2 May 2024


Lead Dresser

The 5th Avenue Theatre  →   Seattle, WA


The 5th Avenue Theatre job

Job Description

Company Overview:

Musicals are what we do, and The 5th Avenue Theatre is one of America’s leading musical theaters.

As a nonprofit company and our region’s largest performing arts employer, we spread the joy of great musicals, enrich the community with this art form, and give the Pacific Northwest a front-row seat to original powerhouse productions that light up marquees and audiences all the way to Broadway.  Through our nationally acclaimed education programs, we reach more than 75,000 young people with programs designed to develop new musicals and ensure the next generation of great musical storytelling.

We share a core belief that Musical Theatre is critical to uplifting and reflecting the humanity around us, and that The 5th Avenue is a vital resource for Seattle, Downtown, and The Pacific Northwest.  Our diversity of people and talents are unified behind these truths, working hard to make great art and sustain a great work culture of belonging & inclusion.

Applications from those who have been traditionally underrepresented in the theatrical industry are strongly encouraged. We are striving for our staff to be inclusive of a diverse and vibrant community that represents multiple identities, perspectives & influences.

Position: Lead Dresser
Department: Production
Reports to:  Head of Wardrobe and Assistant Head of Wardrobe
FLSA Classification: Hourly; guaranteed minimum 40 hour weeks per year vary depending on the number of shows performed.
Compensation: The base pay rate is set by the current IATSE Local 887 CBA contract rate, which will be $40.67 at the start of the 24-25 season.
Benefits: Benefits are provided through Local 887 according to the terms of the collective bargaining agreement and include deferred comp, retirement and health.
Work Locations: Downtown Seattle. The 5th Avenue Theatre and administrative office located within Skinner Building (1326 5th Avenue, Suite 735).


Position Summary:

The Lead Dresser, is primarily responsible for the organization, presetting, and assisting with changes of assigned actor tracks.  Should a show require more than two day-work/maintenance people, they will be the first person called for maintenance and day work. They are to be an exemplar example of how backstage dressers work and interact with actors and be able to share their knowledge with newer dressers. This position is represented by IATSE, Local No. 887.


Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Actively contribute as a member of the IATSE wardrobe crew.
  • Assist with day work during tech rehearsals and performances when additional support beyond the Head and Assistant is required.
  • Participate actively in post-show cleanup and organization tasks.
  • Contribute to costume load-out for self-produced productions.
  • Share skills and knowledge with newer dressers as needed.
  • Ensure work aligns with AEA, OSHA, and Infectious Disease Protocols.
  • Adhere to The 5th Avenue Theatre’s Community Agreements in all work.


Essential knowledge and Qualifications:

  • Qualifications include an undergraduate degree in theatre with a focus on Costumes or 2-3 years of dressing/wardrobe run crew experience.
  • Advanced expertise in show tracking, wardrobe management, maintenance, stain removal, shoe repair, laundry, etc.
  • Proficient in executing quick change choreography.
  • Skilled in operating both home and industrial sewing machines, including basic repairs and sewing techniques.
  • Demonstrated ability to de-escalate conflicts through clear communication.
  • Capable of communicating respectfully and inclusively about body types, hair types, skin tones, and gender diversity.
  • Prior experience on run crews, preferably in a unionized environment.
  • Exhibits creative judgment, excellent problem-solving skills, and meticulous attention to detail.
  • Adaptable to changing priorities and able to manage multiple tasks concurrently.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively with diverse performers, crew members, and personalities.
  • Cultivates a healthy, productive, kind, and collaborative work environment.
  • Exercises professional courtesy, discretion, and maintains confidentiality as required.
  • Adheres to Actors Equity rules and regulations.
  • Ensures compliance with all OSHA regulations to maintain a safe work environment.
  • Willing and able to work flexible hours/days, including evenings and weekends, based on the theater’s production schedule.


Physical Requirements:

  • Ability to lift, move, push, pull 20-35 lbs. occasionally, alone or with assistance; must be able to push and pull large gondolas, rolling racks and boxes of costumes from one location to another usually with assistance
  • Ability to stand and work on foot, and be mobile including climbing stairs and ladders as needed, occasionally in dim lighting
  • Ability to crouch and kneel to assist with quick shoe changes
  • Ability to sit for long periods of time
  • Ability to manage long periods of dexterous work like sewing, pinning, cutting, and painting
  • Seeing and hearing are essential to the success of this position


Additional Benefits:

  • Reduced price parking available near the theatre
  • 2 comp tickets per show and reduced cost for additional tickets


 Additional Requirements:
Employment is contingent upon successful completion of background and reference checks.


To Apply:

Qualified candidates should submit a resume, cover letter, and three references to careers@5thavenue.org by May 31, 2024. Please include Lead Dresser in the subject line.

The first round of interviews will be conducted via Zoom the week of June 4, 2024.
Final interviews if needed will be in either in person or via zoom the week June 17, 2024, with a projected start date of the beginning of the 24-25 season.


Full-Time Job in Theatre:
Lead Dresser
The 5th Avenue Theatre
 Seattle, WA

Job Categories: Theatre. Job Types: Full-Time. Job Tags: non-profit, performing arts, and theatre. States: Washington.
Job listing expires in 15 days.