The First Hand Stitcher position begins May 4, 2020 and ends October 4, 2020. This position is paid.

The American Shakespeare Center is seeking a First Hand for their summer/fall build season. From May to September, we build and produce our Summer/Fall Repertory Season and our Tour Season, 7 shows in total. Each show has a 3 to 4 week build period and a dress rehearsal before preview performances. Each show is a combination of pulled and built costumes, the exact ratio varies depending on style and period of production.

Our beautiful theatre is the world’s only recreation of Shakespeare’s indoor theatre and uses original staging conditions, relying on costumes and props to tell the technical elements of the stories.

Duties Expected of First Hand:

  • Assist Costume Designer with acquisition and construction of costumes for each production.
  • Provide support as Draper/First Hand/Stitcher for each production.
  • Assist the Costume Designer with the following duties:
    • Have all costumes, shoes, and accessories ready for the first dress rehearsal of the production.
    • Complete all final alterations, trims and corrections by the first public-preview of the production.
  • Work with Wardrobe Manager to ensure all pieces are labeled correctly with actor initials, show, and character as needed.
  • Include provisions in the design for fabric that is easily maintained and resists wrinkling, and by reinforcing armhole and seat seams, secure hems and over-locked or otherwise secured seams.
  • Take care to maintain neatness when using shop and stock resources.
  • Clean and maintain equipment.
  • Perform other related work as requested by Costume Designer or Costume Shop Manager.
  • Reports to the Costume Shop Manager.


  • Pattern drafting skills.
  • Excellent machine and hand sewing skills.
  • Knowledge of costume and fashion history.
  • Knowledge of fabric types and their uses for stage.
  • Excellent time management skills.
  • Good interpersonal and communication skills.
  • Good organizational skills.

Submit a complete application with cover letter, resume, and design sample or portfolio.
No phone calls or emails, please.