• Contract / Stipend
  • Chicago
  • July 4, 2022

Website Improv Playhouse

Training and Entertaining

Improv Playhouse is seeking directors for its upcoming 2022/23 Theatre for Young Audiences Touring Season!

Recognized throughout the Chicagoland area for its professional touring productions, Improv Playhouse is centered around curating a personalized theatre experience where stories are not only seen and heard, but influenced by audience members. This new season will be one of *premieres* when it comes to this form of engagement, featuring flagship adventures such as:

“Suzette Who Set to Sea,” by Finegan Kruckmeyer (September – January, Grades K-6th)

In a small seaside village where men build boats and women do not, young Suzette knows she is different – she longs for the sea and believes she is meant for something greater than a life on land. So when a mysterious event occurs, Suzette is forced to do that most difficult thing – prove herself worthy of her destiny. Loading her loved ones onto a boat she has secretly built, Suzette, she sets to sea. Running at 50 minutes, this adventurous, imaginative tale relies on courage, community, and the possibility that sometimes it only takes the actions of a single person to change everything…all afloat a spectacle of transformation that has it globally revered.

“Shakespeare Shakedown,” an IP original experience (January – April, Grades 6th-9th)

From Hamlet’s “to be or not to be,” to the famous star-crossed lovers, we’re all familiar with Shakespeare’s works…but what about at breakneck speed? Reminiscent of a student affinity for Cliffs Notes, this experience features formally trained Shakespearean actors as they attempt to create a “Cliffs Notes” rendition of the audience’s favorite classic – whatever it may be – in live time. Loosely scripted, and hilariously improvised, you’ll romp through 50 minutes of mayhem where everyone…and yet no one…truly knows what’s going to happen next.

“Anansi the Spider,” a West African folktale (April – August, Grades K-6th)

There weren’t always stories in the world…at least, not for mortals to hear. All stories belonged to Nyame, the Sky God; that is, until Anansi the Spider decides to strike a bargain. The power of storytelling comes at a steep price, though – tasked with capturing the four most dangerous creatures in the world, will this trickster be able to do the impossible and tell the tale? To this day, Anansi serves as one of the most important characters of West African, African American, and Caribbean folklore. Originally transmitted through the transatlantic slave trade, this 50-minute spider story finally weaves its way to the mainstage.

“Monologue Mix-Tape,” an IP original experience (Year-round, Grades K-6th)

Deep-dive into characterization, from the page to the stage! This experience works in tandem with classrooms to curate a collection of monologues written by students, and brought to life by our actors. Drawn in raffle-like fashion, the selected monologues will be performed and expanded into a cast of characters that’s thrown into known stories of audience choosing (fairy tales, classroom texts, etc.), thus creating a zany, never-before-seen exploration into adaptation!

“TIPS for a Positive Community,” an IP original and classic (Year-round, Grade K-5th)

Anti-bullying is an ever-relevant discussion, so why not level it up with an interactive take on the age-old dilemma! This hands-on, side-splitting stand-up show will make respect into a rioting good time, all in the span of 45 minutes.


Directors will receive a $250 rehearsal stipend, as well as an additional $65 per performance.* Travel stipends may also be provided.

*The number of shows will depend on demand and availability, though we expect to have a busy season. Bookings are already underway!


Directors will be expected to lead a short rehearsal process – around 15-40 hours, depending on the needs of the production – with first rehearsals beginning around a month prior to each show’s run. Directors are welcome, but not required, to attend any and all performances. Brush-up rehearsals may be necessary throughout the touring run of each show.


Performances will take place across Chicagoland (carpool potentially available), with Suzette Who Set to Sea and Anansi the Spider also having a mainstage run at Improv Playhouse. Rehearsals will take place at About Face Theatre (Chicago, IL).


Producer: Kira Nutter

IP Artistic Director: David Stuart

IP TYA Creative Director: Kira Nutter

IP Office Manager: Rachel Kwiecinski

Improv Playhouse’s Safety Procedures and Protocols:

Improv Playhouse adheres to CDC/Illinois/County Covid-19 safety protocols, as well as additional protocols designed to prioritize the health and safety of all artists, staff, and patrons. This includes, but is not limited to: screening for artists and staff, sanitizing of the rehearsal space and common areas of the performance and audience space before each rehearsal/performance, wearing of masks, etc.

Instructions to Apply:

Please prepare a resumé as well as a letter of interest, which can be submitted through the form linked below.

Note: for "Suzette Who Set to Sea" and "Anansi the Spider," we are specifically looking for directors with a passion for physical theatre, toy theatre, shadow work, storytelling theatre, and/or devising. Likewise, for "Shakespeare Shakedown," "Monologue Mix-Tape," and "TIPS," we are looking for directors with a passion for improv, experimentation, and new-form theatre. Directors may apply for more than one production. 

**Forms are due by Sunday, July 3rd. Invited interviews will be scheduled throughout the following two weeks.**

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $250 + $65/performance
Organization Contact Name: Kira Nutter
Organization Email Contact: