Production Manager- South Coast Repertory
Los Angeles, California, United States
South Coast Repertory (SCR) was founded on the belief that theatre has the unique power to illuminate the human experience. SCR is committed to exploring urgent human and social issues of this time, and to blending literature, design and performance in ways that test the bounds of theatre’s artistic possibilities. It advances the art of theatre in service of its community and aims to extend that service through educational, intercultural, and community engagement programs that harmonize with its artistic mission.
Founded in 1964 by Martin Benson and David Emmes, SCR is led by Artistic Director David Ivers and Managing Director Paula Tomei. SCR produces year-round on three stages, the 507-seat Segerstrom Stage, 336-seat Julianne Argyros Stage, and 94-seat Nicholas Studio. The productions, including annual holiday favorite A Christmas Carol and a Theatre for Young Audiences and Families offering, meet the highest standards of artistic and literary excellence. As of this writing, SCR has realized 541 full productions in 58 seasons including 157 world premieres, 91 of which were plays commissioned by SCR. With a history of nurturing long-term collaborations with gifted playwrights, more than 30% of the repertoire are new plays.
Responding to the ongoing challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, SCR introduced Outside SCR, which features fully staged, family-friendly productions outdoors at the historic Mission San Juan Capistrano each summer. Through an integrated, multi-initiative play-development program known as The Lab@SCR, South Coast Repertory commissions playwrights at various stages of their careers, develops new work through in-house readings and workshops, and is committed to the development of new American musicals. The centerpiece of The Lab@SCR is The Pacific Playwrights Festival which annually showcases seven new plays, a combination of readings and full productions, over a three-day weekend.
SCR also serves the community and the field through an on-site Theatre Conservatory, offering a wide array of year-round acting classes. Along with other education and outreach programming, the Conservatory serves students of all ages. The Junior, Teen, and Summer Players—advanced students in the Youth Conservatory, are featured in three productions annually.
South Coast Repertory is governed by a 27-member Board of Trustees, led by President J. Steven Duncan. David Ivers has served as Artistic Director since 2019. In 1988, SCR received a Tony® Award for distinguished achievement. It operates under an agreement between the League of Resident Theatres (LORT), Actors’ Equity Association, the Stage Directors and Choreographers Society and United Scenic Artists, the union of scenic, costume, lighting, and sound designers. For the 2023 fiscal year, SCR adopted a $11.7 million dollar budget, with 31% of revenue derived from ticket sales and conservatory tuitions, 26% from contributions and grants, and the remaining 43% from other revenues including endowment earnings and reserve allocations derived from special government funding due to COVID-19.
Costa Mesa offers rich history, growing neighborhoods, and world-renown arts and culture offerings all only one mile from the Pacific Ocean. Since its incorporation in 1953, the city has grown from a semi-rural farming community of 16,000 to a thriving, urban-suburban mix locale with a population of almost 110,000 in 2022. Located on the coastal tableland above Newport Beach, Costa Mesa’s first inhabitants were native American Indians who settled on the mesa near the banks of the Santa Ana River. The city is nestled in the heart of Orange County, just 37 miles south of Los Angeles and 88 miles north of San Diego.
Known as the “City of the Arts,” Costa Mesa is also home to Segerstrom Center for the Arts, Pacific Symphony, Orange County Museum of Art, Costa Mesa Playhouse, and the 1.6-acre Noguchi Sculpture Gardens. Costa Mesa’s nonprofit arts organizations generate $110 million in revenue and the total economic impact of these organizations is $521 million. The City of Costa Mesa Cultural Arts Committee is an appointed volunteer group that works with City Council to establish ongoing programs, community events and useful information that helps residents access the arts in many different venues, and through multiple sources.
Costa Mesa is one of the region’s largest commercial areas, with an economy based on luxury retail, commerce, and light manufacturing. The largest center of commercial activity is South Coast Plaza, a shopping center noted for its architecture and size. The volume of sales generated by South Coast Plaza, on the strength of its more than 270 stores, places it among the highest volume regional shopping centers in the nation. South Coast Metro is a commercial, cultural, and residential district surrounding South Coast Plaza. Some manufacturing activity also takes place in the city, mostly in the industrial, southwestern quarter, which is home to a number of electronics and pharmaceutical firms. Business services company Experian is the largest employer in the city. As the capital of the action sports industry, many related companies make their corporate home here, including Hurley, RVCA, Vans and Volcom.
With famously mild temperatures and nearly year-round sunshine, Costa Mesa is a haven for outdoor adventure. There are many impressive cycling and hiking trails, a municipal golf course, and the Huntington Beach and Newport Beach are just minutes away. There are 26 local parks, including Talbert Regional Park which has nearly 200 acres of scenic landscape great for hiking, biking, or jogging and serves as a botanical garden and a wildlife refuge. The city is convenient to many transportation options including the bus and shuttle service and in close proximity to the 405 freeway, an Amtrak stop, and the John Wayne Airport, which is less than five miles away. Costa Mesa schools are highly rated, and the city is home to many education institutions including Vanguard University, Orange Coast College, and University of California, Irvine which is just minutes away.
Sources: costamesaca.gov; artsoc.org; travelcostamesa.com; niche.com
The Production Manager for South Coast Repertory is a member of the executive staff and is directly responsible to the Artistic Director and the Managing Director. The Production Manager functions as the supervisor for all areas of production including long-range and season planning and scheduling, budgeting, allocating resources, contracting employees and designers, monitoring progress of all production elements while maintaining high standards for all productions. The Production Manager facilitates the overall production process, overseeing the day-to-day operation of the following departments: Scenery, Props, Scenic Art, Costumes, Electrics, Wigs, Hair and Make-up, Audio/Video, and Stage Management. The Production department supports the technical and physical elements of all SCR productions including: 4 Segerstrom Stage (including the annual production of A Christmas Carol), 3 Argyros Stage (including 1 Theatre for Young Audiences production), OUTSIDE SCR—which currently consists of one production at the Mission San Juan Capistrano each Summer, Conservatory productions, and fundraising and promotional events. On individual productions where significant issues or artistic concerns arise, the Production Manager will report directly to the Artistic Director.
Role and Responsibilities
Production Management and Professional Relations
Create season performance schedules for multiple stages in conjunction with other departments and all other relevant stakeholders, and establish, communicate, and manage that production schedule, including coordinating rehearsals, strikes, and other related events.
Analyze the annual production calendar for better system options creating, building, and establishing new policies and procedures on how shows are produced including the implementation of new administrative resources, system programs, and strategies.
Ensure, when contracted, that creative teams receive all relevant production information with clarity and in a timely manner, including all design due dates, allocated resources, and production schedules responding promptly to inquiries, as well as providing regular communications to long term artist partners.
Coordinate and negotiate with guest directors on their individual production needs, assisting guest artists and designers in navigating any challenges and ensuring that all guest designers’ and directors’ desires are heard while firmly staying within established budget parameters.
Empower department heads to respond to the needs and challenges of their staffs and guest artists. Hold the department heads accountable for clear lines of communication and to incorporate various strategies to achieve the highest professional standards.
General Management, Administration and Operations
Serve on the senior management team as a creative partner, functioning as a conduit between senior management and the production staff so all parties have the most up-to-date and correct information including occasional attendance and presentations at board meetings as requested.
Create, develop, maintain, and track a variety of complex budgets as well as contribute to the season overall planning process regarding the oversight of all production-related expenditures.
Collaborate with all departments to further diversify SCR’s community of artists, designers, talent pool, over hires, and apprentice opportunities reflective of community demographics with regard to racial, generational and gender diversity.
Coordinate with other department heads on the management, planning and staffing of additional season, marketing and development events as needed. (i.e. Annual Gala, President’s Circle Lunch, Young Conservatory and education events, etc.).
Monitor advancements in technology including newly developed software and hardware resources as well as, in partnership with the General Manager, Operations Manager and department heads, guide maintenance and multi-year facility upgrades of aging systems and equipment with an emphasis on safety.
Staff Leadership and Supervision
Foster a work environment with a focus on two-way communication between administration and production centering on South Coast Repertory’s core values of Literature, Stewardship, Community, Collaboration and Diversity.
Schedule and convene regular design and production meetings amongst directors, designers, and production department heads facilitating timely communication and information exchange, in collaboration between various stakeholders.
Manage and support staff members by monitoring their productivity while also providing constructive feedback and reinforcing accountability to encourage proactive approaches, ensuring adherence to legal and organizational policies, as well as implementing SCR’s Injury and Illness Prevention Program.
Strengthen SCR resources by identifying, hiring, training, and retaining qualified staff and stage management teams, leading Production department heads in setting clear professional expectations and encouraging strategies for work life balance while also proactively addressing challenges in pay equity, workload, extended hours, and staff coverage.
Team Communication, Company Culture, and Community Collaborations
Innovate to assist the company to grow in all regards, guiding department heads out of static methodologies and traditional comfort zones, being open to both new internal and external perspectives that encourage a pathway for growth and creative solutions to the work.
Foster team building and facilitate collaboration in which staff members are true partners in advocacy for each other, accountable for the work, and where challenges are viewed as opportunities to achieve and excel.
Further unity across all departments aligning with the organization’s greater mission, while proactively working against ‘silos’, empowering Production to build a safe creative space free from ‘racism’ or ‘caste’ behaviors, where people are free to do their best work.
Maintain pipelines of educational partnerships with local colleges and universities and other external partners such as local theatres, theme parks, and the broader art community, to find support staff and technical talent reflective of the Orange County community.
Traits and Characteristics
The South Coast Repertory Production Manager will inspire confidence by implementing structural practices. As a valued member of the leadership team, they will have the professional acumen and aptitude to think strategically in support of organization-wide initiatives. An open and strong communicator, the Production Manager will have a voice of clarity. Leading with humility and a sense of humor, coupled with their experience supervising, they will nurture and manage production teams. The Production Manager will have the capacity to coordinate multiple projects, conflicting priorities, and overlapping show schedules while establishing a welcoming atmosphere and a culture of open communication and collaboration. A people person, the Production Manager will have the ability to ensure all internal and external stake holders are heard able to make people care about the greater whole. Proactive instead of reactive, they will avail themselves to support department heads while also being ready to pivot, to be open to operate in different ways, and to identify and oversee the resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results. Finally, the Production Manager will have the ability, experience, and commitment to collaborate with individuals and teams that are mixed across lines of difference such as race, gender-identity, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, class, and immigrant status.
Key competencies include:
Project Management and Planning and Organizing - The capacity to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results while also establishing courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
Problem Solving - The ability to define, analyze and diagnose key components of a problem to formulate a solution.
Time and Priority Management and Personal Accountability - The capability to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames as well as being accountable for personal actions.
Flexibility and Teamwork - The ability to readily modify, respond and adapt to change with the added ability to cooperate with others to meet objectives.
South Coast Repertory requires the Production Manager have a bachelor’s degree in theatre or related field. Qualified candidates will have a minimum of four years of experience and additional experience as an assistant/associate production manager and/or production department supervisor is desirable. Candidates should show a broad, working knowledge of all aspects of technical production, and demonstrated success working in a LORT environment, including experience working under union agreements (AEA, USA, SDC), along with a strong working knowledge of the regional theatre designer pool. This position requires excellent interpersonal, managerial, budgetary, organizational, and problem-solving skills. The Production Manager should have a proficiency in Microsoft Office Suite (Excel, Word) and Google Suite as well as a strong familiarity with lighting, sound, and projection as well as file exchange programs such as Dropbox and Google Docs. The position requires flexible work hours and days reflective of the dynamic schedule of a theatre.
Compensation and Benefits
South Coast Repertory offers health insurance and pays 88% of the total cost (employees pay the difference), dental insurance is 100% paid by SCR and vision is offered but paid for by the employee (not covered by SCR). SCR offer Life insurance and AD&D and a 403(b)-retirement plan with employer match up to 2.5% after one year of employment, three weeks’ vacation and 10 paid holidays. SCR also pays for parking. Employees receive comp tickets to SCR productions including opening night and opening night parties and receive a 50% discount on Conservatory classes (if space is available). This discount extends to the employee’s family as well. The anticipated salary range for this position is $108,000 to $120,000.