Chicago, IL 60605
Remy Bumppo Theatre Company in Chicago, IL seeks a collaborative leader to join a team of talented staff, artists and board members in the role of Artistic Director.
Who is Remy Bumppo?
Founded in 1996, Remy Bumppo’s unique name is a combination of the names of the founders’ pets. The founders’ vision was to utilize the talents of Chicago’s top-notch professional theatre artists in meaningful plays that stimulated the minds of audience members.
Today, as a mid-size union theatrical producer with a $1 million annual operating budget, Remy Bumppo produces three plays per season. Remy Bumppo is a resident company at Theater Wit in Chicago’s Lakeview neighborhood. The organization currently serves approximately 1,100 subscribers, plus thousands of single ticket buyers, who come to the theatre from all over Chicago and its suburbs.
“Remy Bumppo expands and enriches our community’s view of the world, and our own, by producing both the great plays of the past and the important plays of today. As an ensemble-driven theatre company, we author a more humane culture as we listen to, and seek to understand, the voices, the ideas, and the stories of one another.” -Remy Bumppo Theatre Company Mission Statement
Remy Bumppo is an actor- and ensemble-centered company. The Core Ensemble is a collection of actors who wish, over time, to develop a shared aesthetic, mode of play, and deeper artistic relationships built on trust, diligence, mutual challenge, and the quest for betterment as artists and as people. The Core Ensemble collaborates with the Artistic Director on season selection, and there is typically at least one Core Ensemble member in each Remy Bumppo production. Currently, Remy Bumppo’s Core Ensemble includes outgoing Artistic Director Nick Sandys, Charin Alvarez, Greg Matthew Anderson, Annabel Armour, Terry Bell, Peter A. Davis, Linda Gillum, Aurora Real de Asua and Eliza Stoughton. Eight Associate Artists also work regularly with the company. Remy Bumppo employs eight staff members – six full time and two part time staff members.
Playwrights recently served by Remy Bumppo include Ranjit Bolt, Caryl Churchill, debbie tucker green, Tanika Gupta, George Bernard Shaw, Tom Stoppard and Thornton Wilder. While the company primarily produces published work, it also has a history of world premieres, mostly adaptations, such as Puff: Believe It Or Not by Ranjit Bolt (2017). In 2019, Remy Bumppo presented its first commissioned work of EM Forster’s Howards End by Chicago-area playwright Douglas Post. The company is the recipient of numerous awards, including 14 Joseph Jefferson Awards and 70 Joseph Jefferson Nominations, including 5 for the 2019 production of Howards End.
“Fresh, vibrant, and most important, intensely passionate.” -Chicago Tribune
“Supremely relevant…a powerful thought-provoking story.” -Third Coast Review
A key tenet of Remy Bumppo’s mission is to spark conversations that start in the theatre and move into everyday life. To that end, the company offers a wide slate of supplementary programs that close the gap between patron and practitioner, including open rehearsals, panel discussions, talkbacks, lectures, educational courses and free readings.
“I take classes Remy Bumppo offers because of the depth of theater knowledge. I almost always learn something that had not occurred to me before.” -Class Registrant
Remy Bumppo’s current values include language, learning, diligence, collaboration, diversity & inclusion and a healthy culture. For more information on these values, please visit remybumppo.org/about-us.
Remy Bumppo developed and adopted a new strategic plan in August 2020 with four strategic goals: 1) Maximize Organizational Effectiveness, 2) Sustain and Grow, 3) Prioritize and Pursue a More Equitable, Diverse & Inclusive Community and 4) Develop and Invest in Our Audience.
Remy Bumppo is an important part of the ecology of the Chicago theatre community. “With more than 200 theaters, Chicago is home to a rich and varied theater community ranging from storefront, non-union theaters with budgets under $10,000 to major cultural centers with multi-million dollar shows,” according to Broadway in Chicago.
Who is in leadership?
Margaret McCloskey (she/her/hers) has been with Remy Bumppo since 2014, and previously served as Director of Development and Managing Director before becoming Executive Director in July 2020, working closely with the Artistic Director to develop and steward strategic initiatives for organizational growth. Previously, she was a fundraising consultant with Aaron Consulting in New York City, managing high-level fundraising campaigns for a number of east coast organizations, and served in the office of communications at the Ford Foundation, among other roles. Margaret started her career in Chicago, holding positions at the Chicago Opera Theater and the League of Chicago Theatres. Theatre is her first love, and she holds both an MFA in Playwriting from the New School for Drama in New York City and a BFA in Theatre Studies from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.
Richard Skolly (he/him/his) is the outgoing Board President at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. Before his retirement, he was a technology engineer for ArcelorMittal Inc. His professional interests focus on developing high strength materials and new equipment acquisition and commissioning. After work interests encompass the wide variety offered Chicago’s artistic scene. His past not-for-profit board tenures include technical and artistic organizations. Richard is married to Kate A Feinstein and lives in Chicago.
Joan Callahan (she/her/hers) is the current Secretary and incoming Board President at Remy Bumppo Theatre Company. She was a school nurse with the Sacred Heart Schools in Chicago who recently retired. She resides with her husband, Michael Callahan, in the South Loop neighborhood. She was an English/Theater major in college and taught theater at a private high school on the city’s South Side in the 70s. She worked with the Blackhawk Restaurants as manager and educator, attained a Masters in Social Work, and then worked as parish social worker at St. Clements in Chicago before staying home to raise three children. She returned to school to get her RN and has combined all those previous careers to work as a school nurse. Theater has always been close to her heart and spirit. Thankfully Chicago provides well for this. Remy Bumppo has always been a favorite for its attention to language and complex ideas; being part of the board seems a perfect way to give greater support to Remy Bumppo and Chicago theater.
What will you do?
The Artistic Director supports and advances the artistic vision and mission of Remy Bumppo Theatre Company, reporting alongside the Executive Director to the Remy Bumppo Board of Directors. Leading the ensemble, staff and board in a process to weave together Remy Bumppo’s past identity and accomplishments with a transformative vision for the future, the new Artistic Director will chart a path forward with integrity and rigor. The Artistic Director will advance inclusion, diversity, equity, access and anti-racism goals and serve as a leader in ongoing work and education for staff, board, artists and patrons.
The Artistic Director will lead the season planning and play selection process in collaboration with Remy Bumppo’s Core Ensemble and facilitate the production of the highest quality of mainstage and Studio Bumppo programming. The Artistic Director will be a leader in the implementation of the company’s recently adopted strategic plan and will serve as an artistic partner to the Core Ensemble.
A public facing representative of the company, the Artistic Director will act as a spokesperson to audiences and community members for the mission, vision and accomplishments of the company. Twenty percent of the Artistic Director’s time will be spent on fundraising and stewardship activities.
Your Areas of Accountability
Steward all artistic content for mainstage productions from conception to execution.
Steward artistic content for additional programs including the Season Salon, Annual Benefit, Between the Lines lecture series, bi-weekly talkbacks, Studio Bumppo classes, Spark reading series and any other initiatives (seasonal performances, etc.).
Maintain local venue partnerships that connect to artistic work.
Develop and manage the artistic budget in collaboration with the Executive Director and Remy Bumppo staff.
Create, and modify as necessary, the schedule for season rehearsal, performance, and supplemental artistic programming in collaboration with the production department.
Translate Remy Bumppo’s artistic vision into various forms of media and communication strategies in collaboration with the marketing department.
Shepherd the rehearsal and production process, including:
Negotiate and secure production rights,
Interface with artist unions and ensure that all union rules and regulations are adhered to,
Hire outside directors, steward and participate in the design and casting processes and attend design run-throughs, technical rehearsals and previews of shows directed by others.
Have the opportunity to play an artistic role (i.e. act, direct, design) in at least one production per season, if desired (compensated and contracted separately from AD salary).
Cultivate a positive and collaborative company culture.
Facilitate collaboration and communication between Remy Bumppo’s Core Ensemble, Staff and Board of Directors.
Advance inclusion, diversity, equity, access and anti-racism goals in production staffing, policies, procedures and practices in collaboration with the Remy Bumppo community.
Serve as a spokesperson for the organization to press, donors, patrons and artists. Build relationships with other theatre companies and cultural organizations in Chicago.
Serve as an ex-officio voting member of the Board of Directors and attend board meetings (but is excused from financial obligations associated with Board membership).
Serve on the Board of Directors’ Strategic Planning Committee.
Assume a leadership role, along with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors, in strategic planning. In partnership with the ED, steward and advance the strategic plan.
Coordinate and build ongoing relationships with Remy Bumppo’s associate artists. Recruit new artists to the Remy Bumppo community.
Serve as the artistic face of the company, attend as many Remy Bumppo events as possible in order to connect to existing donors and audiences and to expand and extend the Remy Bumppo community.
Lead and facilitate monthly meetings with the Core Ensemble and serve as its main collaborator and artistic partner.
Actively seek plays that are potential matches for Remy Bumppo’s text-forward aesthetic and which have roles for ensemble members.
Lead the season planning and selection process in collaboration with the Core Ensemble. Make a good-faith effort to cast at least one ensemble member in each production in the three-show season.
Scout and introduce potential new ensemble members to the company.
Report to the Board regularly on the company’s activities, progress and challenges.
Collaborate with the Executive Director on human resources activities including hiring, setting of salary levels and other employment terms, evaluation and termination of production and artistic staff.
Act as a resource to the Executive Director on matters related to employment of administrative staff.
Assist artistic staff in the establishment of their individual employee goals.
Actively participate in fundraising activities, including making calls to/attending meetings with prospective & current donors, corporations and foundations.
Create content for and attend the Annual Benefit, Producers Night and other donor cultivation, stewardship or fundraising events.
Aid in recruiting and on-boarding new Board members.
Advise on all classes for Studio Bumppo, consulting on curriculum, schedule and instructors.
Teach at least one class each year for Studio Bumppo, if desired (compensated separately from AD salary).
How much are we paying and what are the perks?
Salary: $60K. This is a full time, exempt position. Additional work on weekends and in the evenings is required during production (approximately 36 weeks/year).
Benefits Package: Unlimited paid time off. Outside artistic work is supported. Medical, dental,and vision insurance available, Remy Bumppo pays 80% (dependent coverage available at employee cost).
Living in Chicago, IL: “Chicago is the third-largest city in the country (behind New York City and Los Angeles), but it’s simple to navigate. Our skyscrapers are concentrated in the downtown area called the Loop, while more residential neighborhoods fan out to the north, south, and west, with Lake Michigan to the east. If you’re coming from a smaller area, Chicago might feel like an easy place to learn the ropes of city living. Plus, affordable living costs and comprehensive, reliable public transit give Chicago a leg up on most other major cities.” Read “Should you move to Chicago?: Maybe!” by Sara Freund for more information. For details about the cost of living in Chicago, read “What is the real cost of living in Chicago, IL?” on Bungalow.
Who are we looking for?
The Artistic Director role requires a visionary, artistic leader with passion for and experience with Remy Bumppo’s signature aesthetic – historical and contemporary classics, adaptations of literary work and language-driven plays that engage with big ideas – and enthusiasm about collaborating with a core acting ensemble. This position is ideal for a theater artist and/or an artistic producer with enthusiasm about problem-solving and decision-making through collaborative processes and thoughtful, consensus-based deliberation. This passionate and inspirational leader will have a demonstrated commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity and access.
The new AD will have a familiarity with the Chicago theatre community and arts ecosystem, as well as national industry news and trends. Ensemble-based theatre making will be part of their artistic experience. The ideal candidate will have a wide knowledge of literature and theatre history, as well as experience with producing and/or nonprofit arts management.
Additional Areas of Expertise
● Ensemble Based Artistic Work
● Facilitation and Conflict Resolution
● Teaching and Mentorship
● Writing and Editing
● Staff Management and Team Building
● Public Speaking
● Budget Development and Management