Co-Artistic Directors

Ensemble Studio Theatre

New York City, NY 10019




Aug 11, 2022


Ensemble Studio Theatre (EST) was founded by Curt Dempster in 1968 with a group of 20 theatre artists. It has since grown into a company of over 600 actors, directors, playwrights, designers, and other theatre artists. Curt Dempster and the group of fellow artists who founded EST, who included Jon Voight, Elinor Renfield, Jerry Zaks, Danny DeVito, Roger Morgan, Diane Venora, and others, developed a three-tiered founding concept embodied in the company’s name: Ensemble (a lifetime membership and fellowship of artists); Studio (a creative lab for new works); Theatre (a producing venue for plays developed by the ensemble in its lab environment).

EST believes that a commitment to inclusivity is essential to yield extraordinary work and is working to end systemic marginalization and oppression at all levels of the organization. Since 2013, EST has engaged in a deepening process of transformation toward becoming an inclusive and anti-racist organization. They recently commissioned an independent study to delve deeply into every aspect of their operations and identify White supremacist practices and assumptions. This analysis guides the current leadership transition as they prepare to hire two Co-Artistic Directors. The goal is to create a more holistic, inclusive, intentional, and healthy work environment.

EST develops and produces plays from the first read through to full productions on their mainstage and beyond. Their Marathon of One-Act Plays, first produced in 1977, launched an industry-wide revival of the short play form and broke new ground by putting new and established writers together on one stage. The Ensemble Studio Theatre / Alfred P. Sloan Foundation Science & Technology Project is the creative engine behind hundreds of new American plays that challenge and broaden the public’s understanding of science and technology and their impact in our lives. And the Youngblood program is EST’s OBIE-winning collective of emerging professional playwrights under the age of 30.
Plays that originated at EST have been produced at hundreds of theatres across the United States; and EST has been recognized with Village Voice Obie Awards, NY Outer Critic Circle Awards, and American Theater Wing Awards for excellence in theatre. EST received a special Drama Desk Award for its “unwavering commitment to producing new works” in May of 2015. In addition to the special organizational Drama Desk Award, EST and affiliated artists have also been recognized for individual productions, performances, and programming throughout its history. In 2022, Sonnie Brown received a Drama Desk Award nomination for Outstanding Featured Actress in What You Are Now. In 2017, EST garnered a Drama Desk Award nomination to Brian Quijada for his solo play Where Did We Sit on the Bus? Hand to God by Robert Askins, a play that originated at EST, was nominated for five Tony Awards in 2015 following its Broadway run, including Best Play and Best Direction of a Play.

Learn more about Ensemble Studio Theatre here:


EST is seeking two dynamic Co-Artistic Directors (ADs) to help with planning and executing the ensemble’s vision, mission, and goals in new play development and production while exemplifying its core values of diversity, equity, and inclusion. The ADs will work collaboratively with the Managing Director to co-lead the staff and help be a part of developing a new strategic plan for EST’s future. The ADs will report to the Board of Directors and will be responsible for keeping the Board informed and abreast of artistic progress and outcomes on a regular basis. The ADs will also be a part of helping secure the financial future for EST by cultivating innovative methods of revenue generation. The ADs should be vital thought partners together and should have demonstrated skill and experiences with BIPOC advocacy and equity.


The Co-Artistic Directors will share the following primary responsibilities:
- Lead the season planning process, casting, and artistic staffing for all productions and workshops.
- Along with the Managing Director and Finance Committee, develop annual organizational and project budgets and manage cash flow.
- With the Managing Director, hire and supervise staff; foster a culture that inspires, attracts, develops, and retains a diverse, top-quality team.
- Nurture a relationship with EST’s membership that inspires active engagement.
- Attend key stages in the EST production process, which include (but are not limited to) first rehearsal, design run throughs, tech rehearsals, and preview performances.
- Establish a practice of ongoing anti-racist training for the entire administrative and artistic staff; regularly report to membership on company’s progress on diversity, equity, inclusion, and access goals in organizational and production staffing, policies, procedures, and practices.
- Report regularly to the Board of Directors on EST’s activities, progress, and challenges.
- Along with the Membership Council, promote EST’s Annual Membership Meeting.
- Work closely with the Managing Director, Board Chair, Development Manager, and Finance Committee to conceive, plan, approve, and execute the fundraising development plan for the season to meet EST’s charitable revenue goals.
- Nurture and build new prospective and current donor relationships with individuals, corporations, and foundations.
- Actively engage with the New York theatre community as EST’s artistic face; maintain a professional relationship with theatre communications groups and the League of Resident Theaters.
- Support the identification and recruitment of new Board members in alignment with EST’s strategic priorities and values.
- Collaborate with the Managing Director, Marketing staff, and Development Manager to help conceive, develop, and execute the company’s annual production and institutional marketing plans.
- Be a thought leader in creative outreach, engaging and managing the company press representative, approving press releases, and brainstorming with the Managing Director and Brand Marketing Manager on creative ways to grow audiences.


Ideal candidates will bring many of the following qualifications and skill sets:
- A passion for the mission, vision, and values of Ensemble Studio Theatre.
- A dedication to racial equity; the ability to foster a culture that embraces diversity, equity, and inclusion at all levels.
- Experience and ability to recognize value in new play development. Love for multicultural stories and desire to hear them.
- Experience in professional artistic positions such as directing, acting, playwriting, or dramaturgy; experience doing this work within an ensemble theater setting would be a benefit.
- Experience successfully leading an organization through culture change would be a benefit.
- Exceptional leadership skills, with successful experience in fundraising, fiscal management, strategic planning, community relations, and staff and board relations.
- Prior experience working effectively in partnership with a governance board and/or board committees; experience engaging board members in fundraising and advocacy initiatives.
- Excellent communication skills with the ability to inspire and engage stakeholders in a proactive and positive manner, including strong written, verbal, and presentation skills.
- Excellent interpersonal skills, with an ability to collaborate effectively with diverse individuals, groups, and communities; high-energy, confidence, and a sense of humor.
- Ability to problem-solve and proactively address concerns and challenges, strong conflict management and negotiation skills