Sigh/The Art of the Job Posting

While I am happy to have chosen to stay here in the Ann Arbor region at the present moment, I felt a pang of nostalgia for my more freelance/footloose oriented days after reading these two immediate vacancy job postings. (Direct references to companies have been removed.)


A company not in Michigan is looking for a full-time, emerging arts administration professional to fill the role of Managing Director. The company is part of an extensive creative community nationwide, and has a strong presence in the (local) theater scene. Our year-round programs support both playwrights and the development of new plays, and we’re looking for someone who is interested in helping us to fulfill our mission.

The Managing Director will manage the production and administrative side of the organization, which includes:

– Producing company events.

– Managing office systems including database management, computer systems, communication systems, equipment contracts and insurance renewals.

– Managing the financial systems such as overseeing the bookkeeping, budget and cash flow

– Working to develop a marketing strategy and implementation.

– Hiring systems and data management involved with contracts, job descriptions and advertising.

The perfect candidate has experience in marketing and communications, finance and bookkeeping, grant writing and submissions and producing events, and is energetic, creative and extremely well organized. Personnel management would be a plus.

The company is looking to fill this position immediately. This is a full-time, salaried position.


Another company not in Michigan seeks a full-time experienced production manager starting as soon as possible. The company produces six mainstage and three children’s theater shows a season. The company also manages a black box theater that is located in the same building.


General production management duties include, but are not limited to:

Manage and co-create the production budget.

Create all production calendars.

Hire all design and management teams.

Facilitate production meetings and coordinate communication between all design staff. Oversee and supervise all company technical staff as well as recruit volunteers.


Strong leadership abilities to team build, listen, and manage people.

Must have an artistic eye. Design experience a plus.

Experience creating and managing budgets.

Ability to read and interpret technical theater drawings.

Excellent written and oral communication skills.

Strong work ethic. This position has a flexible schedule that will require nights and weekends.

Computer skills with knowledge of Google Docs.

A passion for theater and how it can enrich a community.

To apply, please send a resume and cover letter by email to the artistic director at the e-mail listed in this posting.


Tipping the Balance back to Live

Over the past year or so I’ve regrettably gotten away from my once very frequent theatre going habits. I’m glad to be enjoying an extended stay in a more theatrically invigorating area here in Michigan. However, I’m noticing that travel distance and ticket purchasing seem to be a minor to moderate logistical concern, in a way that they weren’t before.

It also reminds me of the many audience studies I’ve observed in arts administration work – what drives you to see this production? Is there something holding you back from going to see it? How did you hear about the piece? Would you recommend it to friends? Show your enthusiasm on social media? (Hey, we’ve created a #hashtag just for that.)

I notice that aforementioned economics issue is a moderate concern for me, though I’d like it to not be the case. If be happy if the economic and social balance of theatre vs. film was switched to how it is in the UK for instance, where theatre is seen as a “night out” or regular event, while filmgoing is seen as more of a destination with correspondingly higher ticket prices.

So what should the first play of my extended stay in metro Detroit be?