First Hand | Steppenwolf Theatre Company


Steppenwolf Theatre Company is seeking candidates for the full-time position of First Hand.  The First Hand works as part of the Costume Shop team cutting and constructing costumes, assisting draper(s), supervising stitcher(s), collaborating with costume shop staff & designers, and maintaining a safe work environment.



  • Cuts fabric based on patterns supplied by Draper.
  • Supervises stitchers and advises on methodologies on both built garments and alterations.
  • Manages time, including that of any crew members, in an effective manner.
  • Performs advanced stitching and tailoring tasks.
  • Prepares alterations from fittings for Stitchers.
  • Assists Draper in the creation of patterns or grading to other sizes as needed.
  • Maintains organization of specific projects and tracks and records construction steps as needed.
  • Maintains a safe and tidy work environment

About Steppenwolf:


Steppenwolf Theatre Company seeks to tell stories about how we live now; its mission is to engage audiences in an exchange of ideas that makes people think harder, laugh longer, feel more. The theatre celebrates and honors the core values of ensemble, innovation and citizenship. Steppenwolf has a commitment to diversity and equity, and the organization has a focus on diversifying the artists, audiences, staff and board who make Steppenwolf great.


As a not-for-profit, ensemble-based theatre company operating in the city of Chicago, the company’s activities encompass a wide range of artistic programs including a seven-play season, a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season, visiting company engagements, a new multi-disciplinary performance series, national and international tours, professional leadership programs, educational programs, and new play commissions and workshops.  Steppenwolf seeks to engage its community in a spirited dialogue around today’s issues, which results in more than 200 events produced throughout the year.  The company owns five different facilities housing its three theatres, production facilities, offices and other support facilities and is managed under the leadership of Anna D. Shapiro, Artistic Director and David Schmitz, Managing Director.




This is a non-exempt position. Compensation is competitive with prevailing compensation for similar positions within the non-profit performing arts industry. Excellent benefit package offered, including medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, vacation pay, paid sick leave, personal days, and 401(k) retirement program.

Skills & Qualifications: 

The ideal candidate will possess the following skills:

  • Basic pattern drafting skills.
  • Experience in hand and machine sewing techniques.
  • Basic knowledge of costume and fashion history.
  • Knowledge of fabric types and their uses for stage.
  • Basic machine troubleshooting.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good organizational skills.

Two years of First Hand experience is preferred. Candidates with equivalent experience and expertise will be considered. This position will start on or about August 14, 2018.


This position reports to the Costume Director.

To Apply: 

How to apply:


Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references by following this link by July 5, 2018




Steppenwolf Theatre Company is an equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. We provide equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Steppenwolf complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment in every location in which the company has facilities. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

We strongly encourage applications from people of color and members of underrepresented groups.

Contact Information