Head of Wardrobe | Playbill

Head of Wardrobe

CATEGORY: Technical

5th Avenue Theatre
Seattle, WA


Brodrick Ryans

Job Details


The 5th Avenue Theatre is seeking a Head of Wardrobe to join our team.

About The 5th

The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of America's leading musical theater companies. We enrich the community we love with the art form we love—giving the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that go on to light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway. From the page to the stage, we bring passion and epic scale to every musical we create. With big talent. Bigger-than-life productions. And did we mention dazzle? As a nonprofit theater company and our region's largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals with people of all ages across our region and state.

Each year, we reach more than 75,000 young people through our nationally acclaimed education programs. Programs designed to develop new musicals ensure that the next generation of great musicals will be there to tell the stories that captivate tomorrow's audiences. On the national stage, we are a leading voice for the power of this American art form to lift the human spirit.

For more information about The 5th Avenue Theatre, its season and its programs, please visit www.5thavenue.org

Land Acknowledgement

The 5th Avenue Theatre and the communities we serve are on the land and waterways of the Coast Salish people who have continuously inhabited our region since time immemorial. They are the original storytellers and theater-makers of this place we call home.

We also acknowledge and honor the Tribal nations across Washington State and the many Indigenous peoples from across the country who also live and work in the Seattle area. As we step into this new period of The 5th's history, we hope to honor their legacies and bring greater attention to their continuing fight for equity and recognition.

At The 5th Avenue Theatre, we are actively working towards goals as an anti-racist organization, you can learn more about our work and statement here: https://www.5thavenue.org/about/anti-racism-at-the-5th/

Reports: This position reports to the Costume and Wardrobe Director.

Position Summary:

The Head of Wardrobe, in close coordination with the Costume and Wardrobe Director and the creative team and designers, is primarily responsible for leading and supervising the wardrobe crew and for the tracking, execution, maintenance and running of the wardrobe department for all main stage productions at the 5th Avenue Theatre and for maintaining the artistic integrity and vision of the designers and creative team and the 5th Avenue Theatre. This position is represented by IATSE, Local No. 887.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

    • Is an active member of the IATSE wardrobe crew. On 5th Avenue self-produced shows the Head of Wardrobe will function as a supervisor with no assigned track, but may assist in the execution of a maximum of 5 quick changes during large or complicated shows
    • Supervise the run crew
    • Be an active participant in the 5th Avenue Theatre’s work towards equity, diversity and inclusion and accountability and becoming an anti-racist organization by participating in all trainings and workshops and actively working implementing learned skills and policies in your department.
    • May perform work of all classifications as necessary
    • Effectively communicate and work closely with the design team to understand their vision and assess the wardrobe needs for all productions.
    • Maintain communication with the Costume and Wardrobe Director to discuss, plan and problem solve wardrobe needs for all productions.
    • Sets up laundry system for each show in collaboration with the Costume and Wardrobe Assistant.
    • Creates and assign the run tracks for the Wardrobe Department in collaboration with the Head of Hair and Makeup, the Costume and Wardrobe Director and Stage Management.
    • Attends meetings as needed ahead of tech with the Costume and Wardrobe Director, Head of Hair, Design Assistants, Head Carpenter and Technical Director to figure our backstage needs.
    • Preps and labels quick change areas, baskets, racks etc before tech.
    • Is responsible for and an active team member for day work once the show is in tech and performances and is responsible for maintenance and repair of costumes and crafts.
    • Create and implement show run crew schedules in coordination with the Costume and Wardrobe Director and the Head of Hair and Makeup.
    • Supervise and train the IATSE wardrobe crew.
    • In collaboration with the Costume and Wardrobe Director, make suggestion regarding dispatched dressers and track assignment, based on show needs.
    • Organize and update all wardrobe paperwork, including photographic documentation if needed in collaboration with the costume shop and design assistant.
    • Coordinate and execute the maintenance of the design and styling of costumes to maintain continuity of design throughout the show run.
    • Maintain stock, equipment, and supplies for the wardrobe department.
    • Help organize and implement costume load out for all productions, returning rentals as needed with the help of the Costume Shop Floor Manager and the Costume and Wardrobe Assistant.
    • Is an active member of the run crew on tour productions.
    • Experience in budgeting and responsible and effective handling of designated funds. Responsible for tracking expenditures and submitting receipts to the Costume and Wardrobe Director while working within show and general budgets given to you.
    • Submit payroll weekly to the Costume and Wardrobe Director.
    • Maintain safe working conditions in keeping with AEA, OSHA, and COVID19 Response Protocols.
    • Provides regular updates to the Costume and Wardrobe Director on all areas of responsibility.
    • Attend and participate in production meetings as requested, department meetings, show specific costume meetings. in addition to technical rehearsals and previews for all productions, as requested by the Costume and Wardrobe Director.
    • Perform work in a manner that is consistent with the 5th Avenue Theatre’s Community Agreements.
    • Participates and actively engages in Collective Bargaining Agreement negotiations.
    • This job description is not exhaustive and is subject according to future changes/development.

Essential knowledge and Qualifications:

    • Proven experience in handling production and design processes on large scale productions.
    • Advanced knowledge and experience with all types of costumes and fabrics, periods.
    • Advance knowledge and experience with show tracking, wardrobe needs, show maintenance, stain removal, shoe repair, laundry needs etc.
    • Proficient in quick change choreography and crew track planning
    • Proficient on both home and industrial sewing machines and basic repairs and sewing skills.
    • Experience in de-escalating conflict using clear communication, both oral and written.
    • Ability to communicate about body types, hair types, skin tones and all genders using respectful, equitable and inclusive language.
    • An equivalent combination of an undergraduate degree in theatre with a focus in Costumes and 1-2 years of wardrobe and run crew experience, or 5 years of dressing/ wardrobe run crew experience.
    • Prior experience in management of run crews, preferably in a union environment.
    • Demonstrated creative judgment, excellent problem-solving skills and detail-oriented.
    • Strong ability to lead a team, delegate and communicate effectively and resolve conflict across multiple departments and with dynamic people.
    • Must be able to meet deadlines and adapt and pivot with changing priorities as well as attend to numerous projects concurrently.
    • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills. Is able to work with a variety of performers, crew members, and personality types.
    • Foster and maintain a healthy, productive, kind and collaborative work environment
    • Ability and willingness to exercise professional courtesy and discretion at all times and maintain confidentiality as required.
    • Comply with Actors Equity rules and regulations.
    • Comply with all OSHA regulations for creating and maintaining a safe work environment.
    • Must be willing and able to work flexible hours/days reflective of a production schedule of a theater which includes a variety of hours including evenings and weekends.
    • Proficiency in Microsoft Word and Excel, Outlook and on-line meeting platforms such as Zoom essential.

Compensation & Benefits:

    • The pay rate is the current IATSE, Local No. 887 contract rate of $39.11 an hour. Benefits are provided through Local 887 according to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and include deferred comp, retirement and health.
    • Guaranteed minimum 40 hour weeks per year vary depending on the amount of shows performed but average 40 weeks in a typical year.
    • Reduced price parking available near the theatre
    • 2 comp tickets per show and reduced cost for additional tickets

Physical Requirements:

    • Able to work quickly and accurately in a complex and fast-moving environment.
    • Minor physical lifting required, up to 25 pounds.
    • Must be able climb stairs and perform quick changes in low light backstage spaces.
    • Sit or stand for long periods of time with minimal accommodations.

Application information & Timeline:

Applications from those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the theatrical industry are strongly encouraged. We are striving for our staff to be inclusive of a diverse and vibrant community that represents multiple identities, perspectives & influences.

To apply, please email a cover letter, resume & 3 references by May 20, 2022 that explains your qualifications for the position to [email protected].

Please include “Head of Wardrobe” in the subject line.

The first round of interviews will be conducted via Zoom the week of May 30, 2022. Final interviews will be in either in person or via zoom the week June 13, 2022, with a projected start date of August 1, 2022. A background check will be required upon offer of position.

The 5th Avenue Theatre is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

The 5th Avenue requires COVID-19 Vaccinations for all employees

Work Location:

The 5th Avenue Theatre, located in the Skinner Building at 1326 5th Avenue, in downtown Seattle.


May 27, 2022 - Jul 1, 2022


39.11 hour





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1308 5th Avenue
Seattle, WA 98101


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