16 May 2024


Lead Carpenter

La Jolla Playhouse  →   La Jolla, San Diego, CA


La Jolla Playhouse jobs

Job Description

Department:  Production – Scenery

Status:  Full Time, IATSE Local 122, Non-Exempt (Hourly)

Pay: $34.00 – $39.00 per hour (DOE)

Location:  La Jolla, CA on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego

Schedule:  Regular weekday work, occasional overtime, weekend work and/or holiday work

Reports to:  Scenery Supervisors

Works With:  LJP Staff, Visiting Artists & Designers, Production Foreman

Supervises:  IATSE Carpenters, Welders, Riggers, Apprentices & Pre-Apprentices


Organization Overview

La Jolla Playhouse is a place where artists and audiences come together to create what’s new and next in the American theatre, from Tony Award-winning productions, to imaginative programs for young audiences, to interactive experiences outside our theatre walls. Founded in 1947 by Gregory Peck, Dorothy McGuire and Mel Ferrer, the Playhouse is currently led by Tony Award winner Christopher Ashley, the Rich Family Artistic Director of La Jolla Playhouse, and Managing Director Debby Buchholz. The Playhouse is internationally renowned for the development of new plays and musicals, including mounting 120 world premieres, commissioning more than 70 new works, and sending 36 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.

La Jolla Playhouse is committed to diversity in all areas of our work, on and off stage. We lead with our values and encourage individuals with unique perspectives to apply. La Jolla Playhouse is proud to be an Equal Opportunity Employer (EOE).

Statement of Job

The Lead Carpenter is the point person for all scenic construction and load in. They lead carpenters, riggers, and automation techs in the safe and successful execution of all scenic elements, including interdepartmental rigging. They actively communicate across departments to ensure a smooth load in process.  The Lead Stage Carpenter collaborates with the Scenery Leadership Team in the development of load-in and strike schedules. They assign tasks and oversee crewmembers to carry out those plans in a safe and efficient manner.


Essential Job Duties

Construction, Installation and Maintenance of Scenery & Effects

  •  Lead carpenters, riggers, and automation techs in the build, installation and modification of scenery, effects, and rigging following industry best practices, with special attention paid to safety, high quality of work, and efficient use of time and resources.
  • Interpret design and working drawings.
  • Lead and/or assist standard rigging installations in a safe and efficient manner.
  • Monitor and ensure the safe use of all stage-related facilities and equipment.
  • Fabricate, install, organize, and transport scenery for the production.
  • Coordinate with other production departments to develop plans for the efficient integration of scenic elements and communicate any relevant information back to the Scenery Leadership Team.
  • Modify elements as directed by the Scenery Leadership Team.
  • Work with Production Foreman to ensure tools and equipment are restored to the proper location and are in good working order.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


  •  Lead a crew of 5 to 15 people, including full-time and overhire staff, on build, load-in and strike of scenic elements.
  • Work within the production schedule to make sure that daily/weekly targets are being met.
  • Communicate with the Scenery Leadership Team daily on project progress.
  • Work with Scenery Supervisors to inform staffing needs.
  • Along with the Production Foreman, run the daily morning safety briefing to ensure that pertinent information and task assignments are being communicated.
  • Motivate and manage crews to ensure a safe, clean, and efficient stage environment during load-in, change-over, and strike.
  • Function in a professional and positive manner with all theatre personnel, professional creative teams, staff, management and visiting artists.

Inclusive & Safe Working Environment

  • Function in a professional and collegial manner when collaborating with all theatre personnel, professional creative teams, staff, management, and other visiting artists.
  • Be an active participant in LJP’s work towards being a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
  • Commitment to a culture of learning, community, anti-racism, inclusion, belonging, and respect among employees and visiting artists.
  • Commitment to a culture of safety, both psychological and physical, ensuring a safe work environment.
  • Maintain current knowledge of safety best practices and standards.

Requirements and Proficiencies

  • 3+ years of professional experience in theatrical construction and installation.
  • Demonstrated success in leadership, goal setting, and personnel management.
  • Possess strong verbal communication, critical thinking, attention to detail, problem solving, and organizational skills, including when working with competing priorities and time constraints.
  • Advanced skills and knowledge of scenic carpentry, welding, rigging, complex automation solutions, and soft goods/fabric maintenance and repair.
  • Knowledge of and dedication to safe work practices; ETCP Certification and OSHA 30 a plus.
  • Possess strong critical thinking, attention to detail, problem solving, and organizational skills.
  • Ability to read and execute scenic design and construction drawings.
  • Commitment to uphold and meaningfully engage with the mission, vision, and values of La Jolla Playhouse.
  • Access to reliable transportation.

Physical Demands

  • Frequently ascends/descends and moves about on ladders, lifts, catwalks, and grids.
  • Ability to work extended hours including nights and weekends during load in.
  • Frequently moves items weighing up to 50lbs and maneuvers heavy items with assistance.

Work Environment

  • Environment varies from dark/quiet backstage to bright/loud on stage and shops.


To Apply:

Submit a cover letter, resume and references to productionjobs@ljp.org.

Please include in the subject line – “Lead Carpenter”


Full-Time Job in Theatre:
Lead Carpenter
La Jolla Playhouse
 La Jolla, San Diego, CA

Job Categories: Theatre. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: Carpenter, carpentry, performing arts, and scenic design. States: California.
Job listing expires in 13 days.