Center Theatre Group is one of the nation’s most revered and respected regional theatre companies. Performing in three distinct performance spaces (The Mark Taper Forum and Ahmanson Theatre, both on the campus of The Music Center in Downtown, Los Angeles and Culver City’s Kirk Douglas Theatre), Center Theatre Group annually presents between 15-20 productions for nearly half a million patrons. Center Theatre Group’s programming portfolio is richly varied with dynamic new works, enticing takes on dramatic classics, and the grandeur of world-class large-scale musical theatre. As a national cultural leader, Center Theatre Group has served as a developmental production stop for such Broadway hits as Angels in America, The Drowsy Chaperone, Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson and Zoot Suit.
As one of the nation’s most influential nonprofit theatre companies, Center Theatre Group uses the art of theatre to broaden horizons and illuminate new perspectives. Founding Artistic Director Gordon Davidson led Center Theatre Group from 1967–2004, when Michael Ritchie was selected as the new Artistic Director of the organization. In his 11 seasons at Center Theatre Group’s helm, Ritchie has selected over 174 productions for the company’s three theatres, including 38 World premieres and five American premieres. Center Theatre Group tacitly believes theatre creates an extraordinary connection between artists and audiences that only starts on the stage. Theatre creates the energy that feeds a city, a culture, and a society. Theatre reflects the community it serves.
Standing side by side with its annual year-round offering of plays and musical theatre productions, Center Theatre Group makes education and engagement a core part of its primary responsibility to its community, both locally and nationally. Center Theatre Group leads the pack in socially responsible approaches to offering education and engagement opportunities that are intensely authentic and promote ownership of programming that speaks in an intense and direct manner to diverse communities.
Signature elements of Center Theatre Group’s education and engagement programming include:
- AUDIENCE AND COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT—connecting work on-stage to the real lives of patrons through interactive discussions such as Stage Talks and Community Conversations and the patron lobby experience in all three theatres.
- COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIPS – Center Theatre Group’s initiative to become an active and relevant neighbor throughout Los Angeles’ expansive ethnic and cultural landscape through such programs as neighborhood Play Readings, Costume Displays, and other programs focused on fostering a greater sense of community.
- NEXT GENERATION INITIATIVES – internships and Emerging Artist programs allow students serious about a career in the theatre arts to work at the highest level of professionalism in the field. Developing a continually regenerative group of theatre lovers and practitioners through Student Body Workshops and Student Ambassador Programs also provides for intimate access to professional artists for Los Angeles teens who develop their own unique voice and connect with other engaged peers. The August Wilson Monologue Competition directly supports young theatre makers in the community Center Theatre Group serves.
- ARTS EDUCATION INITIATIVES – model arts education programming that puts professional teaching artists in direct contact with students through Student Matinee Series (free-of-charge to schools through an open application), In School Residency Program and the successful Front and Center Partnership with Culver City Unified School District that aligns with Kirk Douglas Theatre programming.
- EDUCATOR PROGRAMS – support for educators in expanding their teaching capacity and potential through professional development opportunities such as Advancing the Practice of Teaching Theatre, Theatre Crash Course Workshops for Educators, and nurturing a community of theatre education practitioners though in-person and online activities.
More information on Center Theatre Group can be found on their website at: https://www.centertheatregroup.org/
Center Theatre Group operates on an annual budget of close to $50 million dollars with a staff of 180 full and part-time employees. Together these dedicated theater artists, administrators and craftspeople are creating some of the most transformative theatre experiences in the United States, both on and off the stage.
Center Theatre Group has an unwavering commitment to engaging audiences prior to, during and after performances. To that end, they are “walking the talk” in terms of aligning resources to ensure that social engagement and community access is a primary part of their operational focus.
Center’s long-time Director of Education and Community Partnerships, Leslie K. Johnson, was recently promoted to an expanded role as Center Theatre Group’s Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact. This move is significant for Center Theatre Group as it puts a clear emphasis on the organization’s firm commitment to connecting audiences to theatrical work in dynamic ways that seek to energize diverse communities and excite them about the impact and power of live theatre. As Ms. Johnson leads the development of an expanded strategy for powerful social engagement of Los Angeles audiences with Center Theatre Group’s work, the Director of Education and Engagement will play a key role in ensuring that education is a fully embedded element of all of Center Theatre Group’s programming.
Advancing equity is not only spoken of in aspirational terms at Center Theatre Group, but it is a benchmark that helps all Center Theatre Group staff measure success in programming and outreach. Center Theatre Group’s institutional culture is not passive about inclusion, diversity, and opening more access to theatre—it is a deeply held value that pervades all planning in a distinctly positive manner.
Director of Education and Engagement
As a senior member of Center Theatre Group staff reporting directly to the Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact, the Director of Education and Engagement will lead and direct Center Theatre Group’s high-achieving education department.
Position and Responsibilities
The Director of Education and Engagement will shape and lead all Center Theatre Group’s education programs using Center Theatre Group’s evolving plan for Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact as a road map for success. The Director of Education and Engagement will be called upon to ensure that Center Theatre Group’s robust programming to introduce and involve diverse and underserved communities in the theatre arts continues to flourish while reaching further to open up new avenues for discovery and community ownership of cultural experiences tied to Center Theatre Group’s core work. The Director of Education and Engagement will work closely with the Director of Social Strategy, Innovation and Impact to develop new initiatives to make the connective tissue between Center Theatre Group and Los Angeles’ uniquely rich ethnic and cultural communities even stronger.
- Guide education programming design through implementation, management and evaluation.
- Set overall tone of cooperative productivity and collaborative communication within department and throughout institution.
- Manage and support program leaders for Next Generation Initiatives, Community Partnerships, and Arts Education Initiatives.
- Become a well-known presence throughout Los Angeles and at Center Theatre Group events as an energetic promoter of education and engagement.
- Build strong interdepartmental relationships to more firmly imbed education and engagement in all Center Theatre Group artistic planning and execution.
- Initiate and serve as sounding board for new explorations for Center Theatre Group education and engagement.
- Ensure that inclusion and equity are fundamental elements of all Center Theatre Group programming.
- Maintain strong relationships locally and nationally in the field of arts education.
- Create dialogue and be an eloquent spokesperson for Center Theatre Group education and engagement efforts.
- Actively welcome more student and lifelong learner interactions with Center Theatre Group programming.
- Be cognizant of Los Angeles and California State educational standards and how they may inform Center Theatre Group Education programming.
Center Theatre Group is fundamentally committed to inclusion and diversity and seeks candidates with a desire to advance equity throughout all programming and within the organization. Candidates with strong qualifications will have the following experience and capabilities:
- Extensive knowledge and first-hand experience in the field of arts education; ideally, but not necessarily, in theatre.
- Senior management experience in a top-tier arts organization.
- Experience working with school districts and community arts organizations within a large metropolitan setting.
- Great track record of working as an arts educator with diverse communities.
- Expertise in arts education pedagogy.
- Excellent social and interpersonal skills.
- A highly collaborative management style.
- Demonstrable budget, employee management, and other administrative skills.
- Bachelor’s degree or equivalent education required; graduate degree preferred.
The ideal candidate will also have the following characteristics:
- A willing capacity to remain flexible and shift course when necessary.
- A self-centered determination and authentic sense of grit.
- An active and energetic mind and demeanor.
- A positive attitude.
- A strong attention to detail.
- A compelling sense of collaborative leadership.
- A keen sense of humor.
- A strong work ethic.
- Ability to derive deep satisfaction from facilitating the best work of others.
- A desire to be part of the Los Angeles community.
Compensation, Application Procedure and Start Date
The salary and benefit package for this position will be competitive with other companies of comparable stature and size. Center Theatre Group hopes to make its decision within the first few months of 2017 with the successful candidate onsite as soon as possible thereafter. Interested candidates are invited to send a résumé or CV, cover letter, salary history and at least three professional references to the consulting firm retained to facilitate this important search:
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Subject Line: Center Theatre Group, Director of Education and Engagement
Attn: Jonathan West
By email: MgtConArts@gmail.com