Chief Managing Officer

Imagination Stage / Bethesda, MD



Imagination Stage empowers all young people to discover their voice and identity through performing arts education and professional theater.
– Imagination Stage Mission Statement

Imagination Stage (ISI) was founded as BAPA (Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) in 1979 in response to the urgent need for arts education for young people. The company was renamed Imagination Stage in 2001 in anticipation of its move to its downtown Bethesda theater arts center in 2003. Imagination Stage has grown from a handful of children in a single classroom to a full-spectrum theatre arts organization, with theatre productions by professional actors and artists. Unlike most children’s theatre companies, Imagination Stage commissions new works for children every year. These productions have been recognized with awards and productions by other companies around the world.

Our most recent evolutionary stage is driven by our Theatre for Change initiative, which is currently the fastest-growing element of our work. Theatre for Change comprises three programs that use theatre productions and educational workshops to bridge cultural divides and offer platforms for underrepresented voices. Exploring complex social justice issues, we help build a new generation of compassionate, collaborative youths who are inspired to change the world. These three programs: help immigrant youths share their stories and connect with their new community, bring together 12- to 18-year-olds and law enforcement officers through applied theatre activities, and reach youth who are incarcerated using playwriting and spoken word.

Today, Imagination Stage is incorporated in Maryland and DC, and has programs at 75 sites around the DMV as well as at its Arts Center in Bethesda. The organization has approximately 40 full time staff members and over 300 annual and contract labor staff members.

Imagination Stage’s Values are:

  • FOR EVERY ABILITY: We strive for our programs and organization to embrace all artistry, abilities, and talent by prioritizing working together and learning from each other.
  • YOUTH DEVELOPMENT: We strive for the future of young people by nurturing their creative, social, and emotional growth through excellent, innovative theatre and arts education experiences.
  • REPRESENTATION MATTERS: We strive for a safe haven for young people to explore their own identities by, in part, seeing themselves reflected in our staff and respected on stage.
  • THE NEEDS OF NOW: We strive to serve the evolving needs of our community by being in constant relationship with local partners and national leaders alike.

The organization is led by Board Chairs, Kim W. Barnette, PhD (Maryland Board), Yasemin Washington (DC Board), and Chief Artistic Programming Officer, Joanne Seelig Lamparter. You can find out more about them via this link.

The Job

The Chief Managing Officer advances the vision and mission of ISI (Imagination Stage Maryland and Imagination Stage DC) by leading and supervising all aspects of the organization, including efficient daily operation and administration, strategic planning, fundraising, marketing, community relations, and governance of the Boards. In collaboration with the Chief Artistic Programming Officer and the senior staff, this role is responsible for planning, budgeting, and aligning resources around season selection and educational programming. The Managing Director partners with the senior staff to develop and implement the marketing and development strategies for the organization. As a public representative of Imagination Stage, the Managing Director must cultivate close, authentic relationships with local community leaders, government officials, donors, and other community stakeholders to achieve organization objectives.

Your Roles and Responsibilities
Organizational Leadership and Governance

  • Reflect the organization’s values in daily management, strategic planning, and communication;
  • Empower staff through clear internal communications and cultivating a shared understanding of ISI’s vision, mission and organization goals.
  • Establish a positive, healthy, and safe work environment in accordance with ISI’s core values and all appropriate legislation and regulations;
  • Support Imagination Stage’s culture of transparency, optimism, entrepreneurial profile, and celebration;
  • Seek opportunities to grow and expand the organization’s work and footprint in the region;
  • Ensure all programs, hiring decisions, and management decisions are carried out with a diversity lens and that they adhere to the organization’ stated values.
  • Cultivates existing and future trustees to the appropriate boards of ISI.
  • Fosters effective teamwork among the Boards, the Executive Leadership Team and the staff and faculty.

Institutional Advancement

  • Lead upcoming capital campaign efforts including securing a DC location for ISI, creating the business plan for this new entity, and increasing major donor support over the next 3 years
  • Develop and maintain relationships with elected officials, community members, and businesses to communicate ISI’s mission, vision, and values and lobby for funding when appropriate. This includes taking meetings (during and after business hours), making phone calls, sending emails, visiting government offices/officials. Connect ISI’s work with the work of others to argue for support and policymaking.
  • Create and maintain relationship with Producers’ League of Theatre for Young Audiences (PLOTYA), TYA-USA, Theatre Communications Group (TCG), State Assisted Instruction (SAI), Maryland State Arts Council (MSAC), Montgomery County Arts and Humanities Council (AHCMC), the DC Commission on the Arts and Humanities (DCCAH), and other local, state and national organizations as required.
  • Be a vocal champion of the value of the arts for children and young people.
  • Maintain personal and intellectual involvement with key challenges and concerns within the theatre, arts education, children’s issues, the economics of the arts industry, the economics of the local business and politics.
  • Create new relationships with businesses and other nonprofits to expand ISI’s influence and operations.
  • With Chief Artistic Programming Officer, act as primary spokesperson for ISI.

Strategic Leadership and Planning

  • Achieve sustainable and diversified earned and contributed resources to support ISI programs and operations in MD and DC.
  • Create and implement strategic, long- term financial planning that positions ISI to attain the financial resources necessary to accomplish long-term organizational strategies and priorities.
  • Ensure an innovative and comprehensive approach to building sustainable levels of earned revenue for both organizations. Explore opportunities to develop new or existing earned revenue streams that are consistent with ISI’s brand and culture.
  • Establish an efficient and timely annual operating budget process and work with the leadership and executive staff and the board finance committee to develop the annual budget for timely presentation to the board for discussion and approval.
  • With facilities team, create and monitor a capital budget and organization’s capital spending. Establish, plan for, and manage all immediate and long-term facility needs in collaboration with facilities staff.

Revenue Generation

  • Ensure that earned income goals are met through strategic and targeted marketing
  • Ensure that programmatic and organizational marketing and advertising plans are in place, implemented and evaluated.
  • Ensure annual contributed revenue goals are achieved.
  • Serve as primary contact/fundraising officer for organization’s major donors.
  • Ensure that written annual fundraising plans are in place, implemented and evaluated.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with donors (individuals, foundations, corporations, government agencies)

Who are we looking for?
The top candidates will have the following qualifications:

  • Senior management or administrative experience in a nonprofit organization, with a strong preference for those with experience in the nonprofit sector in arts, education, or theater.
  • Experience with collaborative leadership organizational models
  • A proven track record of successful financial management, including budgeting and fundraising.
    Strong strategic planning and organizational development skills.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal abilities, including written communication, public speaking and networking skills.
  • A strong passion for youth theater, familiarity with the performing arts industry, and an understanding of theater production processes.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with diverse groups of stakeholders, including artists, staff, board members, young adults, children, and other community members.
  • A demonstrated commitment to the values of antiracism, equity, and inclusion and demonstrated experience working with BIPOC artists and communities.
  • Demonstrated leadership in assuring that the artistic, human, and financial resources of the organization are effectively deployed with care and compassion.
  • A demonstrated history of cultivating relationships across a variety of communities.
  • A connection to or knowledge of the DC, Maryland, Virginia area is a plus.

Imagination Stage celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive workplace that values members of our whole community. Imagination Stage is an Equal Opportunity Employer. It does not tolerate discrimination against applicants or employees on the basis of gender, race, color, religion, national origin, age, sexual orientation, disability, citizenship, or any other characteristic protected by law. Candidates from diverse backgrounds are strongly encouraged to apply.

Salary and Benefits

Salary: $115,000-$130,000/year.

Benefits Package includes:

  • 75% coverage for HMO individual insurance
  • Paid Time Off: 20 vacation days; 2 personal days; 7 sick days; 12 paid holidays
  • Transit/Parking benefit
  • Generous free and reduced priced tickets, classes, and summer camps

How do I learn more?
Visit to submit your application. Applications are due no later than May 24, 2024.