Technicians Application Info
2024 Technical Apprentice Positions
Our Production Staff is comprised of experienced designers, technicians and craftspeople from regional theatres, opera companies and universities from around the world. Over 60% of our staff are former Santa Fe Opera technical apprentices. Staff compensation varies depending on the responsibilities of the position and the experience of the applicant. Staff housing is arranged by the Opera and a small housing deduction is deducted weekly from your base pay. All staff receive financial assistance towards the cost of travel to and from Santa Fe.
Working alongside our professional staff are apprentice technicians from colleges and theatre conservatories across the country. The Apprentice Program for Theatre Technicians, established in 1965, is an intermediate to advanced training program. The program offers instruction and practical experience in stage operations, properties, audio/video, costumes, production/music services, wigs and makeup, electrics and scenic art. Apprentices receive an hourly wage plus applicable overtime, and financial assistance with the cost of travel to and from Santa Fe. Apprentice housing is located in Opera-owned apartments in downtown Santa Fe, and a small housing deduction is deducted weekly from their base pay.
The festival season schedule is very demanding and challenging, but is also very rewarding. Due to the outdoor setting of our venue, technical rehearsals must begin after sunset, and therefore extend late into the night.
In addition to the daily work responsibilities, throughout the summer season we offer Director and Designer presentations, master classes, specialty workshops, and resume and portfolio reviews. Once all of the season’s repertory productions have opened, technical apprentices participate in the production of two fully staged opera scenes programs featuring Santa Fe Opera’s apprentice singers. We also host a Portfolio Fair at which seasonal employees can share their work with fellow employees, designers, industry professionals and other invited guests. Those participating in the Portfolio Fair should arrive at the beginning of the summer with a fully prepared portfolio, as there is very limited time to work on it once you arrive.
Audio & Video
Audio/ Video apprentices set-up, operate, maintain and repair equipment used to support the rehearsals and production of a five opera repertory season. Apprentices are also responsible for multiple roles during the rehearsal process from interacting with stage management on video monitor positions to adjusting audio needs. They will closely work with their supervisors to ensure shows and rehearsals are running smoothly. Familiarity with equipment such as wired/wireless microphones, speakers, digital mixers, intercom systems, video cameras, video monitors, recording equipment, computers & networking, terminating wires and cables is required. Earliest start date is May 20, 2024. Hourly rate for the Audio/Video Apprentices is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Positions Available: (4)
The Santa Fe Opera Costume Shop is a highly collaborative team of talented professionals and apprentices. The shop celebrates the contributions of each individual and the strength created through the combined efforts of the team. We recognize that our work is physically and mentally challenging and are fueled by collective creativity and a desire to execute at a high standard. Average number of hours worked weekly varies by position and throughout the season (40-65 hours/week).
First time Costume applicants must also submit a hand sewing sample which includes examples of the following: cross stitch (herringbone/catch-stitch), whip stitch (hemming stitch), slip stitch, hook and eye, a 4-hole button sewn with thread shank, and a snap. Front/back images of this sewing sample should be emailed to email@example.com
9 to 14 weeks of costume construction, paint/dye, millinery, crafts, wardrobe or administration. Start dates vary beginning in mid-May.
Non-Dressing Costume Apprentices
Non-Dressing Costume Apprentices are assigned to a team in one the following areas: Stitching (with a Draping/Tailoring team), Crafts, Millinery, Administration. Each team supports the 5-production repertory season. Within each of these teams, responsibilities may include the following: constructing/altering/finishing work on new and existing costume pieces; pressing/rolling of fabrics; steaming/labeling finished pieces; daily shop maintenance tasks; helping to facilitate and maintain the organizational practices of the Costume Department. Applicants should have costume/fashion technology experience or similar experience in other theatrical venues, including hand- and industrial machine-stitching. Start dates varies beginning in mid-May. Hourly rate for these positions is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Dressing Costume Apprentices
Dressing Costume Apprentices are assigned to a team in one the following areas: Stitching (with a Draping/Tailoring team), Crafts, Millinery. Dressing Apprentices also participate in the Wardrobe Team in the support of the 5-production repertory season. Within each of these teams, responsibilities may include the following: constructing/altering/finishing work on new and existing costume pieces; pressing/rolling of fabrics; steaming/labeling finished pieces; daily shop maintenance tasks; helping to facilitate and maintain the organizational practices of the Costume Department; inventorying costumes at check-in/check-out; assisting artists in dressing at top of show and throughout performance (including quick-changes); assisting with laundry collection and show changeover. Applicants should have costume/fashion technology experience or similar experience in other theatrical venues, including hand- and industrial machine-stitching. Start dates varies beginning in mid-May. Hourly rate for these positions is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
9 weeks of hang, trial focus, practical construction, and technical and dress rehearsals. 4 weeks of daily repertory focus and running shows. Start dates vary, starting late May, 2024.
Electrics Apprentices work as part of a crew of ten electricians to complete a daily change over & refocus of approximately 250 lights in a 1 ½ hour period of daylight, build practicals, and wire set mounts. All apprentices will either run a follow spot or work as a deck electrician for 3 to 4 operas. Requirements include: college level technical theatre experience with an emphasis on lighting or comparable professional experience, actively pursuing a career as a technician or designer, experience with a variety of lighting equipment, and basic knowledge of electricity and wiring. Willingness and ability to work within a rigorous time schedule with a variety of personalities and skill levels. Start dates vary, staring late May. Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Production & Music Services
12 weeks of supporting performances, onstage rehearsals, orchestra rehearsals and general notes. This position overlaps with several areas of production, i.e.: stage, props, and scenic art. Excellent position for someone interested in theatre production. Heavy lifting and physical stamina required.
Positions Available: Apprentices (5)
Production/Music Services Apprentice
Responsible for all orchestra set-up and load-out. Duties may include everything from making coffee for the instrumentalists to removing a harpsichord from the pit at intermission for tuning. These individuals work in the orchestra pit as well as the rehearsal halls to ensure readiness of equipment for music staff and instrumentalists at all on-stage rehearsals and performances. Regular heavy lifting of music stands, percussion, harps, and other large musical instruments up and down stairs and into/out of the pit is required. This crew serves as the stage crew at daily staging rehearsals onstage, cleaning, mopping, setting scenery and conducting scene changes as needed. This crew may be assigned to other departments to aid in the finishing of scenery, props, or costumes, depending upon skill level and availability. Previous experience with musical ensembles is a plus. Start date is May 27, 2024. Rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
12 to 16 weeks in construction and finishing of furniture, stage dressing and prop elements. Run staff and apprentices support technical and dress rehearsals and repertory performances. Earliest start date for Properties Apprentices is mid-May, 2024.
Positions Available: Apprentices (14) -9 Run Crew, 2 Carpenters/Run Crew, 2 Crafts/Run Crew, 1 Painter/Crafts/Run Crew
Prop Crafts/Carpentry Apprentice
The Prop Crafts/Carpentry/Paint Apprentice(s) is responsible for assisting the Prop Staff and other technical apprentices in the construction, finish, maintenance, and running of stage props, including but not limited to: furniture construction and upholstery, hand props, soft goods, floral and foliage work; and stage dressing; and to assist in the running of productions with staff and apprentice run crews, for a five production repertory season. The apprentice must be prepared to fulfill the following responsibilities throughout the season: construction and finish of assigned prop craft pieces; maintain excellence of product; maintenance of assigned productions; a willingness and the ability to work rigorous hours and to act as run crew for assigned productions. Applicants must have a college level prop crafts (which should include sewing / stitching) experience or similar experience in other theatrical venues. Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Prop Run Crew Apprentice
The Prop Run Crew Apprentice is responsible for assisting the Prop Run Crew Chiefs including the Head Run Crew Chief, Stage Management team, Production Stage Manager and Stage Crew apprentices and their supervisors. The Prop Run Crew interact and assist when needed with other departments. They support the running of rehearsals and performances in a safe and efficient running of stage props. This includes but not limited to movement of furniture hand props, dressing, soft goods to and from storage, rehearsal halls, stage and the prop shop for a five production repertory season and the Apprentice Scenes. The apprentice must be prepared to fulfill the following responsibilities through the festival season: accurate note taking for rehearsals and performances, show notes pertaining to the run, construction and maintenance of stage props; maintaining a high quality and integrity for the designed stage props. Applicant must be willing and able to move furniture and other stage props. Applicants should have educational and or professional experience in the running of theatrical productions and/or Stage Management experience. Start date for this position is May 27, 2024. Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Scenic Art Department
12 weeks of scenic painting, sculpture, texture, other finish work. You must submit a portfolio to be considered for this position. Earliest start date for Scenic Art apprentices is mid-May, 2024.
Positions Available: Apprentices (3)
Scenic Art Apprentice
This position is for those who are looking to gain additional knowledge and experience in scenic art. Basic scenic art skills required. Responsibilities include painting, and finishing of all scenic elements including covering, priming, texture work, sculpting and applying scenic details. Candidates must have the ability to mix and match colors and knowledge of scenic material and tools. Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
14 weeks of technical and dress rehearsals, work notes, repertory scenic changes and repertory running crew. Heavy lifting and physical stamina is a must.
Positions Available: Apprentices (19) – 19 Stage Crew
Stage Crew Apprentice
Responsible for all scenic changeovers and run crew duties for each opera in the repertory. Occasionally, apprentices may be costumed for onstage moves during the show. Project work (carpentry, welding, etc) will be assigned based on skill level and availability. Backstage Seminars, Resume and Portfolio Reviews are available for all apprentices later in the season. Previous experience in show run crew and scene shop preferred but not required; additional skills are trained as the season progresses. Start dates are mid-May, 2024. Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
Wigs & Makeup
8 weeks of construction of new wigs and accessories, and dressing of existing pieces. 4 weeks of wig maintenance and makeup for repertory performances. Start date is early June 2024.
Positions Available: Apprentices (4)
Wig & Makeup Apprentice
Wig and Makeup Apprentices are responsible for overseeing the Apprentice Artist (chorus) needs for rehearsals and performances. Including, but not limited to: ensuring the wigs are in good condition and styles are upheld according to the design specifications and executing any makeup/body paint application called for the production. Additional responsibilities include various projects such as: ventilating, setting, styling wigs & facial hair as well as the maintenance of them (as mentioned above) and the maintenance of the shop itself (organizing, cleaning, etc). Hourly rate for this position is $12.50 per hour with overtime potential.
The Production Department Application process for the 2024 Season is now available.
The deadline for application is March 24, 2024.
Please follow the instructions below:
- Submit an Application Form using the link below.
- Email a copy of your current resume to firstname.lastname@example.org
- Forward the link of the Recommendation Form to a shop supervisor/manager or designer who can describe your work. They must fill out and submit the form.
If you have any questions, you may email email@example.com.