cultural tradition, etc.
  • Instructs student lighting designers and production workers in lighting effects infrastructure which includes shop use, tracking and maintaining inventory.
  • Instructs student lighting designers and production workers in the implementation of design which includes creating cue sheets, programming boards, setting levels, operating boards, timing cues, safety (i.e., securely hanging instruments, wiring); tracking and maintaining equipment.
  • Trains student lighting designers to manage a show budget by creating efficient light plots, developing sourcing strategies, focusing techniques, software and equipment use with cost-effective and value-engineering strategies.
  • Facilitates workshops and/or learning opportunities to build students’ technical and artistic skill.
  • Trains any student production interns to work with resident artists or production companies.
  • Supervises and advises student design activity in lighting design.
  • Attends design runs of student shows and offers feedback.
  • Consults with instructors and faculty on classroom use and discussion of lighting.
  • Maintains a safe, friendly, well-stocked working environment for students, staff, faculty, and guest artists working in TAPS spaces.
  • Attends meetings, rehearsals, and design runs with staff and students, and collaboratively assist guest artists on productions and residencies, including as designer or supervising interns on professional shows.
  • Develops budgets and manages resulting paperwork for supplies and shows; supervises students on the same.
  • Purchases equipment and supplies for all facets of lighting creation and implementation.
  • Collaborates with the design team and production crew to plan, develop, and implement property, special effects, and/or scenic elements of theatre productions.
  • Guides maintenance of inventory of props, technical equipment, tools, and/or stock supplies. Uses in-depth knowledge and experience to manage scene shops and backstage areas.
  • Performs other related work as needed.

Minimum Qualifications


Minimum requirements include a college or university degree in related field.

Work Experience:

Minimum requirements include knowledge and skills developed through 5-7 years of work experience in a related job discipline.



Preferred Qualifications


  • Bachelor’s degree, liberal arts.
  • Master’s degree. 


  • Minimum of 5 years professional arts experience.
  • Substantive experience in higher education performing arts environments.

Technical Skills or Knowledge:

  • Proficiency in Mac and PC environments.
  • Proficiency in Word, Excel, Outlook, and online organizational tools.

Preferred Competencies

  • Strong verbal and written communication skills.
  • Handle multiple concurrent projects.
  • Strong collaborative ethos.
  • Maintain a warm and accommodating learning environment for all students.
  • Work autonomously, taking initiative and without detailed instructions.
  • Maintain confidentiality/discretion.

Working Conditions

  • Some evening and weekend work.
  • Fast-paced environment.
  • Lift up to 40 lbs.
  • Push carts with up to 50 lbs. of material.
  • Sit at a computer for 4-6 hours.
  • Stand, climb ladders, climb up to 5 flights of stairs, and work in theatrical grid.
  • Occasional walking to other campus locations.
  • This is a part-time position.

Application Documents

  • Resume/CV (required)
  • Cover Letter, which is to include your interest in this position (required)
  • References Contact Information (3)(required)

When applying, the document(s) MUST  be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Job Family

Museum & Arts

Role Impact

Individual Contributor

FLSA Status


Pay Frequency


Scheduled Weekly Hours


Benefits Eligible


Drug Test Required


Health Screen Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Posting Statement

Employees must comply with the University’s COVID-19 vaccination requirements. More information about the requirements can be found on the University of Chicago Vaccination GoForward .
The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/ Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, protected veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.


Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.


We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.


All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history.  A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment.  Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.


The University of Chicago's Annual Security & Fire Safety Report (Report) provides information about University offices and programs that provide safety support, crime and fire statistics, emergency response and communications plans, and other policies and information. The Report can be accessed online at: . Paper copies of the Report are available, upon request, from the University of Chicago Police Department, 850 E. 61st Street, Chicago, IL 60637.

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