The costume designer and costume shop manager for the Department of Theater, Dance, and Films Studies is responsible for the conception, design, construction, alteration, rental, execution, and running of all costume requirements for all the productions of the department. The costume designer and costume shop manager is a creative collaborator who works closely with the director or choreographer and a multi-disciplinary team consisting of the set, lighting, and prop designers to create the best costumes possible.
Status: Full-Time, 11 Month, With Benefits Work Hours: 8:00-5:00 Monday - Friday with occasional evening and weekend hours FLSA: Exempt Minimum Pay: $40,000 / annual
Essential and Related Functions:
Designs, creates, and builds costumes that help set the milieu for the actors’ and dancer's performances and conveys the directorial/choreographic message to the audience as a visual aid. Based on reading the script, works with the director, choreographer, and designers to choose elements of color and fabric textures to provide a visual understanding of character’s personality in terms of age, social status, occupation, era, gender, sense of style and tendencies towards conformity or individualism.
Creates renderings for each of the characters that not only communicates with the director, choreographer, and performer, but also act as a visual language directing the people who will cut, drape, build, alter, or rent to achieve the design depicted in the rendering. The designs include any accessories such as canes, hats, gloves, shoes, jewelry or masks, as well as hair and makeup to complete the visual representation. The costume designer is keenly aware of how the performer will move and factors that movement into the design and execution of the clothing.
Runs and maintains the costumes shop, the dressing rooms, and all costume storage spaces. Supervises and instructs staff and students in order to accomplish the designs for all department productions with quality and in a timely manner
Working collaboratively and within budget, orders necessary materials and equipment, arranges necessary borrows and rentals, and will execute all elements of the costume design.
Coordinates fittings, arranges rehearsal costumes, and runs all shows, including maintenance and laundry.
Frequently attends evening rehearsals, all departmental production and design meetings, and is present for all tech/dress rehearsals for all department productions.
Depending on qualification and workload, may occasionally lecture or teach a course related to costume design.
Other related duties as assigned.
Plan and Coordinate- Sets clear goals, prioritizes work plans and monitors progress regularly with an eye for detail. Organizes situations or events with the aim of efficiently and effectively using the University's resources (e.g., workspace, equipment, tools, etc.). Makes an effort to involve others in planning and decision-making (i.e., seeks their input and commitment).
Technical Skills- Demonstrates knowledge of professional-level concepts, applies skills over a broad scope of work and is adept at handling complex tasks and problems independently. Understands how functions and services across the University are interdependent and how they impact goals. Encourages continuous improvement of work methods and techniques by sharing success stories and lessons learned. Actively reviews development opportunities and seeks to learn about relevant tools, systems or technologies.
Results Focused- Adapts to other people's approach (e.g., work habits, learning styles, etc.). Keeps focused on goals despite challenges and helps others achieve their own by removing obstacles. Demonstrates initiative to accept new challenges and learn new procedures. Consistently thinks ahead, prepares and is able to implement contingency plans to avoid problems.
Communication and Relations- Able to effectively adapt communication style, method and level of detail to the needs of others. Consistently treats others in a manner that demonstrates a keen awareness and understanding of their needs. Acts as a role model by being able to work comfortably with people of differing work-styles, backgrounds, cultures, ages and gender.
Teamwork/Team Development - Sets personal and professional goals that support broader work group goals. Listens attentively to ideas and concerns of others and makes others feel heard and appreciated. Gives credit and recognition to work group member's contributions when objectives are met, and makes suggestions to enhance work efficiencies.
5-7 years experience designing clothing and or costumes. Designers need a strong working knowledge of seams, hems, darts, pleats and other basic elements of sewing. Must possess excellent communication and organizational skills, must be an independent self-motivated individual who is efficient, creative, and capable of teaching and leading others to accomplish the elements of each production.
Fingering: Picking, pinching, typing or otherwise working, primarily with fingers rather than with whole hand or arm as in handling.
Grasping: Applying pressure to an object with the fingers and palm.
Repetitive motions: Making substantial movements (motions) of the wrists, hands, and/or fingers.
Standing: Remaining upright on the feet, particularly for sustained periods of time.
Climbing: Ascending or descending ladders, stairs, scaffolding, ramps, poles and the like, using feet and legs and/or hands and arms. Body agility is emphasized. This factor is important if the amount and kind of climbing required exceeds that required for ordinary locomotion.
Kneeling: Bending legs at knee to come to a rest on knee or knees.
Lifting: Raising objects from a lower to a higher position or moving objects horizontally from position to position. This factor is important if it occurs to a considerable degree and requires the substantial use of the upper extremities and back muscles.
The worker is subject to noise: There is sufficient noise to cause the worker to shout in order to be heard above the ambient noise level.
The worker is subject to vibration: Exposure to oscillating movements of the extremities or whole body.
The worker is subject to hazards: Includes a variety of physical conditions, such as proximity to moving mechanical parts, moving vehicles, electrical current, working on scaffolding and high places, exposure to high heat or exposure to chemicals.
Types of Work:
Light work: Exerting up to 20 pounds of force occasionally, and/or up to 10 pounds of force frequently, and/or a negligible amount of force constantly to move objects. If the use of arm and/or leg controls requires exertion of forces greater than that for Sedentary Work and the worker sits most of the time, the job is rated for Light Work.
Applications should include a letter of application, a resume, samples of your design work and images of completed designs, and three letters of reference sent directly to the search committee via interfolio. The letter of application should include a brief statement describing your expertise and experience as a costume designer and costume shop manager, on how your design, teaching, and/or service contribute to diverse communities, and a description of your collaborative process.
Washington and Lee is an Equal Opportunity Employer. As such, we are interested in candidates who are committed to high standards of scholarship, performance and professionalism and to the development of a campus climate that supports equality and diversity in our faculty, staff and student body. Job description requirements are representative, but not all?inclusive of the knowledge, skill, and abilities needed to successfully perform this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable qualified individuals with disabilities to perform essential functions.
Statement of Commitment to Diversity
Washington and Lee affirms that diverse perspectives and backgrounds enhance our community. We are committed to the recruitment, enrichment, and retention of students, faculty, and staff who embody many experiences, cultures, points of view, interests, and identities. As engaged citizens in a global and diverse society, we seek to advance a positive learning and working environment for all through open and substantive dialogue.
About Washington and Lee University
Washington and Lee University is an independent liberal arts university founded in 1749, named for an early benefactor (George Washington) and an innovative president (Robert E. Lee). The campus is a national historical landmark, the city offers small-town charm, and the Allegheny and Blue Ridge Mountains provide unparalleled surroundings. Students govern themselves in a community based on trust and honor. The faculty of teacher-scholars pursues a student-oriented approach to scholarship and nurtures lifelong relationships with the pupils. The curriculum blends traditional liberal arts and sciences with pre-professional programs in business, journalism and law. W&L prepares graduates for a life of learning, achievement, leadership, service and engaged citizenship in a global society.