Karamu House

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Reports To: Director of Production

Department: Production

FLSA Status: Full-time, Exempt



In 1915, Oberlin College graduates Russell and Rowena Jelliffe opened the Playhouse Settlement in a Cleveland area called The Roaring Third. The Jelliffes wanted to build an environment where people of different races, religions, and social and economic backgrounds could come together to seek and share common ventures through the arts, and Karamu House was established as a gathering place for racially diverse members of the surrounding community at that time. As the community became predominantly African American, Karamu responded with programs geared to their needs and interests.

Today, Karamu is evolving to be reborn as a beating heart for the entire community, regardless of race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identification, or age, as it embarks on its second 100 years, retaining its historical identity as “a place of joyful gathering.” Core programs include a five performance, socially-relevant and professional quality theatre season; arts education in drama/theatre, music and dance for all ages; and community programming, such as a lecture series, and spoken word and music performances, that invites participation and engagement, reflection, and a re-commitment to cultural values.


Karamu House (Cleveland, Ohio) seeks a full-time, 12-month salaried, Technical Director to coordinate the overall production and technical requirements for events in three theatres (Jelliffe, 200-seats Arena, 80-seats and Concert Hall, 60-seats) and other special event venues as assigned. The 2023-2024 season consists of (5) five main stage productions, various community events and external rentals. The Technical Director is expected to be a “hands-on” supervisor who provides the highest standard of service, exhibits clear follow-through, and excels at open communication. The successful candidate should possess excellent organizational and communication skills, and strong leadership ability.

Because a TD may be called upon to deal with a wide range of technical issues, candidates should have a working knowledge of techniques, methods and procedures of theatre, dance, and music productions/ presentations including stage, set, sound and lighting design and implementation; stage management; computerized lighting systems; stage carpentry; appropriate safety precautions and procedures.


  • Operate, maintain, and safeguard the technical assets of the theatre, including supervising the use of lighting, sound, and communications equipment, as well as the use and maintenance of stage facilities.
  •  Assist the Production Manager with determining the necessary technical supports, such as lighting, sound, staging, and special needs, for events and performances presented at the facility in advance of production dates aligned to production and event schedules.
  • Provide technical information, advise, and assist guest designers and artists with technical matters.
  • Advise Director of Production and Production Manager, and designers on the technical specifications, costs and usage of technical equipment required for each show and supervise the implementation of approved technical designs.
  • Interpret Designer’s work and create and distribute construction drafting to ensure staff are properly instructed on the assembly process and proficiently execute scenic builds.
  • Create weekly schedules for stage crew including over hire crew.
  • Supervise and assist with set and stage construction and time management aligned to each build.
  • Assist in recruiting, training and assignment of volunteer or paid technical staff for individual shows.
  • Orient facility renters and visiting productions to safety, technical characteristics, and other areas of facility operations; facilitate the use of the technical facilities by the resident company and others engaged by or renting the facility.
  • Monitor the condition of equipment including lighting, sound, and rigging; arrange for repair and replacement within budgetary constraints; perform preventive maintenance on equipment.
  • Maintain inventory of shop equipment, materials, and order specialized supplies.
  • Attend technical week rehearsals, in order to supervise and assist in the technical aspects of the mounting of each show.
  •  Attend all design and production meetings as well as postproduction meetings.
  • Make recommendations to the President + CEO, and theatre leadership, regarding capital purchases of technical equipment.



  • Strong ability to maintain effective working relationships with representatives of various groups, vendors, co-workers, and others.
  • Maintain irregular and extended working hours including evenings and weekends.
  • Ability to lift, push or pull objects up to 100 pounds using appropriate tools.
  • Knowledge of organization and resources within the performing arts community.
  • Ability to plan, organize, coordinate, and direct staff.
  • Ability to clearly communicate technical procedures and processes to crew members with varied skill levels.



The successful candidate will possesses the following:

  • A minimum of a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre.
  • A minimum of 2-5 years of experience as a Technical Director.
  • Experience operating and maintaining theatrical rigging, lighting, sound, and projection in a professional theatre.
  • Ability to work successfully under pressure to meet deadlines and goals.
  • Ability to work effectively with a team as well as individually.
  • Valid Driver’s license
  • Experience in Excel, Word, Outlook, AutoCAD computer software, Carpentry, Rigging and budgeting.




Compensation range: $45,000 to $55,000 commensurate with experience. Benefits include medical, paid time off, paid federal holidays, paid sick time and complimentary production tickets.


Applicants for the position should send resumes, cover letter to:

ATTN: Vonetta Flowers, Director of Production

Karamu House

2355 E. 89th Street

Cleveland, OH 44106

Email: submissions@karamuhouse.org (Last name & TD in the subject line)


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