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Scenic Designer - Professor of Practice

Apply now Department: 3670020190 School of Music Theatre Dance
Job no: 515962
Employment type: Academic / Faculty - 9 month
Location: Manhattan, Kansas
Worksite: On-site requirement
Categories: Education / Instructional, Arts / Humanities
Pay Grade: 001

About This Role:

Kansas State University's Theatre Program is seeking an experienced and dedicated Scenic Designer to join our esteemed faculty as a Professor of Practice at a Full time, 9-month Regular Non-Tenure position. This position offers a unique opportunity to contribute to our vibrant theatre program while promoting diversity, creativity, and excellence in scenic design. As a Scenic Designer and Professor of Practice, you will inspire and mentor students, collaborate with colleagues, and contribute to the artistic growth and inclusivity of our program.  


  1. Scenic Design: In collaboration with directors and designers, create imaginative and visually captivating scenic designs for theatrical productions, including sets, paints, props, and special effects, that effectively communicate the production's artistic vision.  
  2. Scenic Art: Service charge artist for program’s productions. 
  1. Mentoring and Supervision: Oversee and mentor student scenic designers, scenic art and props throughout the production process.  
  1. Teaching: Teaching opportunities are available depending on the applicant’s focus and areas of interest as well as program need. 
  1. Professional Development: Engage in ongoing scholarly and/or creative activities, staying abreast of current trends, techniques, and technologies in scenic design.  
  1. Service and Engagement: Participate actively in program and departmental committees and contribute to the recruitment and retention of students. 

Why Join Us:

The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance is accredited by NAST, NASM, and NADTA and is housed within the College of Arts and Sciences, the “intellectual and academic core of the University” with 23 academic units. A land-grant institution, Kansas State University is a Carnegie “very high research” and “engaged” university with more than 3,000 students who participate in curricular and co-curricular activities offered through the School of Music, Theatre, and Dance.

The School of Music, Theatre, and Dance has 225 undergraduate Music majors pursuing the B.M., B.A., and B.M.E. degrees; 70 graduate Music students pursuing M.M. degrees; 50 Theatre majors pursuing the B.A. and B.S. degrees; 25 graduate Theatre students pursuing the M.A degree in theatre with a concentration in drama therapy; 25 secondary majors in dance; and offers minors and certificates in Music, Theatre, and Dance. The school has 55 full-time and one part-time faculty member, is supported by a Director and 4-Associate Directors, a full-time academic advisor, and three full-time administrative staff members.

Kansas State University is a distinguished public, land-grant institution renowned for the excellence of its faculty, students, staff, academic programs, research, and service. It is a three-campus system with the main campus located in Manhattan and the other campuses in Olathe and Salina. Online degree programs, professional development conferences and workshops, and enrichment classes and programs are offered through the K-State Global Campus. The university has an enrollment of more than 20,000 students from all 50 states and more than 100 countries. K-State was recognized by the Princeton Review as one of America’s best colleges and U.S. News & World Report lists the university among the top 75 public universities in the U.S. The mission of K-State is to foster excellent teaching, research, extension, and service that develop a highly skilled and educated citizenry necessary to advancing the well-being of Kansas, the nation, and the international community.

K-State is centered on a 664-acre campus in Manhattan located 50 miles west of the state capital of Topeka and 125 miles west of Kansas City in the rolling Flint Hills. Manhattan provides access to a wide range of educational, cultural, medical, and recreational programs and facilities. The local economy is bolstered by K-State and its proximity to Fort Riley, a large U.S. Army installation, and is the home of the National Bio and Agro-Defense Facility (NBAF).

Kansas State University offers a comprehensive benefits package that includes health insurance, life insurance, retirement plans, paid time off – vacation, sick, and holidays. To see what benefits are available, please visit: 

We Support Diversity and Inclusion:

Kansas State University embraces diversity and promotes inclusion.  The University actively seeks individuals who foster a collegial environment and cooperative interactions with coworkers, students, and others.  The University is dedicated to promoting the Principles of Community.

Worksite Options:

This position is required to be performed on-site. Work is performed on employer premises or designated assignment location.

What You’ll Need to Succeed:

Minimum Qualifications: Required Qualifications: 

  1. Education: A minimum of a bachelor's degree and significant professional experience in theatre.  
  2. Professional Experience: Extensive professional experience as a scenic designer, with a strong portfolio showcasing diverse and innovative designs for theatrical productions.  
  1. Diversity and Inclusion: A strong commitment to promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion in theatre education and production.  
  1. Collaboration and Communication: Excellent interpersonal and communication skills, with the ability to collaborate effectively. 
  1. Technical Proficiency: Proficiency in industry-standard design software, such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, or Vectorworks. Knowledge of construction techniques, materials, and stagecraft is essential. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  1. Education: A terminal degree (MFA) in Scenic Design, Theatre Arts, or a related field is required. Equivalent professional experience may be considered. 
  1. Teaching Experience: Ability to effectively teach and mentor students, using various pedagogical approaches. 
  1.  Professional Engagement: Active participation in professional organizations, conferences, and networks related to scenic design.  
  1. Additional Experience: Interest and experience in another design area. Other areas such as immersive, experiential, museum design, and technical direction/design are also encouraged. 

Other Requirements:

  • Applicants must be currently authorized to work in the United States at the time of employment

How to Apply:

Please submit the following documents:

  1. Cover letter highlighting your interest in the position, your interest in the responsibilities and qualifications of the position, and your commitment to diversity and inclusion in theatre education. 
  1. Resume or Curriculum vitae (CV) including relevant academic and professional experience. 
  1. Digital Portfolio showcasing examples of your scenic design work, demonstrating creativity, diversity, and innovation. 
  1. Contact information for three professional references. 

Please send any questions to Prof. David Mackay, Chair of the Kansas State University Scenic Designer Search Committee (

Screening of Applications Begins:

November 15th and continues until position is filled.

Equal Employment Opportunity:

Kansas State University is an Equal Opportunity Employer.  All applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, age, national origin, disability or status as a protected veteran.

Background Screening Statement:

In connection with your application for employment, Kansas State University will procure a Background Screen on you as part of the process of considering your candidacy as an employee.


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