Costume Manager



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Job Summary

Directs all aspects of costuming and wardrobe for ART productions and advises on costuming and wardrobe needs for undergraduate performances.

Position Description

Promote an inclusive and safe work environment:

  • Foster a culture of community, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism among staff and guest artists
  • Foster a culture of safety, and ensure a safe work environment and practices are observed
  • Hire and supervise Costume and Wardrobe Staff (Assistant Costume Shop Manager, Head Draper, Crafts Artisan, Wardrobe Supervisor, and Wig & Wardrobe Dresser). Conduct biannual performance reviews and goal-setting sessions. Collaborate with Costume sub-departments (Costumes, Crafts, Wardrobe, Wigs, Hair & Makeup) to finalize the hiring and onboarding of overhire, and ensure compliance with the union (HUCTW) and Harvard employment policies

Support Artistic Vision and Goals:

  • Collaboration with Costume Designers and Makeup/Hair/Wig Designers to accomplish their designs within budget (materials and labor) and timeline (including factoring in meetings, fittings, and construction time.) Keep Production Management up to date on budget and timeline tracking
  • Collaboration with Stage Management and Costume Designer on costume plots, entrance/exit charts, the scheduling of fittings, and responding to costume notes in rehearsal and performance reports
  • Budget Management:
  • Manage cross-seasonal costume budgets for supplies and shop maintenance
  • Collaborate and maintain open lines of communication:
  • Oversee the daily operation of the costume department, including facilitating conversation between costume sub-departments as projects move between areas, and communicating changes as they come up
  • Collaboration with other production departments on cross-departmental projects
  • Attend production meetings, studio rehearsals, tech rehearsals, and previews as needed.
  • Maintained offsite costume storage and document stock and saved shows. Rent or lend stock to student groups or outside organizations as possible
  • Represent Costume and Wardrobe in building meetings as we design and build our new theatre

Basic Qualifications

Candidates MUST meet the following basic qualifications in order to be considered for this role:

  • Strong knowledge and vocabulary of costume and craft construction methods and materials.
  • General knowledge of makeup, hair and wig design process, hair styling processes, and general cost of materials/products/services.

Additional Qualifications and Skills

  • Willingness to continue research and grow personal knowledge in the area of makeup, hair, and wigs, particularly global majority styling and care resources
  • Ability to quickly and accurately budget and report the amount of time needed for costume and craft production, sourcing, and show running tasks.
  • Empathy, listening skills, and a strong ability to read body language and other nonverbal clues are essential
  • Conflict resolution skills - diffusing tension, navigating difficult conversations, mediating resolutions
  • Ability to adapt and quickly communicate changes throughout the production process
  • Must be capable of overseeing multiple projects happening simultaneously via delegating and collaborating with Costume sub-department team members
  • Class D driver’s license and comfort driving sprinter van preferred, but not a requirement.
  • Ability to maintain and repair sewing machines is preferred, but not a requirement

Working Conditions

A.R.T. is a multistory building without an elevator, with work taking place on all levels. The Costume Manager may be asked to assist with moving costumes, wardrobe boxes, and other materials to and from storage or around the building. This position requires night and weekend work, particularly during tech and previews. It also requires occasional local and out-of-state travel, primarily for shopping and rehearsals in NYC. The costume storage area is offsite and housed in the A.R.T. scene shop building, approximately a mile from the theater. The storage area is on a second-level loft, accessed via a staircase

Software Used: Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Dropbox, Harvard-specific payroll software

Commitment to Equity and Anti-Racism

A.R.T. is centering anti-racism as a core value, including in its policies, structure, programming, philanthropy, communications, pedagogy, and workplace culture. This journey will be sustained, ongoing, and foundational to the theater.

The A.R.T. strives to reflect and celebrate the diversity of Cambridge and Greater Boston, the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, the United States, and the world in its programming, artists, audience, boards, partners, and staff. The A.R.T. is committed to developing and producing work and creating environments that embrace the full breadth and beauty of our shared humanity. The A.R.T. unequivocally opposes any attempts to divide its community through acts of discrimination, omission, and violence. The A.R.T. is dedicated to making a welcoming and accessible space for people of any identity, background, or ability, including but not limited to: race, ethnicity, nationality or immigration status, gender identity/expression, sexual orientation, religion, age, physical/mental ability, appearance, socio-economic status, education level, and political viewpoint.

Software Used: Microsoft Office, Google Workspace, Dropbox, Harvard-specific payroll software

Additional Information

Please Note: This position is performed on-site in Cambridge, MA, not in a remote environment. 

The University requires all Harvard community members to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and remain up to date with COVID-19 vaccine boosters, as detailed in Harvard’s Vaccine & Booster Requirements. Individuals may claim exemption from the vaccine requirement for medical or religious reasons. More information regarding the University’s COVID vaccination requirement, exemptions, and verification of vaccination status may be found on the University’s “COVID-19 Vaccine Information” webpage: