Managing Director

Pioneer Theatre Company / Salt Lake City, UT


$135,000 to $165,000

Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) in Salt Lake City, Utah, seeks its next Managing Director (MD) to partner with Artistic Director Karen Azenberg in leading the city’s premier theatre company and its team through this challenging era to ensure that PTC continues to make its significant contributions to the city and to the field.

Pioneer Theatre Company (PTC) is Utah’s premiere professional theatre company. The company has been the theatre in residence at The University of Utah since its origin in 1962. Steadily and with an understated profile that belies its extraordinary record of top-notch theatrical offerings, PTC has established itself as a significant regional player in the theatre world, brimming with ambition for further artistic excellence and achievement. Click here for more information about this company and opportunity.

The ideal candidate will bring expertise in the non-profit performing arts field, from strong financial acumen and strategic thinking to a human centric and ethical leadership ethos and a commitment to civic connection. This individual will be able to work in a fast-paced environment, prioritizing tasks and responding to the needs of others with critical thinking, tenacity, and resiliency.

PTC’s next Managing Director will take their place in the local arts leadership with priorities that include:

  • Forging an energized, complementary, and collaborative relationship with PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg.
  • Attracting new sources of revenue, both through philanthropic fund development and untapped earned revenue options, with an overall goal of increasing PTC’s budget in order to remain competitive within the industry.
  • Bolstering an already supportive culture to keep and attract the best talent working in the professional theatre field.
  • Ensuring that PTC is the leading voice in cultural discussions within the community and is always a significant player in Salt Lake City’s greater cultural dialogue.
  • Deepening and enriching the existing partnership with the University of Utah, creatively expanding new opportunities for synergy and cross-pollination.
  • Embracing and maintaining PTC as a place where a diverse group of staff, board, and artists feel inspired to work in a safe and nurturing environment.

PTC and Salt Lake City have collectively come to a moment of thrilling forward momentum that makes the future rife with possibility for excitement and growth.

The Managing Director and the PTC Artistic Director Karen Azenberg will form a supportive, collaborative, and encouraging partnership. As a co-partner/leader in PTC’s trajectory of increasing artistic achievement and notoriety, the managing director will report directly to the Associate Vice President for the Arts and work in close partnership with the PTC Board of Directors. Possessing a collective outlook on leading the developmental efforts of the organization, the managing director will clarify PTC’s primary objectives and drive resource alignment and growth for continuing success. The Managing Director will ultimately oversee all operational functions in the areas of fundraising, audience development, and communication and Human Resources. Essential responsibilities include:

  • Create and maintain a relationship of trust, encouragement, collaboration, and joyful exploration with PTC’s artistic director.
  • Continue PTC’s strong alliance with the University of Utah community, exploring deeper engagement for a continuing and mutually beneficial relationship while maintaining PTC’s historical artistic and managerial independence.
  • Work to more deeply define PTC place as a local, regional, and national source of the highest quality professional theatrical experiences for audiences seeking a diverse palette of plays and musicals.
  • Expand PTC’s audience and donor base through programs that reach younger people (particularly those in the tech and biomedical sectors), suburban dwellers, and underrepresented communities.
  • Celebrate PTC’s mission and vision in new ways that continue to engage long-time supporters, while making room for new constituents.
  • Lead fund development efforts from both a contributed and earned income perspective.
    With the assistance of the board, learn about the philanthropic and patron culture in Salt Lake City.
  • Serve as an open resource to staff for ideas, deliberation, and any conflict resolution.
    Promote a culture of transparency, productivity, balance, creativity, and harmony.
  • Check in regularly with the artistic director regarding organizational and artistic vision, mission, and update strategic plans as necessary.
  • Fostering and continuing to develop the integrated, collaborative and evolving relationship between PTC and the University of Utah Department of Theatre.

Ideally, the successful candidate for this role will possess these skills and experience:

  • An authentic love of theatre and the ability to passionately convey that passion to a wide range of audiences.
  • The savvy and desire to work within a University administrative setting, keenly understanding how to effectively make this currently mutually beneficial relationship as effective as possible.
  • A demonstrated pattern of success in administrative leadership roles requiring a high level of political and managerial dexterity.
  • An active and creative mind.
  • Extensive experience and clear skill in creating, understanding and managing budgets and financial tracking models for each production and season.
  • A transparent and open style of staff management and leadership.
  • A commitment to creating an expanding culture of equity, diversity, inclusion, and accessibility.
  • Experience with—and excitement about—fundraising.
  • Exceptional communication skills—both verbal and written—and taking satisfaction in serving as a major public ambassador for PTC’s work.
  • Effective track record of working with boards of directors, volunteers, and other support groups.
  • At minimum, a bachelor’s degree and, preferably, a graduate degree in a relevant discipline.
  • Familiarity with requirements of theatrical unions, with experience in negotiating agreements with the theatrical unions.

Special Attributes and Qualities
The following personal attributes will also be considered important:

  • High emotional intelligence and an ability to build relationships of trust.
  • A love of people and the ability to engage those from a variety of backgrounds and experiences with an open heart and mind.
  • A proactive attitude combined with an innate sense of strategy.
  • Innovative problem-solving talents.
  • Discipline, rigor, and an appreciation of the highest level of artistic excellence.

The Managing Director will constantly put “we” before “I” in their set of personal and professional values. Through organization and foresight, the managing director will anticipate problems and create well-rounded plans for PTC’s continuing reach and impact. The most successful candidate will enhance the vision and ambition of PTC’s artistic director while guiding the ship with a steady and measured hand.

A Note from Tom O’Connor Consulting Group:
Not sure you meet 100% of our qualifications? Research shows that men apply for jobs when they fulfill an average of 60% of the criteria. Yet, women and other people who are systematically marginalized tend only to apply if they meet every requirement. If you believe that you could excel in this role, we encourage you to apply.

We are dedicated to considering a broad array of candidates, including those with diverse workplace experiences and backgrounds. So, whether you’re returning to work after a gap in employment, simply looking to transition, or taking the next step in your career path, we will be glad to have you on our radar.

Please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role.

The salary for the new managing director will be competitive with the salaries of administrative leaders of other companies of comparable stature and size, within a range of $135,000 to $165,000. As an employee of the University of Utah, the managing director will receive the University’s generous benefit package as part of the total compensation offering. The benefit package is a perk that is rare to administrators in the arts and culture world.

PTC anticipates making a decision by May of 2024, with the chosen candidate completing some transition work with PTC Interim Managing Director, Diane Parisi, in the spring of 2024, before assuming full position responsibilities by July of 2024.

Application Instructions
The search for the Managing Director is being conducted in partnership with Pioneer Theatre Company by Tom O’Connor Consulting Group, a New York-based executive search and consulting firm specializing in the arts and culture industries. Cynthia Fuhrman is leading the search process, reporting to a search committee appointed by leadership at the University of Utah in consultation with the Pioneer Theatre Board.

To apply, please use your cover letter to tell us about what you hope to bring to this role, and how your background and experience responds to the desired skills and qualities.

Interested and qualified candidates should submit a résumé that includes three references, cover letter (no more than 1 ½ pages), and salary expectation electronically to the online application.

The priority application deadline for this search is March 4, 2024. Applications received by this date will be given priority consideration. While we will still accept and consider applications received after this date, we encourage you to apply as early as possible for the best chance at being considered for the position. Please note that meeting the priority deadline does not guarantee an interview. No phone calls, please. The search is being led by TOCG’s Vice President of Executive Search, Cynthia Fuhrman.

Click here to apply.