Associate Artistic Director | Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Background

For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, the Steppenwolf ensemble has grown to 53 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of award-winning actors, directors and playwrights.  With a reputation for acting brilliance and a commitment to producing the best new American playwrights, Steppenwolf has inspired generations of theatre audiences and has long been a benchmark for theatre excellence. 

Recognizing that the ensemble is Steppenwolf’s most singular asset, Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz, have established institutional priorities that are rooted in increasing ensemble participation and working with younger artists with a diversity of voice.  They are leading a bold vision to transform the traditional experience of seeing a play at Steppenwolf, enhancing the role that Steppenwolf plays in the lives of its artists, its audience and our Chicago community. 

In support of this vision, Steppenwolf recently launched a strategy to become an inclusive theatre across artists, audiences, staff and board, as it relates to race, gender identity, class, age, ethnicity, religion, LGBTQ+ status, and/or disability.  The organization has worked with Enrich Chicago, the League of Chicago Theatres, and ArtEquity on this work.  There are various initiatives across the organization which create a multilayered approach to accomplishing this goal.

Steppenwolf is also undertaking a $73 million multi-phase facilities expansion and renovation that will create a launching pad for the next 25 years of Steppenwolf’s life.  The first phase of the expansion opened in June 2016 with the multi-genre performance series, LookOut, in the 1700 Theatre, Steppenwolf’s new 80-seat cabaret style theater, and its new café & bar, Front Bar: Coffee and Drinks, a creative space to meet up with friends and collaborators, day or night.  The next phases will create a new Arts and Education Center, a signature architectural destination for the city with a 400-seat in-the-round theatre and an education and rehearsal floor providing dedicated space for Steppenwolf’s extensive education and artistic development programs, and renovations to its current 515-seat theater that addresses artist and audience upgrades after 25-years of usage.  This facilities expansion, driven by programmatic need, will allow Steppenwolf to advance its artistic vision into the future.

Steppenwolf reaches 200,000 audience members annually and produces almost 600 performances a year across three theatres: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre.  The keystone of Steppenwolf’s programming features a seven-play main stage series devoted to the work of its ensemble that is in the majority comprised of new plays and Chicago premieres.  Steppenwolf also creates professional plays specifically for high school youth attended by 17,000 students and families from schools and communities across the Chicagoland area.  Steppenwolf also produces LookOut, a multi-genre performance series, and hosts some of Chicago’s hottest storefront theatres in its Visiting Companies program. 

Steppenwolf Artistic Office

Steppenwolf’s Artistic Office responsibilities include: collaborating with and supporting the Steppenwolf Ensemble; programming, artistic-producing, and casting the seven subscription season productions in our Downstairs and Upstairs Theatres, as well as Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ two-play season; LookOut programming for our 1700 Theatre; School at Steppenwolf; SCOUT New Play Development Program; Steppenwolf’s Commissioning Program; and workshops/readings of commissions and new plays.

Position and Responsibilities:

The Associate Artistic Director will oversee and facilitate the day-to-day artistic operations of the theatre while assisting the Artistic Director in maintaining the highest possible administrative and production standards for the company.  The AAD will create and maintain communication channels within the organization and will work closely with both the artistic staff and all other departments to manage flow of information, allotment of resources and calendar management for the season. The AAD will also serve as a consistent public face of Steppenwolf Theatre both locally and internationally.  Reporting to the Artistic Director, the AAD will serve as a member of Steppenwolf’s senior management team and work closely with the Executive Director, General Manager, Director of Production, Director of Marketing & Communications, Director of Development, Education Director, Head of Audience Experience, the Artistic Associates, the Ensemble and the Board of Trustees.  The AAD will lead a sophisticated and talented group of artistic administrators, including Artistic Producers, a Casting Director and Director of New Play Development.

Essential Functions include (but are not limited to):

·         Project managing the season, including assigning producers to shows and workshops, managing workloads and facilitating the work of producers during the season.

·         Season calendar oversight of schedules in relation to season planning for artists, staff and facilities

·         Maintaining responsibility for both the Artistic office annual budget (approximately $200,000) as well as keeping an overall picture of the annual Production budget (approximately $3,500,000) as it applies to season planning.

·         Collaborate regularly with the Artistic Director and Executive Director in the execution of the Artistic Director’s vision across the organization.

·         Standardizing artistic-producing practice.

·         Thoughtfully coordinating the artistic staff’s efforts to scout plays and artists in the Chicago Theatre community.

·         Representing the Artistic staff, both internally (finding new ways for collaboration and communication based on the work of other departments) and externally (as a consistent, public face for donors, audiences and the community at large.)

·         Setting tangible goals for EDI values and principles to be reflected in the work of the artistic office and helping communicate those efforts throughout the organization.

·         Lead produce all transfers and co-productions.

·         Work alongside other senior management team members as a strategic thought leader on short and long-term organizational issues.

 

About Steppenwolf

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards— have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multigenre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.

Compensation

Starting pay for this position will be $80,000+ and will be commensurate with experience. Steppenwolf offers a generous benefits package that includes: medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, vacation pay, paid sick time, personal days, pre-tax Ventra transit benefit program, employee assistance program and 401(k) matching retirement program.

Requirements
Skills & Qualifications: 

Key Competencies Desired:

·         Excellent collaborator and communicator

·         Experience managing the needs of various constituencies at once

·         Commitment to leading with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles

·         Commitment to and a strong sense of the Chicago Theatre community and the city itself, with an understanding of what is needed from Steppenwolf as a leader

·         Team player and inclusive leader

·         Strong budgeting skills

·         Strong analytical skills

·         Integrity and discretion

·         Project Management

·         Strong public speaking skills

Qualifications:

The ideal candidate will be a resourceful, energetic,curious and positive professional with exceptional producing and communication skills.  They will be able to think strategically, unite different interests and clarify goals for both the artistic staff and the organization as a whole. They must be most comfortable acting as both “press secretary” and an idea generator, serving to both create and maintain a culture of transparency, clarity and innovation within the Artistic Department and in their interactions with the rest of the theatre.  They need to understand the passion of theatre makers, the logistics of theatre making and the volatility of the theatre goer and have the patience and experience to manage all three. They need to understand and appreciate the history and legacy of Steppenwolf while being a thought leader in the necessary changes being made to re-invest in the company’s vitality.

The following qualifications are required:

·         Steppenwolf gives preference to candidates who have demonstrable experience advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion.

·         A demonstrated expertise in budgeting, producing and managing large artistic projects.

·         At least ten years experience as a producer in theatre, film or television.

·         At least five years of progressively responsible and successful experience in managing, motivating and inspiring staff to accomplish common objectives.

·         Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills – characterized by the ability to listen, speak and write well.

To Apply: 

Interested and qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume by following this linkby November 5, 2018.

NO PHONE CALLS OR EMAILS PLEASE

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