Dallas Children's Theater / Dallas, TX01.25.23
The annual salary for the Executive Director role at Dallas Children’s Theater starts at $150,000 and includes a full benefit package commensurate with other organizations of its size.
Interested candidates may apply for this position by visiting this link.
Dallas Children’s Theater (DCT) invites mission-driven organizational leaders with a deep love for youth and family programming to join a team of seasoned, committed professionals who together will lead the theater into new horizons of success and impact. The Executive Director, in partnership with the Artistic Director, will work to ensure that the vision for the theater is defined by joy, optimism, and a commitment to quality programming. Priority will be given to positive experiences in the arts which afford young people chances to build creative and confident minds and souls. The Executive Director will actively advance and advocate for DCT’s commitment and ongoing work to be a highly diverse, collaborative and artist-centric organization. As an organization originally built by artists as administrators, a synergistically minded Executive Director would join an institution founded on a unique framework that requires a view of decision-making through the lens of the art itself and the artists creating the work. DCT has a more inclusive approach to innovation and problem solving than is typical. This approach is inherent in the organization’s core infrastructure and personality.
Leveraging the deep roots already established in Dallas over 38 years coupled with the goal of expanding the means and manner in which DCT presents its work, the next Executive Director along with the dynamic leadership team will build upon a tremendous legacy and help find new ways to showcase DCT as one of the nation’s most important theaters for youth and families.
BACKGROUND, HISTORY, AND THE FUTURE
Dallas Children’s Theater was founded in 1984 by Robyn Flatt and Dennis Vincent, in response to the growing need for professional family theater. Since its founding the theater has become a leading voice in theater for young audiences. With a multi-million-dollar budget, DCT is the largest professional family theater in the southwest. DCT historically has offered a season of eight to ten fully produced productions in the expansive Rosewood Center for Family Arts. DCT is also deeply committed to arts education and offers training and enrichment experiences through its theater academy and arts-in-education programs for local schools. The company has been recognized for its national touring productions. (The national tour was paused in 2020 in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.)
Dallas Children’s Theater envisions a world where young people, having been astonished, delighted and challenged by the transformational experience of theater, are inspired to creatively contribute to the vibrancy of their communities.
The mission of Dallas Children’s Theater is to inspire young people to creative and productive lives through the art of theater.
To give rise to theater that is inspiring, Dallas Children’s Theater:
- Creates and produces innovative professional theater for a multi-generational audience through original works, world premieres, literary classics, folk and fairy tales and contemporary drama;
- Employs and collaborates with acclaimed professional artists;
- Develops dynamic programs that integrate arts into curricula … enriching language skills, learning processes, and promoting an early appreciation for the arts by bringing literature to life;
- Builds bridges of understanding between generations and cultures through the timeless and universal voice and language of theater’s multisensory approach;
- Offers performing arts classes and experiences on a year-round basis.
Theatrical Passion: By providing a home base for artists, Dallas Children’s Theater creates powerful live theater to expose children, families, educators and community members to both classic and contemporary works. Dallas Children’s Theater dedicates its resources to elevating the field on a local as well as national level.
Commitment to Staff: Dallas Children’s Theater is committed to providing staff with wages and benefits that recognize their contribution to the organization’s overall success and regularly evaluates these decisions equally alongside other budgetary priorities.
Inspiring Creativity: Dallas Children’s Theater believes every child is unique and has something valuable to contribute to society. We help them embrace creativity as an intrinsic part of life, inspiring them to imaginative and rewarding lives.
Innovative Leadership: Dallas Children’s Theater uses its art form to present issues facing today’s youth and supplements dramatic performances with workshops and events featuring leading experts in education, arts and health to ignite enlightening and powerful conversation.
Reaching Out: Dallas Children’s Theater believes all children, families and members in the education community deserve the opportunity to experience live theater and its powerful effects; especially those who might consider cost a barrier.
Arts and Community: Dallas Children’s Theater believes that the collective arts are a critical part of where we all live, work and play and is therefore committed to taking on new challenges and collaborating with its peers to use the arts to make a positive impact in its community—both today and in the future.
Equity, Diversity, Justice, and Inclusion: DCT is committed to the kind of excellence in theater arts programming that challenges and inspires young people from every race, culture, gender, social class, ability and sexual orientation to develop their unique creative talents and individual perspectives in order to contribute to a more pluralistic and peaceful world. DCT promotes equity, diversity, and inclusion in all areas of the institution, including its programming, board and staff. To read more about DCT’s commitment, download their Strategic Anti-Racism, Inclusivity, Diversity, Equity, Access and Accountability Action Plan HERE.
DCT’S commitment to social justice has been evident from its inception. The theater believes fully in telling stories that have of-the-moment bearing and relevance to contemporary youth. In that effort, DCT looks at programming through a wide lens, and making a season where the joy of musical theater productions such as DON’T LET THE PIGEON DRIVE THE BUS! THE MUSICAL! can exist alongside plays exploring inclusion such as LAST STOP ON MARKET STREET, and content for teen audiences about gender identity such as ANDI BOI (offered this season as a virtual viewing option).
The current transition and search for a new Executive Director is a first for DCT as co-founder Robyn Flatt steps down from her role as the organization’s leader to shift her focus to other projects in support of DCT’s ongoing operations and community legacy. Flatt’s leadership has been notable for the steady and measured growth of the theater, staff stability and an unflagging dedication to youth, creativity and collaboration. This leadership style has ensured a high level of shared ownership across the organization’s departments. The next Executive Director will have the opportunity to build upon a strong foundation while bringing in new ideas and energies that will complement and positively challenge the institution towards an even more profound impact on the lives of youth and families in the Dallas metro area and beyond.
DCT holds a unique place in the Dallas metroplex as a key component of the city’s rich cultural scene. In a city with a metro area population of 1.3 million (Dallas is the ninth largest city in the United States and the 4th largest metropolitan area), DCT is centrally located in a facility that offers a welcoming performance space (a 380-seat proscenium theater and a 180-seat studio theater), shops, administrative offices, costume and set design rooms, costume storage, classrooms, and rehearsal rooms. DCT is currently governed by a 38-member Board of Trustees with a potential of 50 members, operates on a $4.2 million budget, and employs a dedicated team of full-time, part-time, and seasonal professionals. Main stage performances are presented with professional union and non-union actors. More about DCT can be found at https://www.dct.org.
POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES
The Executive Director is DCT’s top leader, setting strategy and operational priorities in concert with DCT’s Board leadership and the Artistic Director. The Executive Director and the Artistic Director report to the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director will respect the history of this great theater while driving collaboration and teaming with artists to set a strategic direction to meet today’s needs and future challenges. Priorities for the position are as follows:
Fundraising and Development
- Working with DCT’s fundraising staff and Board of Trustee members, develop and implement funding goals and strategies for unearned income from foundations, government entities, corporations and individuals as well as develop a plan for securing capital funds needed for major improvements and actively engage in activities that will ensure planned success.
- Liaise with Board of Trustees and Advisory Board members to leverage their time, energy, expertise, and funding support on behalf of DCT.
- Find creative ways to network and grow connections with both local and national funders.
- Develop and curate relationships with community funders to help drive mission driven performances and initiatives.
- Create compelling ways to tell DCT’s story through innovative marketing strategies, leaning into new technologies and possibilities for amplifying DCT’s message.
- Provide overall operational leadership for the organization working in concert with the managers in the areas of finance, fundraising, human resources, marketing, education, production, artistic, facilities and their teams. Inspire teams to do their best work and support their professional development as individuals and as leaders within TYA.
- Working with the finance team and other department managers, develop and actively monitor budgets and be accountable for DCT’s financial performance. Communicate financial performance monthly or more frequently, if needed, to the Board of Trustees.
- Review, approve, and ensure compliance with organization contracts.
- Partner with the Artistic Director and staff to achieve the best possible version of the artistic programming we deliver.
- Support the Associate Artistic Director and the Production Manager in the negotiating and management of the Equity contract and the overall relationship with Actors’ Equity Association.
- Demonstrate leadership in the areas of Human Resources, Facilities, and Production Management.
- Demonstrate a personal commitment to DCT’s values by promoting diversity among participants and stakeholders and creating an environment where the good of the organization, its staff, and the community is held in the highest regard (to include hiring, evaluations, and salary recommendations).
- Take an active part in all Board meetings and work closely with DCT’s Board leadership on setting organizational priorities. Advise the board on governance issues and participate in board recruitment activities.
- Lead all strategic planning processes and take responsibility for timelines and implementation
Chief Spokesperson and Face of the Organization
- Serve as an enthusiastic ambassador for DCT in interviews, conferences, and other public relations opportunities.
- Understand and support the organization’s marketing plan and its efforts to allocate funds and resources toward maintaining DCT’s reputation and presence in support of both institutional and programmatic marketing.
- Be an active participant alongside the DCT Education Director and others in cultivating and building relationships with education partners in support of our Student Matinee Performance Series programs and others.
- Ensure that DCT education and engagement efforts are fully integrated with DCT artistic activities and ensure that DCT is offering programs and initiatives that prioritize accessibility for the entire community.
- Be active in Dallas’s thriving arts and culture scene as a welcoming colleague, collaborating with other theater makers in the community.
- Connect to the national theater for young audience network, enthusiastically taking a leadership role in discussions within the field.
- Partner with the organization’s Founder to facilitate an effective transition with a focus on growing and expanding DCT’s programming and relevance with the audiences we serve through relationship and capacity building.
Candidates seeking this opportunity to serve as DCT’s next Executive Director should also be confident about how they will address strengths and stretches in these desired traits and skills:
- Prior success in securing gifts from individuals, foundations, corporations, and government sources with a strong passion for all aspects of donor cultivation.
- A warrior for the arts.
- A positive outlook, someone who sees opportunity in challenge.
- A strong belief in the importance of listening to and engaging young people in conversation and creativity.
- A genuine preference for collaborative decision making and creating a collaborative culture where the good of the team is recognized alongside the care of individuals.
- A capacity to meet people where they are, be an active listener, and serve as an impactful mentor.
- A personality that appreciates open debate in a respectful and forward moving manner, always believing the best decisions come from collaboration and listening to a broad range of opinions.
- A high level of organizational skills and ability to prioritize.
- A strong work ethic and dedication to accountability and responsibility.
- An honesty and integrity that is obvious and sets the model for others.
- A zest for life, a great sense of humor and love of learning new things.
- A strategic mind that can see many steps forward in a process.
COMPENSATION AND START DATE
The annual salary for the Executive Director role at Dallas Children’s Theater starts at $150,000 and includes a full benefit package commensurate with other organizations of its size. DCT hopes to make its decision by late spring of 2023 with the chosen candidate taking on the position shortly thereafter. DCT is an equal opportunity employer that celebrates diversity and is committed to creating an inclusive and collaborative environment for all employees.
HOW TO APPLY
Jonathan West and David Mallette are the consultants from Management Consultants for the Arts leading this important search. To be considered for this position, you must submit pertinent information including name, contact information, and salary requirement and attach a current résumé, a cover letter (no more than 1½ pages describing why this post and organization is attractive to you and what about you and your work makes you a potentially strong contributor to Dallas Children’s Theater), and four professional references (name, work relationship, email, phone) using the online application system. Once all materials have been submitted online, the applicant will receive a confirmation of their submission via the email address provided in the application. For clarification on any of this information, please contact Christy Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.