Director of New Play Development

  • Full Time
  • Chicago

Website steppenwolfthtr Steppenwolf Theatre Company


For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and a model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors, stage managers and playwrights. Steppenwolf’s artistic ambitions are made possible by its incredible workforce of individuals, who help create a culture of inclusivity, collaboration and accountability. To that end, we attempt to use an anti-oppressive and anti-racist lens in our roles and everyday decision-making. Join us in this ongoing process, as we navigate, together, our complex world.

Working alongside Artistic leadership, the sets the vision, ethos and values for how Steppenwolf develops new work for the American Theater, and then implements that vision into practice through a set of flexible systems. This position advocates for and supports the growth of new works from page to stage while project-managing all commissioning activity with internal and external stakeholders. In addition to identifying and developing works to premier at Steppenwolf, this position is also charged with identifying extant material for season consideration for both the Membership Series and the Steppenwolf For Young Adults (SYA) Series. In this aspect, this individual must be an innovative leader who is forward-thinking, strategic, and able to maintain a consistent pipeline of plays that center the company’s ensemble and strives to maintain Steppenwolf’s identity as a launchpad for brave and bold work.


New Play Advocacy, Stewardship, and Development

  • Set and implement the vision, ethos and values for how Steppenwolf develops new plays for the American Theater.
  • Keep up to date on premieres, works in development, and promising new writers on a local, national and international level.
  • Project manage Steppenwolf’s Edgerton Commissioning Program. In this program, Steppenwolf currently has 10 writers under commission, with initial drafts due over the next two seasons. This project management requires consistent communication with artists, meeting deadlines, and supporting new works with the aspiration of commissions reaching full production in Steppenwolf’s season.
  • Maintain strong artistic relationships within the local and national theatre community and possess a commanding knowledge with the work of contemporary writers.
  • Engage with the Steppenwolf Ensemble to help foster new works and keep an eye on projects that are perfect for Ensemble actors and directors.

Artistic Programming Pipeline

  • Read and evaluate scripts with a thorough knowledge of STC’s ensemble and history, as well as a forward-thinking vision for plays and/or playwrights who could potentially contribute to the canon of American Theater.
  • Create a consistent pipeline of new work coming into Steppenwolf’s Artistic office for both Membership and SYA series consideration.
  • Oversee and manage the administrative operations of the literary office (with approximately 600 solicited submissions and 200 unsolicited submissions annually), the Artistic Associate & Resident Dramaturg, Reader pool, script evaluations, and STC literary database.
  • Correspond with agents and playwrights soliciting and directly responding to submitted work in a way that embodies Steppenwolf’s artistic and cultural values.

Dramaturgical Support

  • Oversee all dramaturgical support for new and extant plays in production. This might include: serving as production dramaturg for select Steppenwolf productions, supervising the work of the Artistic Associate & Resident Dramaturg in their duties as dramaturg for select productions, and collaborating with Artistic Associate & Resident Dramaturg to identify, hire and support external dramaturgs for select productions.
  • Serve as institutional support for ensemble, commissioned and visiting playwrights.

New Play Funding Support

  • Partner with Steppenwolf’s Development team and Board of Director’s New Play Development Committee to create grant language, and to identify opportunities for our artists, trustees and potential donors to have access to the new works as they are being created in real time.
  • Serve as a host/moderator for New Play Development events and discussions to give Steppenwolf’s supporters access to the art and the opportunity to be in conversation about how to support and amplify Steppenwolf as a launchpad for new work.


  • In-depth knowledge of theatre practices and procedures.
  • Ability to innovate, strategize, and project-manage long and short-term projects.
  • Proficient in Microsoft Outlook, Word, Excel, Power Point, and Google Calendar.
  • Familiarity with contemporary writers and actors as well as Steppenwolf’s ensemble.
  • Keen interest and ability in developing new works.
  • Experience working as a dramaturg on multiple new play productions.
  • Excellent time management, deadline management, and multi-tasking skills.
  • Effective and intentional written and oral communicator with a confident, diplomatic, and trustworthy demeanor.
  • Demonstrated ability and commitment in working with diverse groups in terms of gender expression, race, sexual orientation, religion, ability, age, socioeconomic and immigration status.
  • Minimum of 4 years experience in similar role.
  • Bachelor Degree Required


Salary range: $68,000 – $74,750 with excellent benefit package for full time employees, including medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, life insurance, vacation pay, paid sick time, personal days, Ventra transit benefit program, employee assistance program and 401(k) matching retirement program.



About Steppenwolf:

Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theatre. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theater, the 400-seat Ensemble Theater and the 80-seat 1700 Theater. Artistic programming includes a six-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multi-genre 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. Audrey Francis and Glenn Davis are the Artistic Directors and E. Brooke Flanagan is the Executive Director.

For additional information, visit,, and

Steppenwolf Mission:

Steppenwolf Theatre Company strives to create thrilling, courageous and provocative art in a thoughtful and inclusive environment. We succeed when we disrupt your routine with experiences that spark curiosity, empathy and joy. We invite you to join our community as we navigate our complex world together.

Steppenwolf Core Values:

Equity + Inclusion
Integrity + Curiosity
Courage + Collaboration
Accountability + Leadership
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.

Instructions to Apply:

How to apply:
Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume and three references, through the link provided

To apply for this job please visit

Pay Rate/Range*: $68,000 - $74,750 per year