Instructor | Lighting Designer and Stage Manager

Lighting Designer and Stage Manager

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Department of Dance and Choreography

Position F01040

Full-time, 9-month non-tenure eligible position beginning August 16, 2019

Application Deadline: Friday, February 15, 2019

The Opportunity:

The VCUarts Department of Dance and Choreography ( seeks a skilled, engaged, and collaboration-minded Lighting Designer and Stage Manager to provide high quality lighting design and serve as the stage manager for all department productions. This is a 9-month, non-tenure eligible faculty position with the academic rank of Instructor, which will provide the technical direction, stage management, communication and facilitation needed for the department to present a professionally produced, well organized, safe and artistically strong production series each year involving students as the core production crew.

Department of Dance and Choreography

The Department of Dance and Choreography (VCU Dance) is a pre-professional program that provides students with numerous opportunities for individual artistic growth in a community setting that cultivates innovation, collaboration, and professionalism. VCU Dance seeks to create a diverse and invigorating educational environment designed to prepare students for the challenges and possibilities of a professional career as informed and engaged artists in the field of dance. The Grace Street Theater is the primary performing venue for VCU Dance, which operates the building and the box office. Several VCUarts departments utilize the Grace Street Theatre for classes, including the Department of Art History. In addition to its university uses, the 225-seat theater is available to the Richmond community to rent for films, lectures, and other events.


VCUarts ( in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That’s why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists; and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

VCUarts is ranked as the #1 public university arts and design graduate school in the country by US News and World Report. The school is comprised of sixteen programs, includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.


Major Responsibilities:

The Lighting Designer and Stage Manager will have undergraduate teaching responsibilities, including the Dance Production Workshop and Lighting Design for Dance, and/or other courses at the discretion of the Chair. Teaching duties also include supporting the Senior Project class during the Fall and Spring semesters by contributing to class content, streamlining communications and ensuring appropriate support for student works. The Lighting Designer and Stage Manager is expected to provide leadership by mentoring students; guiding students, faculty, and guest artists on lighting and production procedures in the pursuit of their creative work; fostering collaborative partnerships across the arts and broader campus; promoting methods to utilize and grow production facilities and other assets in support of research and teaching; and demonstrating through teaching, mentoring, and/or public engagement the richness of diversity in the learning experience, integrate multicultural approaches and perspectives into instructional methods and professional practice tools. The faculty member should have professional skills and interests that complement and expand the existing expertise of the faculty and staff in the department.

As a member of a community-oriented, tight-knit department and School, the Lighting Designer and Stage Manager will provide service to the department and School, such as assisting with student, department and school-wide related activities; supporting the Grace Street Theater Technical Director for departmental and other productions; attending production meetings with departmental faculty/staff, as scheduled by Associate Chair, or with GST staff as needed; attending faculty meetings, as scheduled by the Chair, and communicate pertinent information to the GST Manager and Technical Director; and serving on School/University committees.


Additional Responsibilities for VCU Dance and Grace Street Theatre (GST):

As in-house lighting designer

  • Design lighting for VCU Dance student and faculty productions.
  • Serve as contact for all guest companies or productions presented by VCU Dance.
  • Work with visiting production designers and technical staffs to effectively execute design and production elements within GST guidelines. This work occurs prior to company arrival and on site during technical rehearsals and performances.
  • Serve as liaison between guest dance companies, Dance Associate Chair, Dance Technical Director and GST staff when preparing for visiting productions presented by VCU Dance.

As stage manager and production manager

  • Create breakdown of tech schedule in consultation with the Associate Chair, GST Manager and Department Chair.
  • Plan and create crew schedules, time-tables and crew lists.
  • Conduct sign-up days for student crews.
  • Keep yearly calculation of crew hours plus notation of job performance for each student.
  • Provide consistent direction and supervision to students in relation to crew calls and crew work. Keep record of student attendance at crew calls.
  • Attend Friday Workshop Meeting on a regular basis to make announcements and organize crews for upcoming productions.
  • Serve as logistical and technical support for off-site departmental performances

Provide leadership and mentorship in the areas of lighting design and technical theater

  • Orient students to the lighting design process.
  • Provide supportive, informed leadership when collaborating with students on lighting design for their choreographic projects.
  • Uphold departmental policies, set and expect a positive, professional working environment for students, and mentor students who show a particular interest in technical theater.
  • Train student crews and assist in overseeing equipment use by visitor and renters.
  • Provide students with training on professional production procedures, as well as safe and effective use of production equipment.


  • Appropriate professional experience in technical theater and lighting design.
  • MFA degree strongly preferred, or the equivalent in professional training and experience.
  • Knowledge of all procedures connected with technical direction of dance and theatrical productions.
  • Demonstrated ability to design lights for dance, and knowledge of dance as an art form.
  • Experience teaching on an undergraduate level.
  • Interest and experience in working with students, running student crews, and training student crews.
  • Stage Management Skills.
  • Communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to collaborate.
  • Ability to create and execute technical production schedules involving many elements and many people.
  • Ability to set up, run and maintain theater/video/sound/lighting equipment.


Application Process:

VCUarts is dedicated to the goal of building a culturally diverse and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a multicultural and inclusive environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities.

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU eJobs at Only electronic applications submitted via eJobs will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Lea Marshall, Associate Chair of VCU Dance and Chair of the search committee. The following documents should be included:

  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience and describes experiences and/or professional service that inform world views and/or perspectives about minority group status, to include race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, religion, and disability;
  • Current CV/Resume;
  • A list of three current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
  • [Optional] Portfolio of work— visual documentation conceptualizing professional work, teaching, and/or creative practice.

The Letter of Interest should be submitted as one PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs; the CV/Resume + list of references should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs; and, due to file size limitations, the optional portfolio of work should be submitted in the “Other Document” section of eJobs as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.

Applications are due on Friday, February 15, 2019

Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.

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