Director of Education and School Programs

Childsplay / Tempe, AZ

Director of Education and School Programs — Overview

Childsplay seeks an individual ready to take a leadership role in the field of arts education to serve as our Director of Education and School Programs. This position guides all school-based activities and serves as the project director for Childsplay’s award-winning, evidence-based professional development, in-school and community residency programs. This individual will take a leadership role in current research-based grants from the U.S. Department of Education and will be responsible for the strategic development and growth of current and new education and community programming. The position manages a $1 million revenue goal for school-based programs including field trips, in-school performances, and residencies and oversees our School Programs team. A successful candidate will demonstrate strong skills in spearheading school and community partnerships, an extensive background in program and curriculum development, a passion for big-picture thinking combined with the ability to implement new ideas, an abiding curiosity and love of learning and research, and true joy in creating drama with young people.

This role is part of an ensemble that celebrates learning and creativity, encourages innovation, and provides multiple opportunities for professional growth. The work at Childsplay is fast, furious and extremely rewarding. We offer a terrific family environment and the fulfillment of working for a company with a mission to improve the lives of young people through the arts.

Childsplay is currently on a strategic journey with the goal of becoming a bilingual, culturally inclusive theatre by 2030. This position will provide leadership and guidance as we work towards achieving this goal. Childsplay values equity, diversity, and inclusion throughout our organization, programs and audiences. We are committed to giving underrepresented artists a safe space to create art and community. By welcoming people with differences in religion, ethnicity, sexual orientation, class, gender identity, ability, and age we are better able to celebrate that which brings humankind together: imagination and wonder.

Director of Education and School Programs — Responsibilities and Qualifications


The Director of Education and School Programs is a full-time, exempt position. It leads the design and implementation of all school and community-based programs, including but not limited to the following activities:

  • Serve as a leadership voice within the organization, providing expertise from the perspective of schools and community investment in all strategic and programming conversations
  • Implement and develop strategies for expanding and scaling Childsplay’s evidence-based professional development programs (EYEPlay and Drama Frames)
  • Spearhead current and new research grants in partnership with the Associate Artistic Director and Arizona State University and participate in the development and execution of research protocols
  • Implement existing and develop new school and community-based residency programs
  • Oversee the development 360 degree programming to support and extend school performance experiences (e.g. curriculum guides, talk-backs, etc.)
  • Manage a $1 million revenue budget for school programs (inclusive of field trips, in-school performances and residencies)
  • Supervise the Education Programs Manager, School Booking Coordinator, and Teaching Artists
  • In partnership with the Marketing team, develop and implement marketing strategies for all school-related programs, including field trips, in-school performances, and residencies
  • Commit to participating in and guiding the evolution of Childsplay, and specifically its school and community engagement programs, as we journey towards becoming a bi-lingual, culturally responsive theatre
  • Other duties as assigned


The ideal candidate will possess

  • A passion for education, theatre, and Childsplay’s mission as well as a healthy sense of humor
  • A deep understanding of arts integration and the current education landscape
  • Extensive experience in program and curriculum development
  • Demonstrated ability to build and sustain community and school partnerships/relationships
  • A passion for research, learning and reflective practice
  • Experience in leading professional development programs
  • An understanding of SEL Learning best practices
  • An understanding of digital education models
  • Supervisory experience
  • Strong writing, communication, and computer skills
  • Eight or more years of related experience, BA degree in a related discipline (e.g. theatre, education, non-profit management) OR equivalent combination of education and experience
  • Ability to travel independently to schools around the Phoenix area
  • A valid driver’s license and fingerprint clearance card are required

Optional, but beneficial:

  • Specialty or interest in early childhood education
  • Fluency in Spanish (speaking and writing)
  • Experience in designing and implementing research studies

You’ll Be A Great Fit if: 

  • You are a creative and innovative thinker — and you like to think big!
  • You can take an idea and turn it into a functioning program
  • You thrive on collaboration
  • You multi-task with a flair!
  • You are equally comfortable teaching a pre-school creative drama class and pitching a residency to a Superintendent and School Board
  • You daydream about the ways that creative drama can support a range of community needs — and then you show up at the table to say “here’s how theatre can contribute”
  • Walking into a room full of young people lights up your day
  • You can spot a good teaching artist a mile a way — and love working with artists to develop their craft
  • You cultivate and encourage continued learning opportunities and experiences for staff
  • You lead from a place of compassion, empathy and joy
  • You stay cool under pressure
  • You are a good listener and observer and can read a room
  • You enjoy the iterative process of creation, reflection, revision, revision, revision
  • You’re always learning. The only thing you know for certain is that you don’t know it all and relish the prospect of being a part of a learning organization.
  • This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary is $45,000+/year DOE including benefits. Childsplay has a casual office environment and dress code, and unlimited opportunities to develop creative and ground breaking arts education strategies.  Job is temporarily remote, but will typically be in person.

Due to our work in the schools and with young people, all serious candidates must submit to finger printing and a background criminal check.

Please submit cover letter and resume/CV to with “Director of Education and School Programs” in the subject line. The position is open until filled; interviews will begin the week of May 3rd. Please submit your information prior to May 1st to guarantee consideration for the job. No phone calls, please.

Founded in 1977, Childsplay’s mission is to create theatre so strikingly original in form, content or both, that it instills in young people an enduring awe, love and respect for the medium, thus preserving imagination and wonder, those hallmarks of childhood that are keys to the future.

Childsplay, Inc. is an equal opportunity employer, and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of age, race, color, religion, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, or marital status.