Executive Director-Court Theatre
Hyde Park Campus
42769 Academic Commitments
About the Unit
Court Theatre is the professional theatre of the University of Chicago, dedicated to artistic excellence, innovation, inquiry, and community engagement. Court Theatre endeavors to make a lasting contribution to classic theatre by expanding the canon of translations, adaptations, and classic texts. Ashe University's Center for Classic Theatre, Court and its artists mount theatrical productions and audience enrichment programs that are richly informed by its relationship to the University. Court Theatre revives lost masterpieces; illuminates familiar texts; explores the African American theatrical canon; and discovers fresh, modern classics. Its dedication to large-scale, interdisciplinary theatrical experiences that fully engage the intellectual resources of the University of Chicago makes Court a theatre of distinction. Court was founded in 1955 as an amateur outdoor summer theatre at the University of Chicago. In 1971, Classics professor Nicholas Rudall became director and began Court's tradition of translating and adapting classic texts for contemporary audiences. By 1975, Court had established a relationship with Actors' Equity Association and became a professional company. Having established a reputation for consistent artistic excellence, Court regularly receives critical accolades and awards as one of Chicago's leading theaters. Competing in a highly competitive market, Court engages and inspires its audience by providing artistically distinguished productions, audience enrichment activities, and student educational experiences.
The Executive Director will serve in a co-leadership structure with Artistic Director Charlie Newell; both positions report to the University of Chicago Provost. The Executive Director works most closely with Court's Board, as well as other strategic partners within the University and Chicago. The Executive Director role is envisioned as highly external, managing relationships that are key to Court's health, while guiding the strategic planning and execution of those plans in support of the Theatre's artistic vision.
The central roles and responsibilities of the Executive Director are these:
- To forge productive working relationships with the Artistic Director, University leadership, and the Board.
- Maintain and create new external relationships in support of Court, including those within the University, individual / institutional donors, the Board, local/regional/state governmental and arts agencies, et al.
- In partnership with the Artistic Director, expand programming through the commissioning of new work, with new revenue and partnership strategies to support that work.
- Oversee the effective execution of earned and contributed revenue streams in concert with the professional and lay leadership of Court.
- Oversee other administrative and operational functions of Court, creating a culture of productivity, inclusivity, diversity, creativity, and innovation.
- Serve as a spokesperson, including taking part in cultivation of major donors, as well as maintaining and creating new external relationships in support of Court.
- A leadership style with a collaborative spirit – a 'connector.'
- Confidence in working with individuals – artists, academics, staff, and volunteers – who are highly accomplished.
- Deeply mission driven and aligned with the values espoused at Court.
- A commitment, evidenced by previous work, to equity, diversity, and inclusion.
Education, Experience and Certifications:
- At minimum, a bachelor's degree; graduate degree in theatre or related field, is preferred.
- A deep commitment to the performing arts, evidenced by prior roles in organizations of significant (if not comparable) size and/or scope.
- A fundamental belief in the transformative power of theatre to change peoples' lives and communities.
- An ambitious personality that is excited by the complexity of Court's interconnected constituencies and the dynamic opportunity to create success for all.
- Although someone with a theater background is preferred, the search committee has indicated an openness to reviewing credentials of professionals from other disciplines who understand the important aspects of theater production.
- Organizational leadership experience of at least five years, with demonstrable experience and a clear understanding of a collaborative working relationship with an artistic leader and staff management.
- Significant experience in all aspects of nonprofit management, including a proven track-record of effectively working with volunteers. Although a background in academic environments is not a prerequisite, such experience will be viewed as highly useful.
- Exceptional communication skills – both speaking and writing – taking satisfaction in serving as an ambassador in a host of business and social settings.
- Background in fund-raising and demonstrated ability to serve as key member of contributed revenue efforts.
- Cover Letter
- Resume or CV
- Salary Requirements
- A minimum of four(4) professional references (including name, email, phone and work relationship)
NOTE: When applying, all required documents MUST be uploaded under the Resume/CV section of the application
Depends on Qualification
Scheduled Weekly Hours
Job is Exempt?
Drug Test Required?
Does this position require incumbent to operate a vehicle on the job?
Health Screen Required?
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