Costume Director
Job Details
615 - Houston, TX
Full Time
$65,000.00 Salary/year
Job Description

Founded in 1947 by Nina Vance, the Alley Theatre is a pioneer of regional theatre, and one of the leading nonprofit theatre companies in the United States. The Alley has been awarded the prestigious Regional Theatre Tony Award® and the Texas Medal of Arts Award. The Alley has transferred productions to Broadway, Off-Broadway, major European Festivals, and to 40 American cities. Unique among regional theatres, the Alley is committed to maintaining a Resident Acting Company and providing them work year-round. Nationally recognized directors, actors, playwrights, and designers from across the country have regularly joined the Resident Acting Company.  

Rob Melrose, Artistic Director at the Alley, took over as artistic leader of the organization in 2019. His vision for the future of the Alley is both thrilling and ambitious as the Theatre nears its 75th anniversary in 2021-22. When the Theatre reopens, his strategic goals include upholding the Alley’s artistic excellence, keeping longtime Alley Theatre devotees eager to return each season, and creating productions and cultivating new audiences that are as diverse and vibrant as the city of Houston.

Rob Melrose, Managing Director Dean Gladden and the Alley’s leadership team are committed to promoting Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (EDI) in all aspects of the Theatre’s programming and operations. We are conscious about fostering an environment where everyone is encouraged to bring their authentic selves. We embrace differences and strive to be inclusive of all backgrounds, experiences and perspectives.


JOB START DATE:   7/1/2021

SALARY: 65,000 /YR Minimum



The Costume Director is the department head for the Alley Theatre Costume Department (costumes, crafts/millinery, wigs, and wardrobe), providing positive leadership, organization, communication and supervision of an 8–10-person costume team.  The Costume Director is responsible for supporting the artistic vision of directors and designers as it relates to the advancement, budgeting, and realization of costume designs. The Costume Director participates in production planning for the season, especially as it relates to the execution of the costumes.


  • Participate to foster achievement of the artistic goals of the theatre, ensure quality and consistency, and maintain the highest production values for the Alley Theatre. 
  • Work with the creative team and production management to manage and maximize the artistic impact of financial resources by evaluating costume designs and creating material and labor estimates. 
  • Assist costume designers through the entire process, from initial design conversations and research through the tech and preview process, making suggestions and sharing ideas to solve problems, improve product, and facilitate changes. 
  • Manage and facilitate all costume production needs throughout the build, fittings, rehearsal, load-in, technical rehearsal, previews, photo call, run, and close of each production and special event. 
  • Organize and administrate the costume department, including scheduling and coordinating staff, follow-through on design deadlines, and coordinating and supervising the construction and maintenance of all costumes for each production. 
  • Work with the Costume Designer in the initial cost estimates for costume materials, rentals, and labor.  Submit to the Production Manager a written account of estimates by character, costume, scene or some other appropriate breakdown prior to the beginning of the build. 
  • Oversee and manage assigned budgets for costume materials and labor.  Keep all financial records up to date and discuss with production management any possible overages. Oversee purchasing of show, workroom, wig, office and craft supplies as needed. 
  • Hire, train, and supervise staff and over hire personnel.  Track work hours, holiday hours, and vacation time to ensure healthy work life balance.  Evaluate staff, provide necessary feedback, and make recommendations for periodic raises, advancement, bonuses, etc. 
  • Actively engage in education and development of anti-oppressive and inclusive practices and policies in the costume shop and theatre wide. 
  • With production management, work to provide and maintain a safe working environment, including managing and providing training, equipment, recordkeeping, and incident reporting. Implement and help enforce safety guidelines and regulations for the costume shop staff. 
  • Oversee the creation, maintenance and archiving of show books and budgets, research, notes, photos, and other information for all productions. 
  • Oversee the maintenance and organization of all costume and wig stock.  Coordinate and supervise, rental, loan, purchase and/or pulling from costume stock. 
  • Oversee wardrobe activities including show staffing, load ins, maintenance of costumes, and strikes of productions. 
  • With production management, work to provide and maintain a safe working environment, including managing and providing training, equipment, recordkeeping, and incident reporting. Implement and help enforce safety guidelines and regulations for the costume shop staff. 
  • Assist with developing cleaning processes and shop procedures to effectively sanitize costumes, tools and shop surfaces to protect against the spread of COVID. 
  • Collaborate with fellow department heads to complete multi-departmental projects and coordinate space and timeline needs. Communicate information to costume team as applicable. 
  • Maintain and initiate repair of all costume equipment including the recommendation of new purchases to the Production Manager.  Oversee safe use of all equipment.  Organize and maintain the physical plant of all Costume Facilities. 
  • Attend all technical rehearsals and preview performances as required by the Production Manager.  Attend full staff meetings, production head meetings, production department meetings, post mortems, and board meetings as necessary. 
  • Work with Education and Community Engagement (ECE), Marketing, and Development departments to help staff and facilitate educational shows and special programs. This may include opportunities to teach workshops, lead tours, and discuss behind the scene activities. 
  • Any additional duties assigned.



  • Updates job descriptions, hiring  and training new team members
  • Motivating and coaching employees to improve performance, provide feedback and training opportunities.
  • Organizes and oversees the schedules and work of departmental staff.
  • Conducts or assists with performance evaluations that are timely and constructive. 
  • Ensuring staff members follow company policies and procedures.

Reports to:

  • Production Manager

Works closely with:

  • Production Department Heads
  • Production Department Staff
  • Stage managers
  • Associate Production Manager



  • Five years’ experience working in a professional theatre or live entertainment and/or a bachelor’s degree in technical theatre or a related field preferred
  • Experience as a costume director, assistant costume director, or similar. Demonstrates leadership skills, experience working with designers, and a strong understanding of other areas of production.
  • Experience supervising and managing a team of artisans.
  • Strong understanding of costume history and period styles. 
  • Knowledge of fabrics, textile techniques, and cleaning processes.
  • Excellent computer skills.  Experience with Microsoft Office, Adobe Creative Suite preferred.
  • Experience with standard shop tools/equipment.
  • Training and understanding of safe working practices in the theatre
  • Well-developed communication, organization, research, and time management skills.
  •  Aptitude and eagerness to learn new skills and processes necessary to manage varying projects.
  • Capacity to consult and engage in creative thinking and problem solving with designers and/or supervisors on specific solutions to challenges.
  • Clear understanding of the artistic process to collaborate with designers and directors.
  • Excellent interpersonal, teamwork, and diplomacy skills. 
  • Proven ability to work independently and collaboratively in a fast paced, rapidly changing environment. 
  • Ability to accurately estimate production costs and create and maintain budgets. 
  • Ability to read and interpret research and drawings and to disseminate that information clearly and effectively. 
  • Ability to work long hours and to manage an irregular schedule including weekends and holidays.
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced, energized and quickly changing environment.
  • Excellent verbal and written communications skills.
  • Exhibits a positive attitude with good communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Understanding of historical and institutional racism in the American theatre, or a commitment to learning, and to be a part of Alley Theatre’s efforts to be an anti-racist organization
  • College degree preferred.



  • Medical, dental and vision insurance
  • Paid vacation, floating holiday and sick  time
  • 401(k) with matching, FSA, HRA (Alley paid deductible)
  • Free  and  discounted tickets to Alley Theatre performances
  • Free parking 
  • Discounted gym membership
  • Employee wellness program & EAP
  • Houston, TX is one of the most affordable cities in the nation with no state or city income tax. 


Alley Theatre is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for qualified individuals with disabilities and disabled veterans in our job application procedures. If you need assistance or an accommodation due to a disability, you may contact us at


The Alley Theatre is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, marital or familial status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status or any other basis prohibited by local, state, or federal law. We encourage people of all backgrounds to apply, including people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals, and people with disabilities, veterans, and others who demonstrate the ability to help us achieve our vision of a diverse and inclusive community. Successful candidates will commit to an equitable and inclusive workplace, including but not limited to: racial equity, accessibility for individuals with disabilities, use of gender inclusive language, and cultural sensitivity. Read more at Alley Theatre Official Website - Equity Diversity Inclusion