California Arts Council

State of California

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Managing Director
Crowded Fire Theater Company

San Francisco, CA

Crowded Fire Theater Seeks Managing Director – San Francisco’s Crowded Fire Theater, an indispensable home for new play production on the West Coast, is seeking a Managing Director to guide programming and oversee the financial and administrative infrastructure of the organization. Ideal candidates will have experience in nonprofit theater management and a combination of skills including strategic thinking, financial forecasting & analysis, budgeting, marketing, fundraising, and grant writing. Equally important are a collaborative ethic, comfort with artistic risk & new play development, community engagement, and a deep and lasting commitment to a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion within the organization. The Managing Director works in close collaboration with the Artistic Director in the day-to-day operation of the theater, and reports to the Board of Directors. This is currently a paid full-time position with no benefits, requiring a significant commitment of both time and passion. Crowded Fire, founded in 1997, now operates on an annual budget of $300,000, having experienced significant growth in the last two years. The company currently shares rehearsal & administrative offices with Golden Thread Productions, is a resident theater at the Potrero Stage (formerly the Thick House), and hires union actors under the MBAT Agreement with Actors’ Equity Association. We are seeking a creative administrative leader who is primed to deepen and cultivate Crowded Fire’s leadership and work as an essential new play organization in the national theater ecology and within our surrounding community.

As a vital voice in Bay Area theater about to embark on its 20th anniversary season, Crowded Fire contributes to the creation of a contemporary canon that reflects the world in which we live; championing diverse voices on stage is one of our core values. Many of our playwrights forged their first productions with us and are now recognized nationally as significant voices in a new generation of American theater. It is through their unconventional lens that we explore inventive writing forms and innovative design, selecting plays that disrupt and complicate comfortable notions of cultural hierarchy and experiment with form. In addition to two-to-three mainstage shows produced each season at the Potrero Stage (a 90 seat venue in the Potrero Hill neighborhood of San Francisco), we offer a robust new play development program through The Matchbox: Commissioning and Development Program. The Matchbox actively supports the creation of high-quality contemporary theater through commissions, in-house workshops, an annual free public reading series, and now an R&D Playwright Lab. We cultivate long-term relationships with playwrights, producing much of the work we commission and develop. Recent Matchbox commissions that have reached production are A Tale of Autumn and The Late Wedding by resident playwright Christopher Chen, and The Taming by Lauren Gunderson.

In addition to the Managing Director, the staff consists of a full-time Artistic Director and permanent, part-time positions including a Production Manager and Director of Audience Engagement. At the heart of CFT is a dedicated ensemble of Resident Artists -- actors, designers, technicians, and dramaturgs  -- who are intimately involved in the artistic life of the company and serve as an advisory committee to the artistic leadership and staff.

Primary responsibilities of the Managing Director include stewardship of the company’s resources. Areas of focus include, but are not limited to, financial/operations (create annual budgets, maintain all financial records, manage cash flow and book-keeping, developing financial and legal reporting for stakeholders, manage payroll), external communications/audience development/marketing (collaborate to develop audience outreach, manage seasonal/show-by-show marketing plan, graphics, and PR communications, develop and execute the season ticket program, manage website and company database, evolve front-of-house processes), fundraising efforts (partner with Artistic Director and Board on annual fundraising plan including donor cultivation, corporate giving, and foundation giving), board and company communications/relations towards embodying Crowded Fire’s values and implementing the organization’s strategic plan.

Ideal candidate’s experience will include:

  • Experience with accounting software (specifically Quickbooks) a plus.

  • Budgeting experience and efficiency using MS Excel spreadsheets.

  • At minimum two years experience in nonprofit management.

  • Ability to create financial reports.

  • Experience in grantwriting desired.

  • Experience in fundraising desired.

  • Experience in marketing, a plus.

  • Experience in ticketing software, a plus.

  • Attention to detail.

  • Industry knowledge desired.

Ideal candidate qualities include:

  • Strong communications skills with intuitive awareness.

  • Strategic thinking and analytical skills, with the ability to look ahead.

  • Strong consensus builder with the ability to motivate people and build strong teams.

  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration.

  • Must be detailed oriented and able to work within a fast paced environment with multiple deadlines.

  • Excellent follow-through with strong implementation skills.

  • A learning leader who is self-reflective.

  • Strong negotiation skills.

  • Strong problem-solver.

  • Sense of humor and a love of theater.

Interested candidates should email a detailed cover letter explaining their interest in the position, CV, salary range requirements, and the names of three references to the Search Committee at Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will remain open until the position is filled. Early submissions are encouraged. No phone calls or packets by regular mail, please.  Further information at

Crowded Fire Theater Company provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, or gender. We are a member of Theater Communications Group’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Institute.

Deadline: 08-31-2017

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