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Associate Producing Director / Associate Artistic Director

People's Light
Post Date: Jan 13, 2021

EQUAL OPPORTUNITY EMPLOYMENT 
People’s Light is an equal opportunity employer. We work to cultivate a deep and wide reach in order to connect with prospective employees who have varied experiences and skills, a collaborative attitude, and the capacity and desire for growth.

NON-DISCRIMINATION HIRING POLICY 
People’s Light seeks to recruit and retain a diverse workforce as a reflection of our commitment to create an antiracist, socially just, and inclusive presence in Chester County and our surrounding community. People’s Light does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, disability, or any other legally protected characteristic. Applicants from populations historically underrepresented in the theatre field are strongly encouraged to apply.


OVERVIEW

People’s Light invites applications for a new senior level artistic position, most likely titled Associate Producing Director or Associate Artistic Director, to join our highly collaborative and continually evolving company.

This new Associate position will report to Producing Director Zak Berkman, who will become Producing Artistic Director in March 2022 when current Executive Artistic Director Abigail Adams transitions to the position of Director of Special Projects. For more information on our leadership transition, click here. 

In addition to Zak, the Associate will work closely with Executive Leadership (Erica Ezold, Director of Finance & Operations; Erin Sheffield, General Manager), Resident Director Steve H. Broadnax III, and the Artistic staff to steer the creative and civic vision of the organization.

The Associate will have three reports within the Artistic staff: Director of Education & Civic Practice, Director of Community Investment, and Resident Dramaturg.

At its core, this senior level position is a combination of theatre practitioner, producer of live arts and civic engagement events, and institutional leader. Candidates need not be a theatre director. We seek a holistic, strategic, open, joyful thinker who possesses strong, long-term relationships with artists from a wide variety of backgrounds. Experience as a creative producer, playwright, dramaturg, designer, actor, and stage manager all equally qualify as a practitioner. Training as an educator and community builder is also noteworthy. We will prioritize individuals with life experiences and perspectives that are different from those already within our artistic staff. We seek citizen-artists with critical cultural competency and experience who incorporate practices of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within all facets of their work.

Further information regarding responsibilities, qualifications, and competencies are below. It is important to note we do not expect a candidate to have all the skills or experiences listed.

This is a full-time “exempt position” with daily hours that fluctuate due to rehearsal and performance schedules, teaching, touring, and other dynamics. People’s Light prides itself, however, on being a people-first organization. We work closely with each staff member to monitor total workload and to prioritize health and family needs. Working remotely may be possible at certain times, and the company is flexible regarding office hours, but this is a predominantly in-person, on-campus job.

Compensation: $70,000/yr plus full health benefits and paid time off. After one year in the position, People’s Light will begin contributions into our employee pension plan.


ABOUT PEOPLE'S LIGHT

People’s Light, a cultural and civic center with theatre at its core, invites and creates opportunities for diverse communities to discover and celebrate our shared humanity.

Our Values:

CREATIVITY
We seek new ways and ideas to challenge our vision and deepen our impact in an ever-changing world.

ARTISTRY
We strive for excellence with passion. Skill, imagination, and trust allow us to risk.

CURIOSITY
We foster opportunities for self-discovery, a sense of connection with others, and life-long learning.

CIVIC RESPONSIBILITY
We embrace a shared accountability to strengthen our communities and contribute to the vitality of our society and culture.

INCLUSION
We commit to diversity, equity, and collaboration within all levels of our interpersonal, artistic, and civic engagement. A warm welcome, hospitality, and a generous spirit provide the foundation of our work.

CONNECTION
We create meaningful and enduring relationships to cultivate trust and embolden discovery.

STEWARDSHIP
We respect our resources. We live within our financial means, and honor the people with whom we work, the buildings and grounds we inhabit, and the communities we serve.

Our Evolution:

Founded in 1974, People’s Light serves as one of Pennsylvania’s largest professional nonprofit theatres. The company is a member of the League of Resident Theatres (LORT D) and Theatre Communications Group (TCG). We employ nearly 150 full and part-time employees annually, most of whom reside within 15 miles of our Malvern, PA campus. Nearly 200 artists from the Philadelphia region, New York, Washington, DC and other locations work at People’s Light each season. Among these are a Resident Company of Artists who possess a longstanding relationship with the theatre. They are not promised contracted employment, but are front of mind as part of season planning and a core component of the Theatre’s identity.

At the intersection of suburban, rural, and exurban communities, People’s Light has always called Chester County, PA home. In 1979 the company moved to our current 7-acre campus in Malvern. This location includes two flexibly configurable theatres (340 and 160 seats), administrative offices, scenic and production shops, rehearsal halls, and a restored 18th Century Farmhouse which serves as a place for guest artist housing and as a banquet facility and restaurant. With an expansion in 2018, the Farmhouse catering facility and restaurant have become increasingly important to the entire People’s Light experience.

Each season we produce seven to nine productions for nearly 77,000 patrons, presenting stories drawn from ancient times through tomorrow that have direct relevance to the thoughts and concerns of the communities we serve regionally and nationally. People’s Light produces both classical and contemporary theatre and has long supported the development and production of new work—in our history of over 400 productions, over a third have been world or regional premieres. This investment in new work has significantly increased in the past decade due in large part to the nationally renowned New Play Frontiers Commission & Residency program. We have also expanded programming in our Farmhouse Pavilion and green spaces. This has included performances by singer-songwriters as well as Jazz Brunches. In the future, we expect to host cabaret, comedy nights, TED-style talks, and other one-night only events in this space.

People’s Light has long been a leader in the realm of arts education and youth development, serving thousands of young people and their families with in-school residencies, school matinee performances, weekend theatre classes, summer theatre programs, and additional after-school programming. In addition to and interwoven with these offerings is New Voices, the company’s ongoing year-long program with young people from the City of Chester now entering its 30th year. As People’s Light expands our community-based play development and civic engagement initiatives, we seek to further integrate these efforts with a wide array of new youth development opportunities. We have secured funding for this and it is a priority for a post-pandemic future.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic, People’s Light ceased indoor productions as of March 12, 2020. The company prioritized the health, safety, and employment of staff and artists, retaining 70-80% of full-time employees and providing health insurance to all who were temporarily furloughed. We pivoted quickly to a mix of online and outdoor programming, including multi-camera films of two productions, a series of rapid commissions for short films by BIPOC artists, a drive-in concert series, and "Family Folktales" in the green space between our main buildings. In November 2020, we launched a Winter/Spring Digital Season and plan a more expansive summer outdoor season in 2021. People’s Light also provided food and masks for community partners in need and local hospitals.

During our 45-year history, People’s Light has had periods of major reckoning and growth as we sought to foster an environment of inclusion. Culturally and economically privileged by complicity in white male supremacist systems and structures, People’s Light deepened our organization-wide investment in EDI training and practices in 2016. We joined the second cohort of TCG’s EDI Institute led by artEquity, and in Fall 2017, Carmen Morgan and Lydia Garcia of artEquity led a series of full-staff and full-Board retreats to further advance the organization’s EDI efforts. This resulted in Board and staff-level EDI Committees that guided the composition of a new EDI Statement that now lives on our website and in key institutional documents, such as our strategic plan and Employee Handbook. In addition, seven cross-departmental working groups focused on everything from hiring and human resources, to vendors and data analysis. For our EDI Statement and a recent update of our EDI work, click here.

In 2014 People’s Light produced our first Relaxed Performance to provide a welcoming environment that lets all patrons express themselves freely, without judgment or inhibition. These live theatre experiences invite and encourage individuals with autism, ADD, ADHD, dementia and sensory sensitivities to enjoy the performance in our "shush-free" zone. People’s Light is now at the vanguard of accessibility work in the theatre, advising arts organizations from across the country and serving as a cohort leader of a regional consortium of theatres. People’s Light continues to expand its accessibility offerings, recently becoming the first theatre in the United States to offer Smart Caption Glasses (SCG) to its audiences in a partnership with the Institute on Disabilities at Temple University and The National Theatre of Great Britain. 

 

ABOUT THE POSITION  

People’s Light is an artist-run company, comprised of leaders with a wide variety of backgrounds and skills in theatremaking, producing, education, and community engagement. As a result, we are not limiting this search to professional theatre makers with a specific discipline. The Associate Artistic Director or Associate Producing Director must be an active practitioner of some kind, possess a strong background in guiding ambitious theatrical works from conception to production, care deeply about the well being of artists and colleagues, and be able to balance passion and practicality in various forums and spaces. Beyond this, we are prepared to shape this position to the strengths and interests of the candidate. 

Reporting to the Producing Artistic Director, the Associate is a senior staff position with three reports: Director of Education & Civic Practice, Director of Community Investment, and Resident Dramaturg. In collaboration with Executive Leadership and the artistic staff, the Associate will be integral in season planning and budgeting. This person will serve as a line producer for productions on our stages and throughout our campus (indoors and outside), balancing programmatic and financial priorities, coordinating resources and schedules with our year-round production staff of theatre artisans. They will lead efforts in new project development and artist cultivation, integrating practices of Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion within this work.

Key Responsibilities:

  • Contributes to the creative life of the organization as a theatre practitioner
  • Works with Producing Artistic Director to lead the Artistic Staff in the research and consideration of projects for potential production or further development, to identify potential opportunities for Resident Company members and longtime artistic collaborators, as well as to cultivate new multifaceted relationships with theatremakers, musicians, teachers, and others to support the strategic programming goals of the organization
  • Point person on the development and construction of the season calendar with specific attention to the balance and diversity of programming, audience design, budget discipline, and workload of our full staff of theatre artisans
  • Works closely with Producing Artistic Director and Executive Leadership regarding core creative team hires and casting
  • Line Produces specific productions and projects including but not limited to oversight of budget, calendar, and personnel. This programming may take place in the Theatre’s two stages, outdoor spaces, the Farmhouse Pavilion, and in-community locations
  • Manages, guides, and evaluates three high-level direct reports within the artistic staff
  • Collaborates with artistic staff to guide the intersection and integration of education and community investment programs with production and new play development
  • Advances the organization’s EDI and antiracism efforts
  • Establishes pathways for early-career artists to engage with the theatre and demonstrate potential
  • Provides key grant writing support for specific projects and programs
  • Participates in fundraising activities and patron cultivation events
  • Participates in local consortiums regarding theatre making, EDI, antiracist practice, accessibility, and other areas of interest and expertise
  • Represents People’s Light at local and national gatherings

Qualifications and Critical Competencies:

  • A strong collaborator in a variety of environments and circumstances
  • Honest and thoughtful; effectively manages and motivates colleagues and employees
  • A generous advocate for the work of others, invested in the value of meaningful and reciprocal relationships
  • A skilled, patient, discreet listener who is radically curious about the people and environments around them
  • A strong communicator of personal and institutional vision, purpose, and plans
  • Adept in various types of project management: the ability to understand and design both the strategy and operational aspects of a project, to juggle multiple competing priorities, to adapt to changing circumstances and contexts, and to follow through on commitments
  • A generator and facilitator of inclusive environments: able to thoughtfully create space for and interact effectively with people of different cultural, socioeconomic, and political backgrounds; a rigorous interest in productively questioning the cultural status quo and engaging in solution-oriented systems-thinking; demonstrated EDI and antiracist analysis and practice
  • A strong writer, ideally with experience in grant writing
  • Experience with budgets
  • Able to embrace and engage with the constant interplay between budgeting and artistic practice
  • Comfortable with public speaking and representing organizations at local and national gatherings, or a desire to become comfortable in this arena

Time Table:

Scheduled to begin on September 1, 2021. Given the challenges of interviewing, hiring, and potential relocation during a pandemic, People’s Light recognizes the Associate position may need to start on a different date. The company is flexible in this regard and will arrive at a mutually acceptable time table.

 

Job Category

How to Apply

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS AND HIRING PROCESS 

To submit an application, please provide your resume, a statement about why you are interested in this position, and a brief writing sample. Please provide two preferred references along with their contact information (please note that People’s Light staff may contact references prior to first interviews). All materials can be submitted at:

https://www.peopleslight.org/about/careers-opportunities/associate-produ...

Applications must be received by February 24, 2021.

Every application will be reviewed by a Hiring Team that consists of the Producing Director, General Manager, and members of the Artistic and Production Staff. Select applicants will receive interviews. First-Round interviews will occur on a rolling basis and will be conducted by at least two members of the Hiring Team over phone or Zoom. A second-round of interviews may take place in-person at a location convenient for the candidate. Final interviews will involve a two-day visit to People’s Light, meeting with numerous members of the company’s leadership and staff. We hope this is possible by mid June 2021. An offer is expected to be made no later than July 15, 2021.