Studio East Managing Director

Studio East Training for the Performing Arts / Kirkland, WA

Studio East Training for the Performing Arts is seeking an accomplished Managing Director to partner with our Artistic Director to lead our best-in-class programming that inspires young students and audiences in the art and craft of theater.

Who We Are

Studio East provides best-in-class theater education, performance skills and audience opportunities to inspire, train and entertain young people through engagement in the art and craft of theater.  Our touring company, StoryBook Theater, introduces young children throughout the greater Puget Sound area to live musical theater imbued with positive life lessons, performing for an audience of over 65,000 annually. We believe theater is a transformative, cultural force that develops valuable skills children can use throughout their lives, regardless of their eventual chosen vocation.

In our 29th year, we are one of the largest children’s theater programs in Washington, serving the greater Seattle community.  Each year the Studio challenges over 3,500 children (NON-COVID) from ages 4-19 through a comprehensive program of year-round theater classes, homeschool classes, summer theater camps, student main stage productions, and after school outreach programs at local schools, giving youth the tools they need to succeed.

Pre-COVID, Studio East operated with a budget of just over $2 million with full time staff of 15. Today, as we look to rebuild in a post-pandemic new normal, our current fiscal budget is $1 million, with 7 full time staff, and multiple contractors and teaching artists. Our goal is to chart a post-pandemic course to return to an approximate $2 million budget with the re-opening of audiences and full facility capacity for our complete line up of programming.

We currently rent Kirkland Teen Union Building in downtown Kirkland, WA, with the goal of pursuing a permanent home. We rent storage space as well as other performance spaces for our main stage productions and StoryBook Theater.

Our Core Values

  • We define inclusivity with two words: welcome home. The entire Studio East organization creates and supports an environment that embraces individuals from any background, culture, identity, orientation, or ability, and strives to foster a sense of real belonging.
  • We lead from the heart and educate from the head.
  • We believe in every young person’s ability to embrace the highest-quality and socially-relevant theater, believing they can find inside themselves the desire to make a meaningful contribution and achieve their personal best.

Our Executive Team

The Executive Team of Studio East reports directly to the Board of Directors and is comprised of the Managing Director (MD) and the Founding Artistic Director.  The two collaborate to lead this dynamic organization, sharing strategic, operational, and supervisory responsibilities for the Studio’s nonprofit staff, facility, programs, faculty, expansion, profit/loss, and execution of its mission.

Who You Are

You are a highly collaborative, business-savvy leader with both breadth and depth of knowledge and experience in not-for-profit theater, especially theater for young people and for young audiences. You are at your best when you are providing a highly skilled team the tools, structure and ‘oxygen’ they need to deliver at peak performance.  You’ve been waiting for just the right opportunity to take a great organization to the next level, charting a course to expand a great mission to new frontiers and invest in the next generation of young theater artists.  You take pride in focusing on the business details that allows the organization’s mission to flourish.

How You’ll Help Us

Collaborating with the Artistic Director, you will chart a ‘post-pandemic’ course for the organization, with the following specific skills and deliverables:

  • Design the strategic business plan that will drive business profitability, expansion and create a strong foundation for the future that will increase the impact and visibility of the Studio across the region.  This includes the planning and funding for a permanent facility.
  • Ensure a rigorous program evaluation and consistent quality of finance and administration, fundraising, and communications; recommend timelines and resources needed to achieve strategic goals.
  • Create effective systems to track scaling progress and accountability, and regularly evaluate program components, to measure successes that can be effectively communicated to the board, funders, and other constituents.
  • Direct the finance department to develop the annual budget; provide monthly financial reporting and forecasting, cash flow management, capital spending and expenditures review and approval.
  • Lead, coach, develop, and retain Studio East’s high-performance team and help recruit strong team members that further the Studio’s mission.
  • Develop, maintain, and support a strong Board of Directors; serve as ex-officio of each committee; seek and build board involvement with strategic direction for both ongoing local operations and long-term viability.
  • Actively engage and energize Studio East volunteers, board members, event committees, alumni, partnering organizations, and funders to build a successful and thriving Studio East Community.
  • Partner with the Founding Artistic Director to ensure programmatic excellence that will attract young people, talented directors, and school and public audiences, to expand the reach and impact of the Studio in the Seattle area.
  • Expand local revenue generating and fundraising activities to enable existing program operations to reach profitability while generating reserves for future growth/expansion.
  • Deepen and refine all aspects of communications—from web presence to external relations with the goal of creating a stronger brand that has strong name recognition in the community.
  • Be a strong presence in the community and foster relationships that will attract new families, funders (individuals, small businesses and corporations), and community organizations (Kirkland Performance Center, Kirkland Arts Council) to become active members of the Studio East community.
  • Maintain a positive work environment where staff are empowered to share ideas, be creative, and develop their professional skills and interests while maintaining a level of accountability that meets the needs of the Studio’s business goals.


The MD will be thoroughly committed to Studio East’s mission with proven business and finance skills, leadership, coaching, relationship management and patron development experience.

  • Advanced degree, MBA preferred, and significant senior management experience
  • Proven track record of collaborative leadership and scaling an organization and staff to a level with a strong profit/loss statement and long term viability. Leads from a place of ‘confident humility’.
  • A passion for youth theater/performing arts
  • Demonstrated business sense and an understanding of key performance indicators, financial statements and accounting, compliance and permitting issues. Experience with key business functions of a small-to-mid-size not-for-profit including labor laws, employee policies, insurance, compliance, tax/audit, lease negotiations, IT.
  • Unwavering commitment to quality programs and data-driven program evaluation
  • Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff, manage, and develop high-performance teams, set and achieve strategic objectives, and manage a budget
  • Demonstrated success working with a Board of Directors; the ability to cultivate board member relationships
  • Strong marketing, public relations, and fundraising experience; the ability to engage a wide range of stakeholders and cultures
  • Strong written and verbal communication skills; a persuasive and passionate communicator with excellent interpersonal and multidisciplinary project skills
  • Action-oriented, entrepreneurial, adaptable, and innovative approach to business planning
  • Ability to work effectively in collaboration with diverse groups of people
  • Idealism, integrity, positive attitude, mission-driven, and self-directed

The ideal candidate will be able to start June, 2021.  Applicants, please reply to with cover letter, resume and/or link to LinkedIn profile outlining demonstrable accomplishments and a verifiable track record of results.  Use MANAGING DIRECTOR in the subject line.  No phone calls.

Salary & Benefits:

  • Salary range $70,000-$85,000 DOE
  • Position is full time, exempt
  • Medical & Dental Plans
  • Generous Paid Time Off
  • Retirement plan with employer match

Studio East an equal opportunity employer.