The Santa Fe Opera

Skip to main content Skip to search
Cosmos and other plants on campus

Lead Prop Carpenter


Title: Lead Prop Carpenter
Reports to: Properties Director, Assistant Properties Director, Production Director,
Technical Director, and Assistant Technical Director
Employment Classification: Non-exempt/year-round. Overtime begins after the fortieth hour.
Salary: $26/hour
Job Description (PDF)


To provide supervision, mentoring, and instruction of props staff and apprentices in the safe, efficient, and timely construction of furniture, armatures, and stage rigging pertaining to stage properties for year-round opera operations.


  • Complete all assigned prop projects as designed and specified by the Scenic Designer and Properties Director.
  • Supervise, instruct and nurture prop carpentry apprentices and staff on construction of stage props, safe use of tools, procedures and general safety.
  • Inform Properties Director and or Prop Department Administrator about materials needed for props construction and specifics of the projects.
  • Research and procure materials as necessary.
  • Inventory tools and equipment at the beginning and end of the season.
  • Perform regular maintenance of tools, maintaining a tidy and clean shop area.
  • Perform inspection, maintenance and record keeping on dust collection system.
  • Repair, refurbish, load, unload prop rentals, returns and assist or lead the loading of the storage trailers and or containers.
  • Maintain and repair current shows’ props as directed.
  • Coordinate with Prop Painters’ needs in surface preparation, materials etc.; assist with painting when necessary on prop projects.
  • Assist the Prop Director with the prop carpentry build schedule which would include the assignment of build projects.
  • Coordinate with Properties Director on shop improvements and ways to make the shop more efficient and safe.
  • Coordinate with our department and other departments any special needs that are involved with projects as directed by Properties Director.
  • Coordinate with Prop Run Chiefs the operation and specifics of props designed with special FX for the run of the show.
  • Supervise and lead the apprentices in the construction of prop projects for the Apprentice Scenes Program.
  • Coordinate with the Scenic Master Carpenter as to the use of space and material in the scene shop.
  • Assist Scenic carpenters as needed in shop (extra hands).
  • Assist scenic carpenters with truck loading and unloading.

Other Responsibilities

  • Accept responsibility for other appropriate projects relating to The Santa Fe Opera.
  • Give support and show appreciation to The Board of Directors, Guild, Patrons and other volunteer organizations and supporters of The Santa Fe Opera.
  • Follow procedures and policies of The Santa Fe Opera as in the employee manual.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Skills and Training

  • Minimum of 3 years of professional or educational staff experience with training in theatre production including props construction and rigging.
  • Training and understanding of safe practices for the theatre environment.
  • Preferably three years professional experience in props carpentry, prop fabrication and construction.
  • Must have comprehensive carpentry skills including furniture construction, stage rigging, scenic construction and welding both MIG and TIG
  • Willingness and ability to work within a rigorous time schedule with a variety of personalities and skill levels.
  • Ability and license to operate a panel van or full size pickup truck with automatic transmission, or with a manual transmission, if owned by the company.
  • Comprehensive training in the safe operation of stationary and portable power tools, hand tools, stage rigging and related equipment.
  • Mentoring, training and nurturing of staff and apprentice prop carpenters.

Possible Equipment

The employee must be able to safely operate the following tools and equipment: table saw, band saw, metal chop saw, power mitre box saw, MIG and TIG welders, drill press, skill saw, personnel lifts, right angle grinder, bench grinder, stationary sander, belt sander, router, power planer, chain hoist.  May need to supply tools and the prop shop does not own that are required to complete elective construction techniques. The prop department will reimburse and or replace employee’s tool and parts for “wear and tear” usage.


The Santa Fe Opera is at an altitude of 7000 feet.  The environment of the work place includes indoor conditions that may be dusty.  The presence of particles or fumes and the use of materials that produce particles and fumes will require the use of dust masks, respirators and the use of personal safety equipment. Outdoor conditions can include wide variation in temperature, exposure to sun, rain, wind, smoke and other weather conditions. Work week is normally, but not limited to six days, eight to twelve hours per day. Stress level can be high.

Physical Requirements

  • Must be able to climb and work from ladders and personnel lifts.
  • Must have vision and dexterity to safely operate stationary and portable power tools, hand tools, stage rigging and related equipment.
  • Must be able to use a respirator in accordance with OSHA’s Respiratory Protection Standard.
  • Must be able to carry 85 pounds.

This job description in no way implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee occupying this position. The fundamental job requirements are included, and these are the essential job functions. Employees will be required to perform any other job-related duties assigned by their supervisor. All requirements are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities.

The Santa Fe Opera has an industry-wide reputation as an excellent employer, providing rewarding opportunities amid a setting of great natural beauty. As an Equal Opportunity Employer, the Santa Fe Opera celebrates diversity and inclusion. We do not discriminate against any employee or job applicant on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, creed, gender, sexual orientation, pregnancy, disability, age, veteran status, political affiliation or philosophy. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

The Santa Fe Opera has implemented a mandatory COVID vaccination policy, which requires employees/interns to be fully vaccinated against COVID to perform work for the company or have been approved for an accommodation based on disability or sincerely held religious belief. Employees will be considered fully vaccinated two weeks after receiving the requisite number of doses of a COVID-19 vaccine and a booster.

Application Process

Positions require proof of eligibility to work.

Submit a completed employment application form using either the (PDF) Form or Online Form. Submit your (PDF) application form, resume and cover letter by email to Human Resources or by mail to:

The Santa Fe Opera
Attention: Human Resources
Post Office Box 2408
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87504-2408

(PDF) Application Form