Costume Shop Manager

Job Description
Theater and Dance - Staff
Pay Rate Type:
Employee Type:
Job Summary:Department of Theater and Dance
Full-Time, Academic Year (9-months), Non-Exempt, Hourly, Staff Appointment

The Colby College Department of Theater and Dance invites applications for a full-time 9-month/year costume shop manager to collaborate with a committed team of artists and educators. The costume shop manager collaborates with faculty, staff, and visiting artists and works closely with students. Candidates should be comfortable with instructing and guiding college students at varied skill levels. Candidates must be committed to fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment and be willing to engage in dialogue of accepted practices within the field in order to determine how to best serve our educational mission. Our department holds as fundamental values: justice, community reciprocity, collaboration, and leadership. We encourage inquiries from candidates who will contribute to the diversity of our College, including its cultural and ethnic diversity.


  • Oversee the use of the costume shop and costume storage
  • Facilitate costume construction for the Department of Theater and Dance faculty-led productions and provide guidance for all other departmental productions including student capstone projects
    • Purchase items to be used in costume construction
    • Produce patterns from renderings, sketches, and verbal instructions
    • Supervise and collaborate with students
    • Oversee fittings and alterations
    • Costume construction, assembly, alterations, and fittings with necessary painting, dying, and distressing
  • Fulfill dressing room and wardrobe requirements as outlined in technical riders for touring productions in conjunction with department faculty and staff
  • Oversee repairs for costumes during or after a production
  • Manage the costume shop budget, tracking individual production budgets (working with guest designers and the production manager), and reconciling digital expense reports
  • Ensure sufficient quantities and types of materials are on-hand for use in the costume shop by maintaining an inventory of supplies and materials required for daily operations and ordering replacement items as necessary
  • Hire and supervise all costume shop work-study students, working with the departmental administrative assistant to adhere to budgets for student workers by tracking and approving their work hours
  • Instruct students in the technical aspects of costume construction and the proper and safe use of associated machinery
  • Promote preventive maintenance as a strategy in maintaining costume shop tools and machinery by performing and/or directing others to perform the routine maintenance and cleaning of all tools and equipment in the costume shop, costume storage facilities, and dressing rooms
  • Maintain, catalogue, and organize costume inventory by organizing and restocking costumes, measuring costumes, removing unusable costumes from the collection, cleaning costumes, and supervising students pulling costumes for productions
  • Collaborate with all members of the Department of Theater and Dance and foster an inclusive community; contribute to a work environment that encourages knowledge of, respect for, and development of skills to engage with those of other cultures or backgrounds
  • Attend and participate in recurring department meetings and production meetings for departmental productions
  • Contribute to the comprehensive learning experience for Colby students in curricular productions and work-study positions through instruction and supervision in all areas of costume construction, organization, and maintenance
  • Oversee costume shop safety and instruct students, faculty, and staff in procedural and material safety
  • Administer Department of Theater and Dance costume lending to student clubs and off-campus groups in keeping with departmental and College policies
  • Recruit and train student wardrobe crew for department productions; ensure costumes maintain their appearance and are appropriately cleaned by supervising costume maintenance during and after productions on and off campus
  • Perform additional duties as assigned; duties, responsibilities, and activities may change at any time with or without notice


  • High school diploma or equivalent required; professional coursework or post-secondary education are a plus
  • 1-3 years of professional experience in relevant costume production and shop management
  • Demonstrated experience sewing, pattern making, creation, and alteration of stage costumes
  • Ability to construct, adapt, or drape garments from designer’s rendering, sketches or other descriptive instructions
  • Understanding of professional practice in theater costumes, including accurately estimating labor and time needs for specific design proposals
  • Knowledge of theater practice and historical aspects of costume design
  • Ability to instruct in the art and techniques of costume design
  • Proven experience with industrial and home costume shop equipment including sewing machines, serger, embroidery, and dye equipment
  • Energy, flexibility, patience, and ability to work with students at all levels
  • Demonstrated ability to manage shifting priorities and meet deadlines
  • Understanding of professional practice in theater costumes, including accurately estimating labor and time needs for specific design proposals
  • Interest in costume technology developments including methods, techniques, and materials
  • Ability to work independently and as a member of a team, establish priorities, and work collaboratively as a member of a diverse community
  • Valid driver’s license required and must meet the College’s Fleet Safety Policy requirements


Faculty, staff, and students in the Department of Theater and Dance, guest directors, and designers.


The working conditions are representative of those encountered while performing the essential functions of the job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to perform the essential functions.

General open office, costume shop, and campus environment. Position involves sitting, frequent movement, and climbing stairs. Computer and sewing machine usage involving repetitive hand/wrist motion is also necessary. Participation in some departmental travel is optional. Position also requires evening and weekend work based on production schedule.


Interested candidates should apply electronically by clicking the "Apply" button on the Colby Careers website. Please submit a letter of interest including salary requirements, resume, and the contact information of three professional references. Materials should be addressed to:

Costume Shop Manager - Search Committee
Office of Human Resources
Colby College
5500 Mayflower Hill
Waterville, ME 04901-8855

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