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TYA Jobs: Managing Director, Seattle Children’s Theatre (Seattle, WA)


Seattle Children’s Theatre is looking for an innovative Managing Director who understands business trends and possesses a passion for theater to help co-lead and grow this international treasure.

SCT is one of the only fully professional Children’s theater in the United States and at the forefront in creating cutting edge and timely live performances for young people.

About the Organization:

Seattle Children’s Theatre (SCT) is the largest fully professional theatre for young audiences in the world. Our programs empower young people to make new discoveries about themselves and the world around them while building a lifelong interest in the arts. The mission of Seattle Children’s Theatre is to provide children of all ages access to professional theatre, with a focus on new works, and theatre education.

Founded in 1975, SCT first produced plays in the Poncho Theatre at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo. SCT started as a program of the Seattle Department of Parks and Recreation, with initial funding from the City of Seattle and PONCHO (Patrons of Northwest Civic, Cultural and Charitable Organizations). Some of the earliest supporters of the organization were teachers and graduate students from the University of Washington’s Masters Program in Theatre for Youth (one of the few of its kind at the time).

Since its inception, Seattle Children’s Theatre has strived to provide innovative artistic programming and professional theatre for the young people and families of the Puget Sound region. SCT moved into its 482-seat Charlotte Martin Theatre in 1993, added the 275-seat Eve Alvord Theatre in 1995, and completed the Allen Family Technical Pavilion (which consists of the paint, costume, prop, and scene shops as well as rehearsal and classroom spaces), in 2000. This state-of-the-art facility at Seattle Center was the first self-contained theatre complex built for young audiences in the nation, and has since been used as a model for other theatres.

For thirty-seven years SCT has had and unwavering commitment to artistic and organizational excellence has demonstrated this over the years by impeccable production standards, its taste for adventure and its focus on work that speaks to and about young people and their world. This extraordinary commitment is led by Artistic Director, Courtney Sale. Throughout its history, SCT has developed and improved the caliber of plays available for young audiences in the United States and abroad, developing and producing over 100 new works.


The company operates on an annual budget of approximately $6 million and produces a September-to-June season of six or seven productions on two stages. More than 110,000 students, parents and teachers attend performances annually with a substantial number of reduced ticket-price and full-ticket price scholarships provided through SCT’s fundraising programs. In addition, the company has an active education and outreach program that provides drama workshops, residencies and professional development programs reaching more than 7,000 students and educators each year.  SCT also operates its highly successful drama school, reaching over 3,300 registrants annually. The Theatre employs a full-time staff of 31 and a part-time/seasonal staff of 60 plus contract workers. The company is governed by a 33 member board of committed and active trustees. Additional information about SCT may be found at www.sct.org

While the staff and board of the company are proud of their accomplishments, there remain opportunities and challenges for the new Managing Director.  These include:

  • Successfully balancing the artistic, operational and financial elements as defined by the company’s mission and projected in its strategic and tactical planning.
  • Managing the company’s activities to both capitalize on its exceptional reputation and to position it for continued success, achievement and sustainability, both artistically and financially.
  • Enhancing and extending SCT’s position within the local, regional, national and international arts and cultural communities.  


Role of the Managing Director:

The Managing Director reports to the Board and works closely with Courtney Sale, the Theatre’s Artistic Director.  The Managing Director directly supervises the Directors of Marketing & Sales, Development, and Finance. The Managing Director, in conjunction with the Artistic Director and respective senior staff members, supports several Board committees including Executive, Finance, Board Operations, Education, Audience Development and Development, and SCT’s Foundation Board.

The Managing Director is the senior operating and financial officer and, together with the Artistic Director, acts as a public spokesperson and community liaison. The Managing Director also provides leadership and direction to key company activities including finance and administration, marketing and communications, and development, including annual fundraising as well as capital and endowment campaigns. S/he has principal oversight for the day-to-day operation of the company and is responsible for promoting a positive, collaborative and open work environment, with high performance standards.

The Managing Director shares responsibility with the Artistic Director and the Board for achieving the company’s goals.  S/he also actively supports the Artistic Director and the artistic and educational staff in accomplishing the company’s educational and artistic goals.


Specific Duties:

  • Works on behalf of – and delivers excellent service for – the Theatre’s key constituencies: its art, its financial health, its donors and patrons, its staff and its Board.
  • Is responsible and accountable for SCT’s annual revenue goals (met through ticket sales and development) and expenses.
  • Collaborates with the Director of Marketing to determine strategies that drive increased ticket sales and Drama School enrollment.
  • Works collaboratively with the Artistic Director to ensure that the company will accomplish its short and long-term institutional goals, both artistic and financial.
  • Collaborates with the Artistic Director and senior staff on short and long-term strategic planning for SCT in general and for fundraising, audience development, production and education, in particular.
  • Establishes strategic and tactical fundraising plans with Development, and actively participates in all fundraising activities including donor cultivation and solicitation, special events planning and attending SCT events.
  • Completes and meets the goals of SCT’s ongoing Capital Campaign.
  • Works with the Finance Committee, the SCT Foundation, and staff to maintain the company’s financial health and stability. Reports consistently and clearly on current financial health and raises concerns quickly.
  • Collaborates with the Artistic Director, staff and Board to develop and approve the company’s annual operating and capital budgets.
  • Oversees financial management and controls including the development, implementation, monitoring and reporting of annual operating budget and capital and endowment fund activities.
  • Provides management and oversight for SCT’s day-to-day operations.
  • Collaborates with the Artistic Director in the hiring of senior level staff.
  • Attends all Board and appropriate Board committee meetings.  Works with the Artistic Director and the Board President to set agendas and facilitate the work of the Board.
  • Represents and promotes SCT in regional and national communities through board and panel services, public speaking, attending conferences and general networking.
  • Evaluates Management Team, including an annual review of each.
  • Manages workplace environment in partnership with the Artistic Director.
  • Manages lease commitments, proposals and reports required by the Seattle Center.
  • Attends quarterly Seattle Center resident director meetings.
  • Collaborates with the Artistic Director in integrating equity, diversity and inclusion principles into SCT’s art, operations, and community engagement.
  • Leads scheduled union negotiations and helps resolve union related issues.
  • Oversees any legal matters with staff or outside organizations.
  • Generates, monitors and reports on business contracts, including rights contracts with playwrights and catalog companies.
  • Works closely with and is accountable to the Board of Directors for financial and day-to-day operational activities.


Ideally, candidates for this position should have:

  • Strong leadership and a track record of accomplishment in team-building, interpersonal and communication skills.  A clear ability to encourage, engage and energize both board and staff members, artists, volunteers, donors and audiences.
  • Five or more years of successful management/leadership experience leading an organization of similar size and budget to SCT.  Experience within a theatre company or a similar not-for-profit performing arts organization is preferred; candidates with demonstrated interest in this area will be considered. While managing director experience is preferred, other management experience could include a key department head, general manager or similar.
  • Experience setting and executing on development strategies, including direct foundation, corporate and individual solicitation, and familiarity with various fundraising techniques.
  • Experience in developing clear sales initiatives and strategies
  • Experience in organizational fiscal management (through managing a budget or P&L for a business or not-for-profit) and the skills needed to promote and protect the financial well-being of the company.
  • Ability to lead and manage a complex, creative organization.
  • Experience in leading negotiations and in achieving results that are viewed as win-win outcomes.
  • Experience in marketing performances and ancillary activities to the public.  A willingness to explore and create new initiatives that provides appropriate support and visibility to the organization.  
  • A sincere interest in and appreciation for collaboration with other arts, cultural and community organizations.
  • An understanding and dedication to young audiences.

Salary & Benefits:

Salary will be competitive and commensurate with experience.  A comprehensive benefit package will be provided.

Application Procedures:

If you are interested in applying for this position, please submit the following via email to MDSEARCH@SCT.ORG. No phone calls please.

  • Resume including a list of at least three professional references
  • Cover Letter including why you would be a good fit
  • Diversity Statement: Please tell us about your experience engaging and working with diverse communities (no more than one page)

We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture.  We are committed to diversity in all areas of our work and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identify or expression, age national origin, martial status, citizenship, disability, and veteran status.  We strongly encourage applications from members of underrepresented groups.

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