Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre – Lighting Design

Assistant Professor in the Department of Theatre – Lighting Design

Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts (VCUarts)

Position F03710

Full time non tenure-eligible position beginning August 16, 2021

Application Deadline: Review of applications begins February 15, 2021 and continues until position is filled.

The VCUarts Department of Theatre ( is seeking a dynamic teacher, creative recruiter, and technically skilled designer for the position of Assistant Professor of Lighting Design.


VCUarts ( in Richmond, Virginia offers a variety of graduate and undergraduate degrees in design, fine and performing arts, art history, and art education, with a unique emphasis on creative immersion. Far more than receiving simply an education or preparation for a career; students leave VCUarts with the practical, professional and personal skills needed to make a life in the arts, no matter how they define it. That is why VCUarts’ programs emphasize both doing and knowing: why the majority of its faculty are working artists, designers, scholars, and performers and why they encourage students to take advantage of the many academic and intellectual opportunities that come with being part of a research university. Today, VCUarts graduates can be found throughout the academic and professional fields and have been recognized with everything from Emmys to MacArthur Fellowships.

VCUarts is accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, the National Association of Schools of Dance, the National Association of Schools of Music, the National Association of Schools of Theatre, the Virginia Department of Education, the Council for Interior Design Accreditation and the National Council for Accreditation for Teacher Education.

As the #2 ranked public university arts and design graduate school in the country by US News and World Report, VCUarts is dedicated to the goal of building an inclusive and pluralistic faculty committed to teaching and working in a diverse and welcoming environment and strongly encourages applications from all racial/ethnic, gender and social identities.

The school includes more than 3,000 students, and has become known as a pillar of artistic creation and expression. Its emerging artists explore their potential and strive for high standards set by faculty members acknowledged for their inspiration and achievement.

Virginia Commonwealth University is an urban university with over 31,000 students located in Richmond, Virginia. Richmond is two hours south of Washington, D.C. and is situated between the Blue Ridge Mountains and the Virginia/North Carolina coast. Richmond is the state capital and is regional and national a center for visual arts, design and performing arts.

Responsibilities: This position is a 9-month non-tenure eligible faculty position in the area of Lighting Design with an academic rank of Assistant Professor. This position will be responsible for teaching all lighting design related courses in the BFA/BA curriculum and other duties as follows: mentor student designers, electricians, and crew members; design and/or oversee student lighting designs for main stage productions; supervise the maintenance of equipment; and the budgeting and purchasing of equipment and materials. Service to the university, school and department will be required and could include serving on committees as designated by the Chair; serving in a professional capacity in his/her field; and supporting academic advising. The faculty member’s scholarly and creative activity should make a contribution to a body of knowledge within the discipline of theatrical lighting design and reflect a high standard of quality of competence. The faculty member must demonstrate an active professional career with the potential for development on a national and/or international level. Active professional membership in United Scenic Artists Local 829 is preferred. The faculty member’s creative activities should be related to the program’s curriculum and reflect a high standard of quality of competence, and be consistent with and support the mission and initiatives of the department, School, and University.


  • MFA or equivalent professional experience and training that equates to an MFA;
  • Professional experience as a lighting designer is required from at least two of the following venues: Broadway, Off-Broadway, regional theatres (LORT), and/or opera/dance.
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or commitment to do so as a faculty member at VCU;
  • Active artistic practice and reputation in the field;
  • Demonstrated effectiveness in classroom critique and teaching beyond graduate school;
  • Knowledge and understanding of contemporary theatrical lighting design technology;
  • An emphasis will be placed on candidates who are able to help students transition from academia to the professional world;
  • Excellent oral, verbal, and written communication skills;
  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to collaborate.

  • Professional membership in United Scenic Artists Local 829
  • Lighting design experience in applications not related to theatre, such as dance, architectural, film and television, etc.
  • Fluency in interdisciplinary and experimental approaches to contemporary performing arts.
  • Commitment to collaborative research and curriculum development in the arts.
  • Record of community-engaged teaching or extra-curricular activities.

Application Instructions:

To apply, please submit application materials via VCU eJobs at Only electronic applications submitted via eJobs will be accepted.

Application materials should be to the attention of Bonnie McCoy, Assistant Professor and Administrative Director for the Department of Theatre, and Chair of the search committee. The following documents should be included:

As a preeminent national, urban, public research university and academic health center, Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to organizational diversity, equity and inclusion – an environment where all can thrive in their pursuit of excellence.

Applicants are requested to submit a Statement of Contributions to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (typically between 150-300 words) providing your career aspirations and contributions toward promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion. Through this statement, you can share how your lived experiences, and academic and professional activities will impact your contribute to VCU’s mission of promoting equity and inclusion.

Note: Examples include working with others to further the goals of equity and inclusion; leading in any capacity that tangibly promotes an environment where diversity is welcomed, fostered, and celebrated; creative activity, research and scholarship that promotes equity and parity; teaching and mentoring students, and/or engaging with faculty and/or staff from traditionally underrepresented groups to create a positive and successful organizational experience.

In addition, the following documents should also be included:
  • A Letter of Interest that conveys relevant academic and professional experience;
  • Teaching Philosophy;
  • Current CV;
  • A list of three current references including names, addresses, phone numbers, and email addresses (references will not be contacted prior to applicant’s approval); and
  • Portfolio of work— visual documentation conceptualizing research and teaching, including examples of student work.

Application Instructions:
  • Statement of Contributions to Diversity should be submitted as a PDF in the “Diversity Statement” section of eJobs;
  • The Letter of Interest + Teaching Philosophy should be submitted as one PDF in the “Cover Letter/Letter of Application” section in eJobs;
  • The CV + list of references should be submitted as one PDF in the “Curriculum Vitae (CV)” section of eJobs;
  • and, due to file size limitations, the portfolio of work should be submitted in the “Other Document” section of eJobs as an accessible link in a PDF that points to a website or cloud storage (with access instructions) to view all visual work.

  • Review of applications begins February 15, 2021 and continues until the position is filled. For full consideration, applications are due by Friday, February 8, 2021.

    To read more about VCUarts:

    Virginia Commonwealth University is committed to providing accessible and equitable living, learning and working environments free from discrimination and harassment based on race, color, religion, national or ethnic origin, age, sex (including pregnancy), political affiliation, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression or disability.