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1 Feb 2023


Lead Draper / Tailor

La Jolla Playhouse

 San Diego, California, United States

La Jolla Playhouse jobs

Job Description

  • Department: Production (Costumes)
  • Classification: IATSE Hourly
  • Status: Non-Exempt
  • Pay: $30.76/hr
  • Location: La Jolla, CA on the beautiful campus of the University of California, San Diego
  • Schedule: Weekdays, weeknights, weekends, some holidays, some overtime
  • Reports to: Costume Supervisor, Production Management
  • Works With LJP Staff, Visiting Artists & Designers, IATSE Labor, UCSD Residents
  • Start Date: Flexible, needed by April 10, 2023


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 108 world premieres, commissioning 70 new works, and sending 33 productions to Broadway, garnering a total of 38 Tony Awards, as well as the 1993 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre. These works include the Broadway hits Come From Away, Diana and Memphis, all directed by Ashley; The Who’s Tommy; the Pulitzer Prize-winning I Am My Own Wife; and Jersey Boys.

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

Under the direction of the Costume Supervisor, the Lead Draper/Tailor serves as a key member of La Jolla Playhouse’s Production Department Staff. This position works in a fast-paced and detail-critical environment. The Lead Draper/Tailor works with the Costume Designer, Costume Supervisor, First Hand, and Stitchers to pattern costumes, conduct fittings, supervise the construction of costumes and guide the process of alterations and notes through the costume work floor for all assigned La Jolla Playhouse productions. The strongest candidate is an artist, technician, and leader committed to the artistic vision, mission and values of La Jolla Playhouse.

Essential Job Duties

  • Create patterns for costume pieces based on the Costume Designer’s sketches and research.
  • Fit all mock ups and costumes to insure proper look and functionality.
  • Measure actors as requested by the Costume Supervisor.
  • Allocate work on the costume shop floor ensuring that work is achieved to the desired standard, making recommendations for improvements when necessary.
  • Train, instruct, and motivate First Hands and Stitchers as needed.
  • Be innovative in the research, development, and creation of unusual specialty items as called for in the scripts for LJP productions.
  • Consult with the Costume Supervisor on production needs including the viability of the design, budget estimates, labor requirements, selection of materials, and calculation of quantities.
  • Decide the most suitable techniques and processes to achieve the desired effects relating to the artistic vision of the design.
  • Advise Costume Supervisor of any issues arising out of the build process and offer possible solutions.
  • Give constructive advice to the Costume Designer and others on techniques and materials in order to achieve completion of the project in the most efficient manner.
  • Keep accurate and detailed records of work done including labeled patterns, use of various interfacings and notions, yardage usage, and other relevant information.
  • Inform Costume Supervisor of shop material and supply needs in a timely fashion.
  • Supervise the completion and delivery of rehearsal mock ups as needed.
  • Ensure that assigned costume shop workspaces are kept in a clean, organized, and safe manner.
  • Participate in shop clean‑up and specific maintenance or cleanup projects as assigned by the Costume Supervisor.
  • Communicate with Costume Supervisor regarding equipment condition to ensure that all needed equipment maintenance is carried out in regular intervals.
  • Be a primary reference point for the Costume Designer, Costume Supervisor, and Wardrobe Supervisor on all matters relating to the construction and care of costume pieces.
  • Advise and assist the Wardrobe Supervisor and Dressers in the repair and maintenance on items in use in current production if beyond capabilities of the crew.
  • Check all costume shop IATSE personnel timesheets for accuracy and deliver to Steward daily.
  • Read and respond to company email in a timely fashion.
  • Attend costume shop staff meetings.
  • Attend production meetings, tech rehearsal, previews, and note sessions as requested by the Costume Supervisor.
  • Be an active participant in LJP’s work towards being a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive workplace.
  • Perform other duties as assigned in collaboration with theatre personnel, professional creative teams, staff, management and other visiting artists.

Requirements and Proficiencies

  • Demonstrated experience as a Draper/Tailor in a theatrical costume environment or a combination of equivalent experience and training.
  • Comprehensive and advanced knowledge of costume construction related disciplines including flat patterning, draping, cutting, tailoring, costume fitting procedures and etiquette, alteration techniques, machine sewing (industrial and domestic), hand sewing, and safe use and maintenance of costume shop machinery.
  • Possess a strong working knowledge of different materials such as fabrics, interfacing, closures, and other notions.
  • Extensive knowledge of costume history and period garment construction.
  • Ability to lead a team in a fast-paced and detail-critical environment.
  • Be willing to experiment with new materials and learn new techniques.
  • Knowledge of and dedication to safe working practices (OSHA 10 a plus).
  • Possess strong critical thinking skills, an eye for detail, ability to problem solve, good organizational skills, and be able to carry out projects from beginning to end.
  • Able to meet deadlines and adapt to changing priorities while maintaining a positive and productive attitude.
  • Commitment to uphold and meaningfully engage with the mission, vision, and values of La Jolla Playhouse.
  • Occasionally lift/move 20lbs.
  • Being fully vaccinated against COVID-19 by an FDA approved vaccine is a condition of employment.
  • Access to reliable transportation.


To Apply:

Submit a cover letter, resume and references to
Please include in the subject line – “Lead Draper/Tailor”


Full-Time Job in Theatre:
Lead Draper / Tailor
La Jolla Playhouse
 San Diego, California, United States

Job Categories: Theatre. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: costume design, performing arts, and production. States: California.

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