Job Bank

First Hand
Princeton, NJ
McCarter Theatre Center
Full Time
Posted May 19, 2023
Position Summary
As a member of the Costumes team, the First Hand will assist with the construction and alteration of costumes under the guidance of the Draper. This position will provide guidance to the Stitcher(s) and operate, with minimum instruction, at a high level of excellence.

Duties and Responsibilities

Essential Functions & Duties
• Assist the Draper(s) as needed, including help with pattern development and fabric cutting.
• Gain familiarity with the script, time period, and costume design for each production.
• Work on costume builds, alterations, and costume crafts as assigned.
• Provided guidance to on-staff Stitchers.
• Pull items from stock and prepare rehearsal costume pieces as requested.
• Attend costume fittings, taking notes and assisting, as requested.
• Assist with the load-in of costumes to the theater for technical rehearsals.
• Attend technical rehearsals and complete notes as scheduled and/or assigned.
• Maintain organization and cleanliness in the costume shop, costume stock, storage spaces, wardrobe rooms, dressing rooms, and laundry areas.
• Maintain consistent awareness of institutional events, meetings, and other information via company email and other modes of communication.
• Support and engage in safe working practices and follow all McCarter safety and code of conduct policies.
• Participate in the work to make McCarter an anti-racist theater. Actively seek ways to improve our work practices to make the Production, and Costumes, department more Equitable and Inclusive, while upholding and exhibiting our stated values of Justice and Joy, Beauty, and Belonging.

Work Environment
• In-person work will largely be completed in the Production Shops spaces at 755 Alexander Road, with some work at our theater spaces at 91 University Pl, Princeton, NJ. Available space for personal items is in a shared workspace environment. All work is completed indoors, with air conditioning and heating.
• Requires a high level of dexterity during long periods of sitting and standing.
• Will work with chemicals such as hair products, glues, dyes, paints, etc.
• Position may be required to work backstage with special effects present – loud noise, strobe lighting, fog, etc.

These job responsibilities may not include all assigned duties or aspects of the job described,
and may be amended by McCarter at any time as needs and demands evolve.


• Experience in patternmaking and fabric cutting.
• Strong hand and machine sewing skills.
• Working knowledge of costume industry machinery, including sewing machines, irons, and cutting tools.
• Experience in multiple aspects of theatrical costuming, such as cutting fabric and other materials used for garment construction, craft work, fabric modification, millinery, leather work, etc.
• Excellent organizational and interpersonal communication skills.
• Ability to lift, push, or maneuver at least 40lbs., either alone or with assistance from others.
• Ability to work in a positive manner as a team with other full and part-time staff members.
• Ability to provide guidance and instruction in a respectful and encouraging manner.
• Willingness to learn new methods of construction, skills, and equipment.
• Critical consciousness and/or open curiosity around EDIA and antiracism work, with a history or willingness to invest in inclusive work culture
• Ability to collaborate with diverse needs, personalities, and work styles with optimism and a solution discovery mindset
• Led by our core values, McCarter fosters and expects a culture of care and respect for the wellbeing of our staff. Individuals are strongly encouraged to be up to date on COVID-19 vaccinations, if they are able to do so; however, due to recent policy changes vaccination is no longer required.

How To Apply

We encourage all candidates to apply, even if they do not currently meet all qualifications. We know there are great candidates who may not have all of the qualifications listed above, but possess intuitive knowledge or other fully transferable skills. If that is you, don’t hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself. McCarter is committed to on the job training and mentorship. We also encourage candidates who do not live within commuting distance to apply. We are eager to tell you about the area, which includes many communities and towns outside of Princeton. If you are interested in supporting McCarter’s vision, we would love to hear from you.