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Costume Director

Bates College
Maine, United States
Salary Not Specified
Date posted
Dec 4, 2023

Job Details

Title: Costume Director

Position Purpose:

Application reviews will begin on January 8, 2024. Please include a resume, cover letter, and a digital portfolio of related work.

The Costume Director plays a pivotal role in supporting/advancing theater and dance productions on campus, primarily through the use of costume construction and design. Using a creative and collaborative lens, this individual will work to train and supervise student shop and wardrobe employees, maintain shop equipment/materials, and oversee the Department’s costume collection. This person must be able to effectively partner with other theater professionals—most especially the faculty and guest costume designers—to realize their production designs, as well as support the academic principles taught in the Bates College costume design courses. This individual will be responsible for fostering an atmosphere of continual learning by supervising and nurturing both novice and experienced student workers in tandem with the costume designer.

The Costume Director will serve as the Costume Designer for one to two dance concerts per year, working directly with our faculty and guest choreographers. This may involve pulling, coordinating, purchasing, designing and/or producing original clothing items to support both professional and student choreographers.

The Department of Theater and Dance has an annual production calendar which includes two faculty-directed theater productions, and two dance concerts (one with fewer design requirements than the other), performed in several different venues. We also provide support for small-scale student-directed thesis productions, and the work of several student clubs.

The Costume Director must have the ability to handle budgets, collaborate with colleagues and guest artists, and maintain organization of the facility and costume stock while meeting set deadlines. This individual should be familiar and experienced with the concepts, practices and procedures used in an academic teaching environment.

Job Duties:
  • Collaborate with other theater professionals—especially the Faculty Costume Designer—to realize their production designs.
  • Be proficient with Costume Design for Dance, and be able to collaborate with dance guest artists and student choreographers.
  • Organize all aspects of costume creation for departmental theater and dance productions.
  • Train student shop employees, and supervise student costume crews.
  • Attend fittings and take appropriate notes.
  • Be organized and able to work to deadlines.
  • Maintain all shop equipment and needed construction materials.
  • Oversee upkeep of the Department’s costume collection.
  • Work with the General Manager on budget creation, scheduling and other organizational needs.
  • Manage production and operational budgets.
  • Attend and participate in Production and Department meetings.
  • Be able and willing to work weekends, evenings, and other non-traditional schedules, as specific production needs arise.
  • Maintain the supportive relationships with local theatres and colleges with which we share borrowing privileges.
  • Be familiar with the concepts, practices and procedures utilized in both an undergraduate academic teaching environment and professional performance environments.
  • Supervise and nurture both novice and experienced student costume designers in tandem with the Costume Designer.
  • Support and supplement the academic and professional principles taught in the Bates College costume design and production courses.
Minimum Qualifications:


Candidates with a BA/BFA or MA/MFA degree will be considered. An advanced degree in Costume Technology or Costume Design desired.


Minimum of three years-experience working in a costume shop, with significant experience in a managerial position is required. Experience with costume design for dance is also required.

Skills and Knowledge
  • Commitment to equity and inclusion, and serving the needs of a culturally and educationally diverse community.
  • The ability to teach sewing to students with varying skill levels and backgrounds.
  • Experience in pattern drafting and draping.
  • The ability to convert costume sketches to realized designs.
  • Familiarity with the use and upkeep of commercial and home sewing equipment.
  • Experience with specialty materials and approaches unique to dance costuming.
  • Knowledge of safe use of spray paints, adhesives, and dyes, etc.
  • Familiarity with costume craft-making skills, dyeing techniques and equipment.
  • A general knowledge of costume history.
  • Strong interpersonal skills with ability to develop and maintain collegial relationships with students, staff, faculty, guest designers and other artists, co-workers and the public.
  • Strong organizational, time-management and communication skills.
  • Budgeting and bookkeeping proficiency.
  • Proficiency in basic data management systems and basic computer applications (e.g., Word, Excel, PowerPoint).
  • Personal commitment to excellence and the mission of a top-tier small liberal arts college.
  • A broad degree of creativity and a habit of continued learning.
  • Ability to support and be sensitive to issues of body image and intimacy, as well as respect for specialized needs amongst students of varying backgrounds.
Benefits: Bates College offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits (health, dental, sick leave, 24 days of vacation, 2 personal days, 13 paid holidays, dependent care subsidy, free parking, access to library and athletic facilities & more), and a supportive, collegial environment in a drug and smoke-free workplace.

Equal Employment Opportunity Statement:

Bates College is committed to the principle of equal opportunity and providing an educational and work environment free from discrimination. The college prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or gender expression, age, disability, genetic information or veteran status and other legally protected statuses in the recruitment and admission of its students, in the administration of its education policies and programs, or in the recruitment of its faculty and staff. Bates College adheres to all applicable state and federal equal opportunity laws and regulations. All college faculty, staff, students, contractors, visitors, and volunteers are responsible for understanding and complying with the Non-Discrimination Policy.

Inquiries concerning the college’s policies, compliance with applicable laws, statutes, and regulations (such as Title VII, Title IX, and ADA/Section 504), and complaints may be directed to Gwen Lexow, Title IX Officer, 207-786-6445 or via email at .

About Bates:

Bates is internationally recognized as a leading liberal arts college, attracting 2,000 students from across the U.S. and around the world.

Since 1855, Bates has been dedicated to educating the whole person through creative and rigorous scholarship in a collaborative residential community. Committed to opportunity and excellence, Bates has always admitted students without regard to gender, race, religion, or national origin.

Cultivating intellectual discovery and informed civic action, Bates prepares leaders sustained by a love of learning and zeal for responsible stewardship of the wider world. Bates engages the forces — intellectual trends, demographic changes, and technology — that are transforming higher education and the world into which our students graduate.

Bates has highly competitive admissions, graduates over 90 percent of its entering students, and more than half of its alumni earn graduate degrees. Bates employs 200 faculty members and 550 staff.

The college is proud of deep roots in the Lewiston/Auburn community, Maine’s second-largest urban area with a population of approximately 65,000. Bates is located on a beautiful, 133-acre, traditional New England campus in Lewiston, an emerging city with an entrepreneurial climate, a lively arts scene, and a dynamic business community. Bates is 35 miles north of Portland, 140 miles north of Boston, and 350 miles north of New York City.

Advertised: Dec 04 2023 Eastern Standard Time
Applications close:


.Bates College

Located in Lewiston, Maine, Bates is internationally recognized as a leading liberal arts college. We are proud to offer a highly personalized education that centers on deep and sustained interactions among students, faculty, and community. We are engaging the forces — intellectual trends, demographic changes, and technology — that are transforming higher education and the world into which our students graduate.

When Bates opened in 1855, it was New England’s first co-ed college. Since then, we have admitted students no matter their nationality, race, religion, sex, or socio-economic status. While this openness was at the core of our founding identity and principles, it has been tested throughout time and requires us to constantly reflect upon and recommit to our mission.

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