Executive Director

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website Steep Theatre

An ensemble-driven storefront theatre.

Steep is the quintessential storefront theatre – that iconic breed of Chicago theatre that makes our cultural landscape unlike that of any other city. Founded in 2000 by three actors with little more than a shoestring budget and a desire to work in an open, ensemble atmosphere, Steep is committed to producing new and under-produced plays that tell the stories of ordinary people in extraordinary situations – small stories that illuminate larger societal issues.

Steep’s Executive Director works with the company’s Artistic Ensemble, Board of Directors, and staff to drive the theatre’s mission: to bring out the everyday truths in the stories we tell through ensemble work and to reach out to non-traditional theatregoers by seeking out stories and creating experiences relevant to them to ensure that theatre is a viable, vital, and productive art form now and into the future.

Steep Theatre is interested in receiving applications from a broad spectrum of people and is committed to creating an inclusive, equitable, and actively anti-racist theatre-making environment.

Title: Executive Director
Direct Report: Board of Directors
Start Date: Early 2023, flexible
Schedule: Full time, including some evenings and weekends
Compensation: $60,000 – $70,000 per year, 4 weeks paid time off, monthly stipend for health insurance

Position Summary

Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Executive Director is responsible for overseeing the company’s day-to-day operations, coordinating the work of the staff, and guiding Steep’s strategic vision while collaborating closely with Founder and Artistic Director Peter Moore.

Steep has recently purchased a new building to house its theatre and lobby-lounge, and the Executive Director will play a key role in developing Steep’s new artistic home while focusing on organizational growth and development that builds on Steep’s twenty years of production and lays the foundation for the next twenty years. The ideal candidate is self-motivated, enjoys collaboration, and is enthusiastic about building community.

Primary Responsibilities

General Operations

  • Uphold the Mission and Values of Steep Theatre; be responsive to the priorities and artistic vision of the Ensemble.
  • Supervise and manage staff, including: Audience & Artist Experience Manager, Marketing & Communications Manager, and Building & Facilities Coordinator.
  • Lead strategic planning in partnership with the Artistic Director and with input from the Ensemble and Board of Directors.
  • Provide financial and strategic reports to the Board at monthly meetings.
  • Work with the Artistic Director to lead DEIA strategy development and implementation in partnership with the Artistic Director, Board of Directors, and the Ensemble, including the implementation of Steep’s 2022 Anti-Racism Action Plan.
  • Facilitate special projects.


  • Hone and execute Steep’s fundraising strategy, including the planning and implementation of contributed income programs (foundation, corporate, government, and individual giving).
  • Engage members of the Ensemble and Board in donor retention and relationship-building initiatives.
  • Engage the Board of Directors in fundraising initiatives and work with the Board President on strategic board development.
  • Build and maintain relationships with key donors and community partners.
  • Partner with the Artistic Director to lead specialized fundraising efforts, including the ongoing capital campaign.
  • Ensure the preparation and submission of all grant proposals, reports, and appeals.


  • Serve as the primary producer for all Steep Theatre productions, ensuring adherence to union rules, the Chicago Theatre Standards, Steep’s Anti-Racism Action Plan, and general safety guidelines.
  • Coordinate the scheduling and planning of rehearsals, readings, and performances.
  • Oversee production budgets in coordination with production managers.

Marketing and Communications

  • Work to expand the Steep community and audience by representing Steep at public events, meetings, and conferences.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with community partners, local businesses, and other relevant organizations.
  • Guide the ticket and subscription pricing strategy.

Finance and Administration

  • Oversee the maintenance of financial and business records, including bookkeeping, payroll processing, and insurance policy management, in support of outsourced bookkeeping services.
  • In collaboration with the Board of Directors and the Artistic Director, develop short- and long-term financial goals for the organization.
  • Manage the annual budgeting cycle, budgetary tracking, and the annual audit.
  • Ensure compliance with local, state, and federal regulations.
  • Maintain human resources functions.


  • Excellent written and verbal communication about artistic, operational, and financial concepts
  • Strong capacity for developing and implementing long- and short-range plans
  • Ability to work independently and as part of a team demonstrating keen leadership and management abilities
  • Reliability, accountability, and attention to detail
  • Excellent organization and time-management skills
  • Ability to confidently identify and solve complex problems in unpredictable situations
  • Flexibility and a genuine enthusiasm for collaborative work
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and comfort with financial management tools and systems
Instructions to Apply:

Send a resume and cover letter to jobs@steeptheatre.com.
Include the position title in the subject line.
All documents should be in PDF format.
Finalists may be asked to submit a writing sample.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@steeptheatre.com

Pay Rate/Range*: $60,000 - $70,000
Organization Address: 1044 W Berwyn Ave, Chicago, IL 60640
Organization Contact Name: Peter Moore
Organization Email Contact: jobs@steeptheatre.com