ASSOCIATE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, Steppenwolf Theatre Company

Chicago, IL

Steppenwolf’s Artistic Office responsibilities include: collaborating with and supporting the Steppenwolf Ensemble; programming, artistic-producing, and casting the seven subscription season productions in our Downstairs and Upstairs Theatres, as well as Steppenwolf for Young Adults’ two-play season; LookOut programming for our 1700 Theatre; School at Steppenwolf; SCOUT New Play Development Program; Steppenwolf’s Commissioning Program; and workshops/readings of commissions and new plays.

Position and Responsibilities:

The Associate Artistic Director will oversee and facilitate the day-to-day artistic operations of the theatre while assisting the Artistic Director in maintaining the highest possible administrative and production standards for the company.  The AAD will create and maintain communication channels within the organization and will work closely with both the artistic staff and all other departments to manage flow of information, allotment of resources and calendar management for the season. The AAD will also serve as a consistent public face of Steppenwolf Theatre both locally and internationally.  Reporting to the Artistic Director, the AAD will serve as a member of Steppenwolf’s senior management team and work closely with the Executive Director, General Manager, Director of Production, Director of Marketing & Communications, Director of Development, Education Director, Head of Audience Experience, the Artistic Associates, the Ensemble and the Board of Trustees.  The AAD will lead a sophisticated and talented group of artistic administrators, including Artistic Producers, a Casting Director and Director of New Play Development.

Essential Functions include (but are not limited to):

  • Project managing the season, including assigning producers to shows and workshops, managing workloads and facilitating the work of producers during the season.
  • Season calendar oversight of schedules in relation to season planning for artists, staff and facilities
  • Maintaining responsibility for both the Artistic office annual budget (approximately $200,000) as well as keeping an overall picture of the annual Production budget (approximately $3,500,000) as it applies to season planning.
  • Collaborate regularly with the Artistic Director and Executive Director in the execution of the Artistic Director’s vision across the organization.
  • Standardizing artistic-producing practice.
  • Thoughtfully coordinating the artistic staff’s efforts to scout plays and artists in the Chicago Theatre community.
  • Representing the Artistic staff, both internally (finding new ways for collaboration and communication based on the work of other departments) and externally (as a consistent, public face for donors, audiences and the community at large.)
  • Setting tangible goals for EDI values and principles to be reflected in the work of the artistic office and helping communicate those efforts throughout the organization.
  • Lead produce all transfers and co-productions.
  • Work alongside other senior management team members as a strategic thought leader on short and long-term organizational issues.

Key Competencies Desired:

  • Excellent collaborator and communicator
  • Experience managing the needs of various constituencies at once
  • Commitment to leading with Equity, Diversity and Inclusion principles
  • Commitment to and a strong sense of the Chicago Theatre community and the city itself, with an understanding of what is needed from Steppenwolf as a leader
  • Team player and inclusive leader
  • Strong budgeting skills
  • Strong analytical skills
  • Integrity and discretion
  • Project Management
  • Strong public speaking skills


The ideal candidate will be a resourceful, energetic, curious and positive professional with exceptional producing and communication skills.  They will be able to think strategically, unite different interests and clarify goals for both the artistic staff and the organization as a whole. They must be most comfortable acting as both “press secretary” and an idea generator, serving to both create and maintain a culture of transparency, clarity and innovation within the Artistic Department and in their interactions with the rest of the theatre.  They need to understand the passion of theatre makers, the logistics of theatre making and the volatility of the theatre goer and have the patience and experience to manage all three. They need to understand and appreciate the history and legacy of Steppenwolf while being a thought leader in the necessary changes being made to re-invest in the company’s vitality.

The following qualifications are required:

  • Steppenwolf gives preference to candidates who have demonstrable experience advocating for equity, diversity and inclusion.
  • A demonstrated expertise in budgeting, producing and managing large artistic projects.
  • At least ten years experience as a producer in theatre, film or television.
  • At least five years of progressively responsible and successful experience in managing, motivating and inspiring staff to accomplish common objectives.
  • Outstanding interpersonal and communication skills – characterized by the ability to listen, speak and write well.


Starting pay for this position will be $80,000+ and will be commensurate with experience. Steppenwolf offers a generous benefits package that includes: medical, dental, vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability, life insurance, vacation pay, paid sick time, personal days, pre-tax Ventra transit benefit program, employee assistance program and 401(k) matching retirement program.

FOR A FULL DESCRIPTION AND TO APPLY: Interested and qualified candidates should send a cover letter and resume by following the link within the original job posting by November 5, 2018.


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