WAM Theatre (WAM) is seeking a visionary leader and collaborative-minded arts-activist to guide the artistic programming of the organization into the next stage of its growth and development. Reporting to the Board of Directors, the Artistic and Managing Directors are equal executives of WAM, working collaboratively to lead the organization.
The Artistic Director (AD) is responsible for guiding the creative vision of WAM and equitably growing innovative programming in line with the organization’s strategic plan through the following areas of accountability:
- Artistic Leadership & Vision: Articulate a clear and exciting artistic vision, act as a spokesperson for WAM, and guide the organization in the execution of the vision.
- Activism & Accountability: Curate and produce artistically excellent, transformational theatre and programming about women’s* lives, that is relevant to our times, promotes social change, and is produced in alignment with and support of WAM’s accountability commitments.
- Sustainability & Strategic Growth: Work with WAM’s team, board, and Managing Director (MD) to create and execute a growth plan that reflects WAM’s values, accountability goals, long-term financial goals, and strategic direction to ensure the sustainability of WAM.
WAM has written this proposal to reflect one position, but is open to artistic co-directorship applicants. Responsibilities and compensation will be divided in collaboration with shared leadership applicants taking into account individual skills, expertise, aspirations and obligations.
Artistic Leadership & Vision
- Articulate a clear and exciting artistic vision and act as a spokesperson for WAM.
- Curate, produce, and evaluate the theatre’s season of productions in-line with WAM’s vision, mission, and values.
- In partnership with the MD and the Director of Finance, create, oversee, and maintain fiscal responsibility for the annual budget.
- Communicate progress towards artistic vision regularly with team and stakeholders, including WAM’s Board of Directors.
- Hire, supervise and evaluate artistic and production teams in collaboration with Associate Artistic Director and Production Manager.
- Cultivate strategic partnerships and collaborations with other organizations to advance WAM Theatre’s outreach and artistic capacity.
- Participate, contribute, and stay connected to the evolution of the regional and national arts landscape.
- Evaluate potential projects, resources and partnerships within the context of WAM’s mission, values, and accountability plan .
Activism & Accountability
- Cultivate artistic collaborations and community engagement work that contributes to dismantling oppression, particularly as related to women* and girls.
- In collaboration with the leadership team, provide equitable employment opportunities to an increased number of women* and non-gender conforming theatre artists, creatives, and administrators.
- Cultivate equitable hiring practices and supervise artistic personnel including directors, performers, designers, and stage managers.
- Support accountability training and education for all staff, board, and volunteers, offering opportunities to the larger community when possible.
- Stay connected to and invested in the civic life and community activism of the Berkshire region as well as the national theatre landscape.
- Participate and uphold WAM’s accountability plan on an organizational, team, and personal level.
Sustainability & Strategic Growth
- Alongside the MD, WAM’s team and artists, implement and evolve the organization’s strategic plan and transformative vision.
- Collaborate with MD and leadership team to ensure long term organizational and financial stability for WAM.
- Build, nurture, and maintain relationships with a range of stakeholders and constituencies including artists, staff, audiences, trustees, donors, funders, and partner organizations.
- Serve as a mentor and motivator for WAM’s staff to create and sustain a healthy, constructive, and professional organizational culture.
- Cultivate relationships with current board members, build relationships with new board members, and inspire both groups to continue to invest and believe in the organization.
- Establish and grow fundraising opportunities and donor relations.
- Alongside the MD, address staff and artists’ pay equity, benefits, working conditions, and staff growth in the long-term financial plan.
- Deepen WAM’s commitment to equitable theatre practices.
- In partnership with the MD and Communications Team, steward the brand of WAM including the visual identity, audience experience, and organizational voice.
Qualification and Skills
WAM is searching for a visionary artistic leader who thrives working as part of a committed team to help foster belonging and vibrancy while contributing to long-term organizational sustainability. They aspire to produce artistically excellent, transformational theatre about women’s* lives, that is relevant to our times, accessible, and produced in alignment with WAM’s accountability commitments. WAM’s incoming artistic leadership will be thoughtful and visionary with a personal commitment to social change through arts and activism. They must be a strategic and creative thinker with artistic and producing experience in professional theater.
Candidates will have proven leadership experience in not-for-profit structure and professional theater production. They have the ability to build internal and external stakeholder relationships to support and advocate on behalf of WAM. Compassionate leadership and excellent communication skills are required, as well as the ability to multitask effectively. Ideal candidates will demonstrate a strong practice of and enthusiasm for collaboration, and an ability to work with a diverse group of staff, artists, board members and stakeholders.
WAM’s Artistic Director will serve as a catalyst for equitable, creative, and engaging artistic productions and community engagement programs. The incoming artistic leadership will possess a commitment to working toward equitable practices in the arts, and antiracist policies and procedures. WAM’s incoming artistic leadership has the opportunity to contribute to the local, regional, and global work of dismantling oppression, particularly as it relates to women* and girls, through artistically excellent theatre, equitable and antiracist theater practices, and impactful community engagement programs in the Berkshires and beyond.
Depending on the artistic expertise of the AD, there is an opportunity to play an artistic role (i.e. act, direct, design, write) in WAM’s Annual Performance Season.
How to apply
Please send your professional and artistic resume, cover letter and list of professional references to firstname.lastname@example.org .
WAM encourages applicants to share in writing how their work and life experience applies to the above listed requirements and qualifications and how it prepares them for the areas of accountability for the position. WAM is open to receiving applications for individual or shared artistic leadership models.
The Artistic Director salary range of $55,000 – $60,000 with potential for growth over the next three years, and including a generous time-off package, a health benefits stipend, technology stipend, travel reimbursement, and SIMPLE IRA program. Start date is January 2024.
*WAM Theatre is actively involved in a Pay Equity Initiative through the Berkshire Taconic Community Foundation. Our organization strives for pay equity, transparency, and a living wage for all our employees and artists. To view the living wage in Berkshire County (per working adult, single or in a family) visit the MIT Living Wage Calculator .
Full-Time, Exempt, Year Round
Board of Directors
This is an in-person position, and the Artistic Director will be invested and immersed within the Berkshire Community. The WAM Team is committed to a collaborative, accessible, and flexible workplace.
About Berkshire County
WAM Theatre is located on the traditional homeland of the Mohican Tribe, now known as scenic Berkshire County in Western Massachusetts. Promoted as “America’s Premier Cultural Resort” by the Visitors Bureau, Berkshire County is known for its world-class museums, theatre organizations, dance, and music venues. Home to many historic trailblazers and social justice pioneers, including: W.E.B DuBois, Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Freeman, Samuel Harrison, and others, the Berkshires contain both rural and urban elements. With a population of just under 130k, immigrants from over 70 countries, and a strong socio-economic divide, the county is facing unique challenges as well as opportunities for rethinking organizational structures, community engagement, and increased access to the many cultural amenities the county has to offer. The Berkshires are truly a unique place to live combining a beautiful environment with world-class cultural opportunities. Find more information about the Berkshires and local resources here .
Search Committee Members
To increase transparency and provide a creative-focused selection process, please find the Search Committee members below. This team includes members from the Board of Directors, WAM Theatre Artists, and members from the wider Berkshire Community:
- Molly Merrihew, Managing Director
- Talya Kingston, Associate Artistic Director
- Toni Buckley, Board President
- Nicole M. Young-Martin, Board Treasurer
- Carolyn Butler, Board member
*Language around gender is ever evolving. At the time of this plan, woman is defined as cisgender, woman, transwoman, and all others who identify as woman.
Research indicates that men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria, while individuals from historically oppressed communities tend to apply only if they meet every requirement. WAM Theatre is committed to creating, maintaining, and learning about a diverse and inclusive working space and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, creed, national origin including ancestry, ethnicity, sex including pregnancy, gender, gender identity, gender expression, and transgender status, gender, disability, alienage or citizenship status, military status, including past, current, or prospective service in the uniformed services, genetic information, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status, domestic violence victim status, familial status, actual or perceived sexual orientation.