Director of Education & Community Engagement

Website Writers Theatre

ABOUT WRITERS THEATRE

Writers Theatre (WT) is a nationally-recognized, award-winning theatre company located on the North Shore of Chicago with an annual, pre-pandemic operating budget of approximately $6.5 million. Known for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its productions, WT is focused on the power of the written word and dedicated to the artists who bring that word to life. The company has produced over 120 productions—everything from inventive interpretations of classics to groundbreaking new work. In February 2016, WT opened a new, state-of-the-art theatre center in downtown Glencoe, designed by the award-winning, internationally renowned Studio Gang Architects. Now celebrating its 30th season, WT annually welcomes more than 60,000 patrons, engages an average of 10,000 students through its Education programs, and has helped establish the North Shore as a premier cultural destination.

ABOUT WT EDUCATION

Mirroring Writers Theatre’s mission, the Education Department reflects our commitment to the written word and the cultivation of young artists.

WT Education programs are aimed at exploring text, nurturing the creativity of young people and instilling appreciation of the arts for future generations. Through comprehensive programming in schools, at the theatre, and through community-based initiatives, WT Education’s curriculum is designed to emphasize collaboration, cultivate self-expression, encourage imaginative inquiry and promote civic responsibility and social justice.

From this mission, WT Education programs fall under four pillars: Onsite Creative Learning, Residency Programs, Touring Outreach and Student Matinees. Each of these pillars reflect the distinct objectives of the department across multi-faceted programming. In conjunction with these pillars, WT Education also oversees professional Internships and actively collaborates in planning and producing Audience Engagement efforts.

SUMMARY

The Director of Education & Community Engagement (DOE&CE) develops, produces and oversees all of the Theatre’s pre-existing education programs, including in-school residencies, a student matinee series, onsite classes and workshops, an internship program, and a teen Youth Council. The DOE&CE also collaborates with the Artistic Department in choosing and supporting an annual season of mainstage productions and accompanying audience engagement programs. Future organizational opportunities under discussion include expanded family theatrical offerings, touring productions, and adult education programs.

Reporting to the Artistic Director and Executive Director and serving as a member of WT’s senior management team, the DOE&CE manages one full-time employee and a roster of freelance teaching artists. The DOE&CE collaborates closely with other departments to advance the organization’s long-term and day-to-day interests.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

Leadership

  • Oversee the vision, leadership and strategic planning of all WT Education programs.
  • Collaborate with the Artistic Director, Executive Director and senior leadership team to ensure a clear and accurate interpretation of the organization’s vision and mission.
  • Hire, supervise, motivate and support a team of one full-time Education Manager and up to 9 freelance Teaching Artists.
  • Provide ongoing support and mentorship to Teaching Artists and school staff throughout the school year.
  • Participate actively in the Chicago and national arts education community to stay current on best practices. Maintain strong school, community and industry partnerships.
  • Coordinate and contribute to fundraising efforts to support Education programs. Maintain strong relationships with donors and funding organizations.
  • Manage the departmental budget and contracts with partner organizations.

In Schools and the Community

  • Responsible for training Teaching Artist staff annually, which includes ensuring programs are aligned with best practices in the field and offering professional development sessions to classroom teacher partners.
  • Serve as a Teaching Artist in the classroom as necessary.
  • Oversee curriculum development for all residencies.
  • Actively solicit and coordinate in-school and community-based residencies through the Write On! program.
  • Supervise the Education Manager’s work coordinating the Novel Series residencies.
  • Analyze and document all programming and report on the programs to major funders.
  • Create and evaluate program curriculum through the lens of equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • With the Artistic Department, strategize on the development of new touring productions.

At the Theatre

  • Actively coordinate and arrange Student Matinees and the accompanying ACTIVATE residency in schools.
  • Schedule, promote and coordinate onsite classes for young people and adults.
  • Strategize on the development of onstage family programming and other arts education programming in the WT theatre building.
  • Select WT’s Teen Youth Council and coordinate opportunities for their engagement with WT programming, artists and staff.
  • Strategize on the resumption of an internship program for the Theatre.
  • With the Artistic Department, curate and facilitate a series of audience engagement events throughout the season that support and expand on the mainstage programming.
  • Collaborate on the recruitment and training of discussion moderators for audience engagement events. Moderate discussions and events as needed.

QUALIFICATIONS

  • Demonstrable commitment to cultivating and managing a diverse staff and creating a positive, collaborative and productive culture.
  • Ability to plan long term and collaborate to improve the future of the Education Department and overall Theatre.
  • Intellectual curiosity, drive, and enthusiasm.
  • Strong organizational, leadership, and time management skills.
  • Experience in building and managing a team of full-time, part-time and hourly employees while fostering a welcoming environment.
  • Demonstrated history and success with projecting expenses and managing a budget.
  • Experience with Microsoft Office suite and Google Suite.
  • Tessitura experience a plus.
  • Availability to work nights and weekends as needed.
  • Must be able to comply with organizational COVID safety policies and procedures.
  • A commitment to ethical conduct in all aspects of the work environment.
  • A commitment to creating a just, equitable and inclusive work environment.
  • A commitment to the protection of confidential information to which this position has access.

COVID SAFETY

WT requires proof of Covid-19 vaccination as a term of employment.

COMMITMENT TO EQUITY, DIVERSITY, AND INCLUSION

WT is deeply committed to creating and sustaining an organizational culture that values equity, diversity, and inclusion, as well as promoting a safe, supportive and collaborative work environment conducive to professional and personal growth. A successful candidate will share these values.

WT is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, ability, age, or veteran status.

Additional information about WT’s commitment to providing a safe and supportive workplace can be found at writerstheatre.org/working-at-wt

BENEFITS INCLUDE: medical, dental and disability insurance, vacation and other paid leave, a 403(b)-retirement plan (with employer match) and medical and dependent care cafeteria plans.

Instructions to Apply:

Please send a resume plus an expression of interest (video, audio, written) that speak to interests, skills, accomplishments, and characteristics that distinguish yourself to jobs@writerstheatre.org.

Please include in the subject line of the email “Director of Education”. No phone calls please.

To apply for this job email your details to jobs@writerstheatre.org

Pay Rate/Range*: Starting at $55,000