Director of Design and Production, Brown Arts Institute

Brown University

Job Description:

About Brown:
Brown University is a leading research university distinct for its student-centered learning and deep sense of purpose. Our students, faculty and staff are driven by the idea that their work will have an impact in the world.

Brown University offers a flexible work/life balance; summer hours, winter break and a comprehensive Benefits package including time off, annual paid holidays; benefits offerings including health, dental, vision, tuition assistance, retirement, wellness, employee discounts and more.  To learn about Brown University’s benefits, visit the University Human Resources web page here for further information.

About the Opportunity:
Established in 2021, Brown Arts Institute (BAI) is a university-wide research enterprise and catalyst for the arts at Brown that creates new work and supports, amplifies, and adds new dimensions to the creative practices of Brown’s arts departments, faculty, students, and community. Through year-round programming, research-focused courses, initiatives, collaborations, and partnerships, along with rigorous artistic and academic programs, BAI commissions and presents new work on campus, across Providence, Rhode Island, and beyond, from students, faculty, and on-campus arts groups, as well as in collaboration with forward-focused visiting artists and other performing arts organizations.

The Director of Design and Production (DDP) reports to the Artistic Director and is responsible for ensuring that the overall design and execution of productions taking place in any existing or future BAI venues meets exemplary professional standards. The DDP must maintain the highest level knowledge of all BAI venue specifics, including all technical and safety requirements, and is responsible for working closely with all programmed artists, as well as internal and external designers, to ensure that projects – including BAI commissions and transfers from other venues –  are appropriately designed for BAI venues. The DDP creates technical budgets, calendars, and staffing plans in collaboration with the Artistic Director and Producing Director, and is also responsible for identifying, recruiting, and managing all technical staff assigned to the BAI and BAI venues.  An active participant in the engineering, planning and execution of designs for all productions, the DDP, when necessary, submits designs to shops or rental houses to solicit bids and manages fabrication or rentals to meet set, costume, lighting, sound, and projection needs. The DDP ensures that standards of safety are observed by serving as the Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) representative for the BAI. The DDP may play a direct role in instructing students by offering design and production classes at the discretion of the BAI Leadership, and provide mentorship for those engaged in the production-oriented aspects of BAI offerings.

Responsibilities include but are not limited to:
●    Work with Artistic Director, Producing Director, Director of Programs and Operations, and internal and external teams to ensure all production and design needs of BAI produced events are met, are professionally managed, and are working within established budgets and BAI and University policies and procedures.
●    Recruit, train, and supervise a robust production staff including Technical Directors, Assistant Technical Directors, department supervisors, on-call-staff and student assistants as well as stage managers, carpenters, riggers, stagehands, electricians, wardrobe, lighting and sound programmers.
●    Meet regularly with department heads and staff to ensure ideas are exchanged, responsibilities defined, staffing needs are discussed, budgets are completely outlined and understood, spending practices are appropriate; and morale is maintained.
●    Ensure that staff complies with all health and safety guidelines.


Education and Experience

  •  BA and 5-7 years in theatrical production, design, or related experience or equivalent combination of education and experience including 4+ years in:
    • Production management
    • Design oversight
    • Budgeting and financial management
    • Operations management
    • Supervisory experience

Job Competencies

  • Proven success in managing/designing multiple, simultaneous, large-scale artistic productions in a range of disciplines.
  • Knowledge of and experience in a broad range of artistic practice including performing, experimental, and visual arts.
  • Ability to think strategically, with an eye to long-term planning, coupled with an ability to be flexible as the needs of the BAI continue to evolve
  • Proven success in budgeting and financial management.
  • Demonstrated ability managing a diverse staff with a broad range of skills sets.
  • Ability to interact with a broad range of individuals (faculty, administrators, artists & management, vendors, students).
  • Ability to deliver programs that meet the mission and standards of the BAI, which can often be in conflict with the competing needs and demands from different constituencies.
  • Demonstrated ability to support a community of diverse perspectives and cultures in an inclusive environment.
  • Teaching experience preferred
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Excellent organizational skills, with the ability to prioritize and multitask

Additional physical demands and working conditions:
Brown University continues to undergo tremendous growth in the arts. An experienced, creative, and collaborative Director of Design and Production will play a pivotal role in the future success of the Brown Arts Institute. The DDP must enjoy collegial, collaborative relationships with the BAI Leadership Team, as well as its subordinate division leads. Open lines of communication are of the utmost importance, as the BAI programs are vast, complex, and often politically sensitive. This position requires a great deal of diplomacy, prioritization, compartmentalization, and multi-tasking, while taking care to maintain open and collaborative relationships with constituents throughout the University.

Some evening and weekend work and travel should be expected

All offers of employment are contingent upon successful completion of a criminal background check and education verification.

Recruiting Start Date:

Job Posting Title:
Director of Design and Production, Brown Arts Institute

Brown Arts Institute

Grade 12

Worker Type:

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Time Type:
Full time

Scheduled Weekly Hours:

Position Work Location:

Submission Guidelines:
Please note that in order to be considered an applicant for any staff position at Brown University you must submit an application form for each position for which you believe you are qualified. Applications are not kept on file for future positions. Please include a cover letter and resume with each position application.

Still Have Questions?
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EEO Statement:
Brown University is an E-Verify Employer.

As an EEO/AA employer, Brown University provides equal opportunity and prohibits discrimination, harassment and retaliation based upon a person’s race, color, religion, sex, age, national or ethnic origin, disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, or any other characteristic protected under applicable law, and caste, which is protected by our University policies.

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