Steppenwolf Theatre Company is looking for a detailed, dynamic, and inclusive leader to join its Education department as Manager of School Programs. For over 40 years, Steppenwolf Theatre Company has been a cultural leader in Chicago and model for theatre companies in the United States and around the world. Formed in 1976 by a collective of actors, the Steppenwolf ensemble has grown to 51 members who represent a remarkable cross-section of award-winning actors, directors and playwrights. With a reputation for acting brilliance and a commitment to producing the best new American playwrights, Steppenwolf has inspired generations of theatre audiences and has long been a benchmark for theatre excellence.
Recognizing that the ensemble is Steppenwolf’s most singular asset, Artistic Director Anna D. Shapiro and Executive Director David Schmitz, have established institutional priorities that are rooted in increasing ensemble participation and working with younger artists with a diversity of voice. Steppenwolf Education provides teens and young professionals the inspiration and connections to create change and thrive as future artists or future arts appreciators. By providing high-quality artistic experiences, access to artists working in the field and in-depth mentorship, teens and young professionals are inspired to create change.
Steppenwolf Education’sunique approach combines play production with educational components to enhance arts education for young audiences, as well as their teachers and families. Every season Steppenwolf for Young Adults creates two full-scale professional productions specifically for teens. Working closely with the Chicago Public and metropolitan area schools and other community partners, Steppenwolf’s Education department annually ensures access to the theater for more than 15,000 participants from Chicago’s communities. The initiative includes post-show discussions with artists; classroom residencies led by Steppenwolf-trained teaching artists in almost 100 classrooms in public high schools; professional development workshops for teaching artists and classroom teachers; the Young Adult Council, an innovative after-school initiative that uniquely engages high school students in all areas of the theater’s operations, as well as providing barrier-free teen programming for Council members and their peers; and City Connections, Steppenwolf Education’s commitment to building community partnerships with likeminded organizations committed to youth empowerment through the arts.
Position and Responsibilities:
Steppenwolf’s Manager of School Programs is a new fulltime position within Steppenwolf’s recently expanded education department. This role is not only responsible for managing the ongoing work of the in-school residency program, including training of its teaching artists and classroom teachers, but of working with the Director of Education to shape the growth of the program moving forward, primarily in the area of equity and access: ensuring that more students and teachers across the Chicagoland area are provided valuable resources through Steppenwolf Education, while maintaining the rigor and quality of programming that Steppenwolf is known for producing. The Manager of School Programs must be able to serve as a key ambassador of Steppenwolf Education to its many constituencies, including teens, educators, members of the community, as well as staff members and teaching artists.
Specific duties of the position include:
In-School Residency Program:
- Responsible for overseeing in-school residency program, including:
- Pre/Post program
- What If program
- Immersion program
- Alongside lead teaching artists in the program, create curriculum for and execute educator teacher training in aesthetic education and in relation to both Steppenwolf for Young Adults shows of the season
- Design and implement lesson plans for use in the classroom
- Evaluate in-school residency program, including current assessment model, and shape future growth
Management of teaching artists:
- Assist Director of Education in hiring teaching artists each season
- Evaluate and manage teaching artists throughout season and through formal check-ins at end of season
- Coordinate and schedule in-school residencies with schools and teaching artists for two Steppenwolf for Young Adults productions and auxiliary programming each season
- Read and respond to teaching artist lesson plans, assessment worksheets and final assessments
- Process weekly payments for teaching artists
- Manage supplies for program
- Plan annual teaching artist retreat
Support for Steppenwolf for Young Adult productions:
- Work alongside Director of Education to develop relationships with new CPS classrooms for future partnerships
- Work with Group Sales Department on reservations for school groups and communicate department philosophy, goals and information via phone conversations, emails and mailed materials to all students and teachers
- Provide administrative support for schools during productions: seating charts, bus signs, phone lists, etc.
- Lead post-show discussions during school performances for 500-member audiences
- Contribute to study guide content for Steppenwolf for Young Adult shows
Support for Teen Programs and Young Adult Council:
- Working alongside the Manager of Community Programs, provide support for the Young Adult Council, building connections between classroom teachers in the school residency program and youth served by teen programs
Support for City Connections Program:
- Working alongside the Manager of Community Programs, develop relationships with City Connections partners in order to deepen partnerships related to new school collaborations and beyond
Support to Development Department:
- Communicate with Development department about residency program, in particular vision and values of program
- Develop assessment tools, execution of these tools and documentation about residency program to aid Development in year-end reporting
Steppenwolf Theatre Company is the nation’s premier ensemble theater. Formed by a collective of actors in 1976, the ensemble represents a remarkable cross-section of actors, directors and playwrights. Thrilling and powerful productions from Balm in Gilead to August: Osage County—and accolades that include the National Medal of Arts and 12 Tony Awards— have made the theater legendary. Steppenwolf produces hundreds of performances and events annually in its three spaces: the 515-seat Downstairs Theatre, the 299-seat Upstairs Theatre and the 80-seat 1700 Theatre. Artistic programming includes a seven-play season; a two-play Steppenwolf for Young Adults season; Visiting Company engagements; and LookOut, a multigenre performances series. Education initiatives include the nationally recognized work of Steppenwolf for Young Adults, which engages 15,000 participants annually from Chicago’s diverse communities; the esteemed School at Steppenwolf; and Professional Leadership Programs. While firmly grounded in the Chicago community, nearly 40 original Steppenwolf productions have enjoyed success both nationally and internationally, including Broadway, Off-Broadway, London, Sydney, Galway and Dublin. Anna D. Shapiro is the Artistic Director and David Schmitz is the Executive Director. For additional information, visit steppenwolf.org, facebook.com/steppenwolftheatre, twitter.com/steppenwolfthtr and instagram.com/steppenwolfthtr.
Compensation is competitive with prevailing compensation for similar positions within the non-profit performing arts industry. Excellent benefit package offered, including medical, dental and vision insurance, short-term and long-term disability insurance, employee assistance program, vacation pay, paid sick leave, and 401(k) retirement program.
This position reports to the Director of Education. Note: This job requires availability for nights and weekend events and trainings, etc.