learn to thrive mountain

Faculty job opportunity

Assistant Professor of Scenic Design – School of Music, Dance and Theatre

School of Music, Dance and Theatre


The School of Music, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University invites applicants for a full-time, tenure-track assistant professor of Scenic Design beginning fall 2024. We seek an exceptional artist-teacher to shape and teach the undergraduate curriculum in Scenic Design and other related areas. The ideal candidate will maintain a strong level of professional engagement as a scenic designer for live entertainment at a national level. Teaching for this position will be in person and located on the Tempe campus.

The Assistant Professor of Scenic Design will work to prepare graduates of the School of Music, Dance and Theatre to transform their fields and society. The candidate will be expected to facilitate the vision and voice of our students and their success through active mentorship and innovative new learning experiences.

We seek a professionally engaged, forward thinking, innovative Scenic Designer to engage with students across the disciplines of theatre, musical theatre, opera and dance on topics of design, composition, communication and storytelling. The ideal candidate must demonstrate a pedagogical and professional profile compatible with distinguished undergraduate education at a major research university, and a willingness to teach in person, online and hybrid courses. Responsibilities include teaching two to three courses per semester; developing new course offerings for major and non-major students; mentoring and supervising design and artisan students through all phases of the production process, as well as internships and individualized projects; and when necessary serving as scenic designer for school productions. The successful candidate will have a broad understanding of the educational and cultural needs of ASU’s student demographic and will work collaboratively with colleagues across the School of Music, Dance and Theatre and the greater ASU community. We are especially interested in applicants who are dedicated to advancing the ASU Charter and realizing ASU’s Design Aspirations.

About ASU

Arizona State University is a new model for American higher education, an unprecedented combination of academic excellence, entrepreneurial energy, and broad access. This New American University is a single, unified institution comprising four differentiated campuses positively impacting the economic, social, cultural and environmental health of the communities it serves. Its research is inspired by real world applications blurring the boundaries that traditionally separate academic disciplines. In 2022, ASU was named a Hispanic-Serving Institution and in 2023, ASU joined the prestigious Association of American Universities. ASU is deeply committed to advancing in innovative ways while sustaining a welcoming, supportive, and empowering environment for all members of our community.

About the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts

The Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, the largest comprehensive design and arts school in the country, is located within a dynamic research university focused on transformative change. Built on a unique combination of disciplines, the Herberger Institute comprises the Schools of Art; Arts, Media and Engineering; Music, Dance and Theatre; ASU FIDM; The Design School; and The Sidney Poitier New American Film School, and the ASU Art Museum. The Herberger Institute is committed to developing and scaling ideas that strengthen the role of designers and artists across all areas of society and culture, and increasing the capacity of artists and designers to make a difference in their communities. For more information on the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, visit herbergerinstitute.asu.edu.

About the School of Music, Dance and Theatre
The School of Music, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts at Arizona State University is widely recognized for preparing artists, scholars, visionaries, and entrepreneurs to become creative leaders who transform society through their art. Our internationally recognized faculty artists, scholars and guest artists are motivating and compassionate mentors who work with students to cultivate excellence and personal growth. We offer a comprehensive range of degrees plus minors and certificates and more than 600 concerts, events, performances, productions and recitals each year. Located in the culturally rich Southwest in one of the most vibrant, expanding urban centers, our programs afford students access to a diverse environment and engagement in Phoenix’s flourishing arts community. Above all, we value the creativity, personal experience and voice each student brings to the school. For more information on the School of Music, Dance and Theatre, visit musicdancetheatre.asu.edu.  

The theatre program, with its emphasis on a broad spectrum of classics, new and devised work and socially engaged practice, is a collaborative community of artists, scholars, students, faculty and staff who are shaping the future of theatre through inventive curricula and innovative programming. We foster creativity, community, collaboration, and collegiality in our classrooms and studios while supporting faculty research endeavors, public programming and community engagement. Our program leads the way in reforming theatre practices to allow sustainability and wellbeing to come to the fore. With over 250 undergraduate theatre majors and over 35 MA, MFA and PhD students, the theatre program is a dynamic teaching, learning and discovery environment in which production and curriculum are mutually supportive. Each year we present an extensive season of productions that push the boundaries of contemporary theatre. Our programming features hundreds of live events and presentations of student work, engaging over 10,000 community members in the metro Phoenix area. The Design & Production concentration is an expansive program that focuses on all areas of technology and design in live entertainment. The concentration embraces current industry standard practices, considerations of sustainable production practices, cutting-edge technologies, and emerging fabrication and creative processes to prepare our students for the industry's future. Central to our approach is the emphasis on process as we facilitate learning outcomes through the execution of our selected season productions. 

Required Qualifications:

  • MFA in Scenic Design or related field, or commensurate professional experience. 
  • Minimum of five years of sustained professional experience in scenic design or related field at a national level, utilizing current production practices and technologies.
  • Demonstrated teaching excellence and innovation at the university level and/or record of professional mentorship in the field of scenic design. 

Desired Qualifications:

  • Record of collaborative, professional and relevant industry experience working across a variety of mediums (e.g., theatre, dance, musical theatre, opera, corporate, themed entertainment etc.) in a variety of venues (e.g., proscenium work, non-proscenium-based work, devised work, socially engaged performances). 
  • Record of collegial approach to working across disciplines and solving complex production problems as part of a team. 
  • Experience in installation design, production design, and/or art direction. 
  • Ability to teach introductory and advanced design topics, computer-aided design (Auto-CAD and/or Vectorworks), artist and digital rendering techniques, model making, scenic painting, and/or properties design. 
  • Demonstrated understanding of higher education production processes. 
  • Ability to design and implement curriculum and programs in theatre, dance, and music, for both online and in-person courses. 
  • Demonstrated interest in expansive approaches to design and production processes and practices and their impact outside traditional arts media (e.g., architecture, engineering, research sciences).
  • Membership in United Scenic Artists.

Application Deadline:

The application deadline is November 17, 2023. Applications will continue to be accepted on a rolling basis for a reserve pool.  Applications in the reserve pool may then be reviewed in the order in which they were received until the position is filled.

Instructions to Apply:

Please submit the following materials as separate items:

  1. Letter of interest addressing how the candidate uniquely meets the qualifications for the position described.
  2. Curriculum vitae. 
  3. A digital portfolio of no more than ten produced designs or a Website (Link submitted in PDF format). For detailed instructions on how to create a document with live hyperlinks, please click here
  4. Names and contact information for three references. 
  5. Candidates who advance in the screening process should be prepared to provide additional materials later (e.g. a complete drafting package for a recently designed production, images of a scenic model or rendering, paint elevations, and/or prop design and research packets). 

All applications must be submitted electronically via http://apply.interfolio.com/132972

Apply now

ASU conducts pre-employment screening for all positions, which includes a criminal background check, and verification of work history, academic credentials, licenses and certifications.

Arizona State University is a VEVRAA Federal Contractor and an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action Employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, protected veteran status, or any other basis protected by law.

https://www.asu.edu/aad/manuals/acd/acd401.html and https://www.asu.edu/titleIX/.)

In compliance with federal law, ASU prepares an annual report on campus security and fire safety programs and resources. ASU’s Annual Security and Fire Safety Report is available online at https://www.asu.edu/police/PDFs/ASU-Clery-Report.pdf. You may request a hard copy of the report by contacting the ASU Police Department at 480-965-3456.

We acknowledge the 22 tribes who are native to Arizona, and more specifically the Akimel O’odham (Pima) and Piipaash or Pee Posh (Maricopa) tribes on whose ancestral homelands ASU’s Tempe campus resides.