Assistant Professor of Scenic Design



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Job description

Job Location

1460 University Drive, Winchester, Virginia

Tracking Code


Shenandoah Conservatory, one of the country’s leading centers for collaborative work across the performing arts, is seeking nominations and applications for an exceptional scenic designer, passionate mentor, and collaborative colleague. This full-time and career-contract track position – housed within the Theatre Division – begins in August 2023.

The chosen candidate will further strengthen Shenandoah Conservatory’s profile and reputation as a premiere and inclusive place of study where students from diverse backgrounds develop into scenic design professionals, and as a place where audiences can experience transformative performances. Experience with projection design is most welcome.

Specifically, the desired candidate will:

  • Provide overall leadership to the Scenic Design degree (housed within the Theatre division’s Technical Design & Production area) and support aligned recruitment activities
  • Teach courses related to theatre design within the Theatre division
  • Design (or mentor student designers) on a total of four theatre/opera productions over the course of two semesters
  • In conjunction with the design and shop, staff supervises and trains work-study and lab students in the areas of scenic design, scenic projection, scenic painting, properties design, and scenic construction.
  • Be centrally involved in the work of further developing cutting-edge undergraduate curricula, ensuring exceptional industry-oriented programs
  • Teach other undergraduate courses in the field of expertise as appropriate.
  • Mentor scenic fellow

About the Theatre Division: Shenandoah Conservatory’s Theatre Division is in an exciting period of development. Beyond having one of the country’s most distinguished Musical Theatre programs, the Theatre Division – which focuses exclusively on undergraduate BFA training and is uniquely situated within a comprehensive performing arts conservatory – includes an innovative Meisner-based Acting program, and an intensive undergraduate Theatre Design and Production program. The three programs maintain a reputation for excellence in pre-professional training and keep a constant eye on the industry, providing highly individualized education in a rigorous yet supportive environment. The Conservatory maintains multiple performance spaces across campus. Main theatre performance spaces include Ohrstrom-Bryant Theatre (a 632-seat proscenium theatre), Glaize Studio Theatre (a flexible black box), as well as Hal Herman Lab Theatre (a uniquely flexible teaching and student performance space that is scheduled for completion in February 2021). Other Conservatory-related performance spaces include Armstrong Concert Hall, Goodson Recital Hall, and Shingleton Black Box. In addition to a robust traditional production calendar, Shenandoah Conservatory also hosts a resident professional summer stock theatre, Shenandoah Summer Music Theatre. As one of the country’s largest campus-based summer musical theatre seasons, SSMT welcomes over 20,000 patrons annually, producing three full-scale musicals, and employing student and professional actors in the company.

About Shenandoah Conservatory: Shenandoah Conservatory was founded in 1875 and has an extraordinary legacy of shaping music and the performing arts in Virginia and beyond. Located at the head of the historic Shenandoah Valley in Winchester, VA, 70 miles west of Washington DC, the Conservatory is now home to over 640 award-winning students from across the nation and globe enrolled in baccalaureate, master, and doctoral curricula in the areas of music, theater, and dance, and includes a distinguished faculty of over 125, half of whom are full-time. Beyond being a comprehensive performing arts school, Shenandoah Conservatory is home to exceptional artists and scholars who are unusually oriented towards collaboration and innovative approaches to the career preparation of students. The Conservatory’s ShenCoLAB (formerly titled Student Performance Week) is but one example of the Conservatory’s nation-leading embrace of innovation and collaboration; a (first-in-the-country) week-long stoppage of all classes and rehearsals across all programs with the school turned over to students for student-led (and faculty-mentored) collaborative projects. The Conservatory’s proximity to Washington D.C. and Dulles Airport ensures easy access to and regular interaction with professionals from around the country and the world.

Required Experience

Qualifications: Required and minimum qualifications include the following:

  • A record of distinguished scenic design experience at a national level
  • A deep understanding of emergent technologies matched by a driving passion for mentorship
  • An ability to work with others to further strengthen the Conservatory’s undergraduate design program
  • An ability to recruit and develop emerging student talent
  • A powerful orientation toward collaborative work
  • Demonstrable skills from an assortment of digital software applications such as Vectorworks, AutoCAD, Qlab, In Design Suite, and Procreate
  • An ability to contribute to the Conservatory’s commitment to inclusion, diversity, and equity
  • A graduate degree in theatrical design or equivalent professional work

How to apply

Apply online

Please include four professional references and links to examples of design work in your application materials. Shenandoah University is committed to enriching its educational experience and culture through the diversity of its faculty, administration, and staff. All candidates are strongly encouraged to include a statement in their cover letters addressing ways in which they may be able to contribute to that commitment. The review of applications will begin immediately and continue until a qualified candidate is selected.

**Note: A pre-employment background check will be required and a satisfactory driving record may be required as a condition of hire.

Shenandoah University values the unique and diverse perspectives of individuals and communities locally and globally and seeks to foster mutual understanding in an inviting community where individuals are welcome and respected. The university does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, genetic information, veteran’s status, or on any other basis protected under applicable law.