For 45 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 by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble has grown to 53 members who represent 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 20,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 50 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin.
Under the direction of Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director Brooke Flanagan, Steppenwolf is currently 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 1700 Theatre, 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 use. This facilities expansion, driven by programmatic need, will allow Steppenwolf to advance its artistic vision into the future.
Steppenwolf Today with an eye on Tomorrow
Like so many of our peer cultural institutions – we are finding ourselves grappling with the reality that our traditional role as a catalyst for social gathering is being challenged by a time that requires social distancing. Undoubtedly, there are days when we are distracted by grief from the silences on our stages – and the turmoil in our community which we so dearly love. However – along with that grief comes a grit that continues to champion the power of storytelling and we will continue to be vigilant in our efforts to keep art making and storytelling alive thru these tender days – with an audacious determination to reignite the part in all of us that enjoys a story…even if in the short-term it needs to be enjoyed from your sofa, not our stage. So, while we are disappointed to keep our stages quiet – we are determined to:
Launch the SteppenwolfNOW virtual season as a creative connection to our community and beyond
Continue our commitment to the Chicagoland schools with virtual programming and curriculum development
Anticipate the opening of our new, expanded campus and its 400-seat theatre in the round and arts & education center as an emblem to our live theatre reunion
We are also using this time to revisit our privileged place in the American theatre canon and work towards becoming an anti-racist institution. Developing our organizational and departmental agendas for work on Inclusion, Diversity, Equity and Access (IDEA) remains high on our list of priorities.
Leading a Team in a Tenuous Time
This leader needs to recognize, respect and appreciate that you are leading a team and working in an environment that is facing a challenge that will only be met with creativity, curiosity, flexibility, stamina – good humor and kindness. If you thrive in “Type A” environments —- spare yourself this employment consideration. We need somebody whose IQ & EQ are on equal footing as we navigate a choppy time with smarts, patience and resilience.
We also need a leader who will join us in our journey to move forward the Steppenwolf IDEA agenda. We are humbled – but hellbent – to improve our role in this regard – and wish to have a leader who will help us do so.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is soliciting applicants for the position of Audience Services Director. The position reports to the Director of Marketing and Communications and is responsible for leading the smooth operation of Steppenwolf’s Audience Services department (box office, group sales, memberships/subscriptions) to help further Steppenwolf’s IDEA work and best serve our community of patrons. The ideal candidate is responsible for maintaining the positive, collaborative and forward-moving culture of the department. The Audience Services Director is expected to have a strong sense of best practices within the ticketing industry while being proactive and innovative in fulfillment of the position requirements. The ideal candidate will possess strong project management and creative problem-solving skills. They will act as advocate for the many areas of the department and fulfill the critical need of directing communication from Audience Services out to other departments, and from other departments back in. Candidates should be resourceful leaders with the ability to think strategically, set priorities, and manage multiple projects at once. They will be comfortable communicating with and working across departments.
This position directly manages a truncated “Covid” team of 4 including the Membership Manager and Data Developer, as well as the Audience Services Manager and Audience Services Supervisor, who oversee a box office staff of 7. As the theatre finds itself ‘on the other side” – this position will help in restructuring and rebuilding the department. Until that time – shrewd resource management will be critical.
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is currently using v15.1.11 of Tessitura, with an upgrade plan in place for v16 in late 2021. While Tessitura experience is not mandated —- it surely is helpful, though relevant experience in database management, and experience with complex computing software will also make for a successful candidate.
Key Competencies Desired:
- Strong project management skills
- Creative problem-solving skills
- Excellent communication
- Strong writing, both general and technical
- Strong analytical skills, and an ability to convey ideas to many audiences
- A commitment to excellent and proactive customer service
- Steppenwolf gives preference to candidates who have demonstrable experience advocating for IDEA.
Essential Functions include (but are not limited to) the following areas:
- Configure, maintain and innovate around the organization’s Tessitura Ticketing system
- Act as company-wide Tessitura expert and liaison to Tessitura tech services department, including lead on version updates
- Serve as Tessitura system administrator for ticketing and marketing areas
- Create and maintain documentation on organization setup practices and policies
- Recommend prioritization of Tessitura special projects and customizations
- Provide setup for print at home tickets, general maintenance and troubleshooting
- Provide NScan general support – training, troubleshooting, configuration
- Use custom and standard reports and Tessitura analytics tools to report on ticket and membership sales. Provide interpretation of data to broader marketing team
- Generate preliminary sales revenue projections using predictive sales model and analytics tools
- Contribute to pricing conversations and strategies in collaboration with the marketing team and external consultants
- Act as lead on providing specifications for custom reporting, while first using analytics tools and standard reports to first identify when customization is necessary
- Provide the lead expertise/knowledge in high-level Tessitura reporting/analysis
Copy Writing (patron communication with marketing)
- Write copy for Audience Services mass email communications in collaboration with the box office and Memberships Manager
- Lead, collate and assist in providing Audience Services feedback on Marketing materials (print and email)
- Oversee Audience Services budget
- Hire full-time positions within the department
- Maintain strong team ethic and Steppenwolf customer service principles amongst staff
- Provide support and management for Group Sales, Memberships and Audience Services full-time staff. This may include finding and configuring Tessitura solutions, helping identify group prospects, assist with membership seating, etc.
- Serve as ticketing point person for the website and maintain a strong understanding of the intersection between Tessitura and the web
- Test and provide feedback for all new web functionality
- Test all one-time and ongoing promotions
- Act as liaison between Audience Services, in-house web team and outside web vendor.
- Troubleshoot website issues. Provide clear, detailed descriptions and reproduction steps as needed
- Smart Seat knowledge helpful, but not required (similar set-up experience helpful)
- Coordinate ticket system related matters across all departments
- Oversee ticketing planning, policies and setup for all streams of programming
- Coordinate implementation of new house scaling, pricing and inventory management initiatives, such as new zoning structures, last-minute inventory filling efforts, dynamic pricing initiatives, etc.
- Be able to create, apply and track all show initiatives in Tessitura i.e. build productions and packages, apply and edit pricing, apply and manage holds, maintain print-at-home ticketing, etc.
- Co-manage subscription renewal campaign. Provide support to full memberships team who manage the season build and rollover for the traditional season subscriptions model, as well as ongoing year-round membership renewal and communication efforts
- Act as liaison to Marketing, Artistic and Production in communicating about subscriptions timeline, information needs, etc.
- Work with Marketing and Digital team on website components and print materials
Salary: $50,000 with excellent benefit package, including medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, employee assistance program, vacation pay, paid sick leave, personal days and 401(k) retirement program.
Interested candidates should send the following pieces of information by October 1, 2020
- A resume listing applicable experience
- A cover letter describing your interest in this position and addressing the following question:
- Instead of simply using authority to influence another individual, it is sometimes desirable to lead other persons by setting a positive example for them to follow or coaching them through a situation, especially in customer service. Describe a work situation when your example or advice served as a model for others to handle a difficult customer service experience.
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.
Please submit a resume and cover letter to our job portal: