Director of Operations

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website HarrisTheater Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Chicago's Home for Music and Dance

Department: Operations
Job Title: Director of Operations
Reports To: Vice President of Operations & Production, General Manager
Type of Position: Full-Time & On-Site / Hours Based on Performance & Event Schedule

The Joan W. and Irving B. Harris Theater for Music and Dance is Chicago’s primary residence for music and dance, connecting diverse audiences with outstanding artists from across the city, the nation, and the world.

The Director of Operations is a full-time position that is responsible for all bookings at the theater from inquiry to performance/event execution, and through the settlement process as well as the oversight and direction of day-to-day facility logistics and communication. This role sees that daily operations are running efficiently to support our usage to ensure rental retention.

The Director of Operations reporting directly to the Vice President (VP) of Operations & Production, General Manager overseeing all  logistical operations of the facility and the execution of performances and events. and manages two direct reports in new roles for the organization as well as provides leadership to the broader operations team and indirect reports of 20-25 part-time employees across security and front of house roles. This role supervises two direct reports, the Operations and Events Manager and the Facility and Event Security Manager.

As a key member of the Harris Theater team and department lead, the Director engages in strategy for staff and department professional development, sets annual and long-term revenue and organizational goals, represents the Harris Theater in the community, and is committed to enriching the Theater’s company culture.

Bookings, Rental Retention and Execution

·         Responsible for the theater primary booking calendar which includes tracking and management of all Harris Theater Presents programming, Resident Company and rental availability requests and usage dates along with internal events, meetings, building closures and anything that is considered usage in the space.

·         Organizational System Administrator for VenueOps, booking and event management software. This role will be responsible for the final stages of implementation, organizational lead on general workflow and maintenance of the system and staff guidance.

·         Primary contact to all Resident Companies, local non-profits who have a commitment to self-presenting or partnering with the Harris Theater on an on-going basis, for date availability, contracts, payment and paperwork deadlines, logistics and front of house experience surrounding their performances and events.

·         Fields all rental related calls and rental inquiries via email and the Harris Theater Website. Provides timely feedback regarding availability, renting the venue and arranges site visits of the Theater to potential renters.

·         Responsible for contributing to the annual rental revenue goal by actively maintaining relationships, excellent communication, and event execution with Resident Companies, returning renters, and new prospects.

·         Receives all new rental applications, processes all contracts, invoices, deposits, and necessary rental paperwork (Certificate of Insurance and Amusement Tax Exemptions) with the goal to have assistance from the Operations & Events Manager in the future.

Operational Team Leadership & Processes


·         Leads the Operations Department and is the direct supervisor to two direct reports: Facility and Event Security Manager in management of day-to-day facility operations and event support, and Operations and Events Manager. in management and execution of events.

·            Provides leadership to broader operations team of three full-time staff members and 205-25 30 part-time employees across security and front of house roles.

·            Leads Operations team support of special events surrounding Harris Theater Presents,  in coordination with Development and Programming departments.

·         Organizational System Administrator for booking and event management software, VenueOps which will oversee internal user set up, roles, permissions and deactivation as needed. This role will lead with support from VP of Operations & Production, GM the final stages of implementation and integration of software and be responsible for establishing and evaluating general workflow in the system, reporting setup, and user best practices.

·            Facilitate and lead internal Weekly Onsite Activity Meeting reviewing all theater usage for the upcoming week with representatives from necessary departments.

·           Direct contact for local authorities, surrounding areas, and internal staff in the instance of activity in the area or emergency scenarios. Coordinates with local authorities and surrounding area contacts to determine impact of planned activity for theater events. Coordinates with  Operations &and Events Manager and Facility and Event Security Manager with any internal and external communication.

·         Supports Responsible for upkeep of access and inclusion organizational resources and supports access initiatives initiatives with all renters and users of the venue, advising on what features are available and keeping open communication with the internal team as well as the renter through event execution should services be incorporated into the production or required per a patron request.

·         Supports Provides leadership and mentorship to Operations & Events Manager, Facility and Event Security Manager, and Front of House & Audience Services Coordinator including guidance withwith personnel management, setting annual training schedules, assistance with leading training sessions, as needed and leads by example in customer services practices for our renters and patrons alike.

·         Maintains relationships and operational updates with with third-party vendors such as our outsourced security staffing company and other contract services to support.

·          Supports VP of Operations and Production,  & General Manager with ongoing COVID-19 policies along with further health and safety on COVID-19/health & safety updates & communication of policies to renters and users.

·         Work in tandem with Responsible for creating the VP & General Manager on creation of Concessions, Security & Front of House fiscal year department budgets budgets, contributing to the Operations rental revenue projections, and responsible for invoice approval and budget tracking.

·         Acts as main communicator to tenants who occupy office space at the theater.

·          Oversees Daily administrator of land lease with City of Chicago which includes oversight and communication of summer usage calendar, and responsible for working with the City & its users to confirm dressing room usage, load in and load out times, and loading dock usage requests to necessary parties with assistance from the Operations and Events Manager. (Harris Theater Staff, Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events with the City of Chicago, Millennium Park Staff, Grant Pak Music Festival Staff, and Kobotech Production Staff for Millennium Park).

Bookings, Rental Retention and Execution

·            Manages the theater primary booking calendar which includes all Harris Theater sPresents productions, rentals, and resident company usage dates.

·            In collaboration with the Director of Sales & Ticketing, fields all rental related calls and rental inquiries via email and the Harris Theater Website. Issues timely feedback regarding renting the venue and give tours of the Theater to potential renters.

·            Communicates to Resident Companies with priority for dates on the booking calendar, necessary deadlines, and contract updates.

Actively maintains relationships with current annual renters and resident companies.

Receives rental applications from new renters and processes all contracts, invoices, deposits, and necessary rental paperwork (Certificate of Insurance and Amusement Tax Exemptions) with assistance from the Operations & Events Manager

Cross-Organizational Leadership

·         Collaborates with Programming Manager on Harris Theater Presents booking priorities as well as the priorities of external stakeholders to ensure a balance in mission-based activity in the Theater. .

·         Serves as a primary organization contact for third-party vendors including managed IT services support for the theater and performance operations. Serves as additional onsite support alongside Facility and Event Security Manager, Facilities Engineer, and Facilities Assistant for IT troubleshooting in relation to security camera system and building access controls.

·         Works closely with other Director Level roles especially Director of Production, Ticketing & Sales, Marketing & HR to support potential renter communication, performances and event execution, and indirect reports.

·         Participates in cross departmental working groups such as IT and Customer Service task forces.

·          Participates in organizational staff equity working group and sets goals in support of equity, diversity, inclusion and access for their role and departments.

Leadership & Employee Management

As a member of the Harris Theater team and department lead, the Director of Operations is expected to:

·         Uphold the Harris Theater’s mission to be a home for music and dance, and embodies organizational core values of collaboration, integrity, belonging, respect, and resilience.

·         Provide leadership and mentorship the team but especially direct reports growing in new organizational roles.  to members of the team.

·         Be onsite for support or attend performances/events as required for your role.

·         Participate in organizational and regular team meetings, share ideas, and communicate openly with peers and supervisor about questions, challenges, and successes.

·         Maintain professional conduct and represent the Theater positively in all interactions with artists, renters, partner organizations, donors, vendors, volunteers, patrons and outwardly in the community.

Experience requirements
·         Minimum of 5 years of operational/venue management experience

·         Experience in a not-for-profit arts environment preferred, and and experience in leading team management.

·         Booking and Sales background preferred and track record of meeting revenue goals and maximizing revenue streams.

·         High-level organizational skills and communication skills (written and verbal) with strong attention to detail

·         An ability to be self-directed and work independently

·         Ability to work well with a diverse group of personalities.

·         A drive to implement and follow through in utilizing systems and building processes

·         Experience with Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel

·         Experience with booking or venue management software

·         Experience with VenueOps/Eventbooking, or Tessitura, or applicable CRM is a plus

·         Strong communication, organizational skills, and a willingness to collaborate with colleagues

·         The ability to prioritize, manage multiple projects simultaneously, and maintain focus in a fast-paced, environment

Compensation based on experience with base range starting salary of $75,000 year plus a highly competitive benefits package. Please submit a cover letter and resume to No phone calls please.

The Harris Theater is an equal opportunity employer. All applicants will be considered for employment without attention to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, veteran, or disability status or any protected characteristic as outlined by federal, state, and local laws, COVID-19 Vaccine required.

Instructions to Apply:


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Pay Rate/Range*: $75,000