Managing Director

Playwrights Horizons

New York, NY 10036




Jan 09, 2024

Full time / $170,000 - 210,000 annually / Playwrights Horizons / New York, NY

The Managing Director is responsible for the overall business, administrative, and operational management of the organization, encompassing both Uptown and Downtown locations. This includes leadership and oversight in the areas of fundraising, budgeting, financial management, HR, board relations, and hiring of key senior staff. The role also oversees capital project planning and implementation. The Managing Director is the driver of long-range planning and strategic goals for the organization, in collaboration with the Artistic Director and the Board.

Duties & Responsibilities

Organizational Leadership
Represent Playwrights Horizons as a leader in the larger local and national theater and performing arts industry, including interfacing with key government and funding bodies
In conjunction with the Board, Artistic Director, General Manager, and staff, develop and ensure the implementation of the theater’s strategic plan in alignment with the organization’s resources, mission, and values
Lead ongoing evaluation of strategic initiatives and goals against established success metrics
Along with the Artistic Director, play an active role in establishing a work culture that is committed to artistic excellence, professional development, and continuous individual and collective growth
Oversee development of policies that strengthen internal work culture (e.g. hybrid work policies, internal communication systems, staff professional development)
Work with the Director of Equity & Inclusion to develop programs across the institution (both staff and Board) that reflect the organization’s commitments to anti-racism, equity, and inclusion within the organization and externally

Lead the organization’s annual budget process and work with department heads to create budgets with clear revenue goals and realistic expense budgets
In collaboration with the General Manager, monitor progress to earned revenue goals and expense projections for individual shows and overall season production budgets
Prepare and present financial results for the organization on an ongoing basis to the Finance Committee and the Full Board
Work with the Controller to supervise and oversee all financial reporting and recordkeeping
Work in tandem with the Controller and others to create long-term financial plans and forecasts
Review and modify operations and budgets to reflect changes in financial circumstances and social factors
Anticipate and plan for ongoing building maintenance and capital improvements

Partner with the Director of Development to create strategy and financial goals for annual fundraising and building cash reserves
Actively participate in donor cultivation, stewardship, and solicitations in partnership with the Director of Development, Artistic Director, and Board, including frequent interfacing with institutional funders and grant makers
Provide leadership with Board and Director of Development on capital campaign planning including feasibility studies, campaign strategy, and case statement development
Work in tandem with the Director of Development and the Nominating & Governance Committee on the ongoing identification and cultivation of Board prospects

Board Relations and Coordination
Serve as primary liaison to the Board, accountable for timely, accurate, and transparent communication, including keeping Board Co-Chairs apprised of all pressing organizational matters
Plan Board meeting agendas with Board Co-Chairs
Review and finalize Board meeting minutes
Board Committee meeting planning with Committee Chairs and staff, and participation on all Board committees
Lead periodic review of Bylaws with Nominating & Governance Committee

Administrative Leadership
Work with the Artistic Director, General Manager, Director of HR, and Board Compensation Committee on annual and longer-term staff compensation
Assess and periodically update human resource policies, decisions, and practices in collaboration with the Director of HR
Review staffing structure within departments and make recommendations for improvements and efficiencies across all departments in collaboration with the Artistic Director and General Manager
Participate in the interview and hiring process for key organizational roles
Negotiate and execute non-artistic contracts on behalf of the organization (e.g. strategic planning consultant, line of credit agreements, long-term agreement with NYU, lease negotiations, funding contracts with institutional donors)
Provide shared oversight of ongoing building management and maintenance with the General Manager, Production Manager, and Building Manager

Playwrights Downtown
Work with the Administrative Director of Playwrights Downtown to strengthen Downtown operations to achieve the company’s mission and budget aims
Collaborate with Artistic Director and Theater School Director on staffing and hiring for the Theater School
Participate with Downtown team on a strategy for rebuilding and increasing Downtown revenue streams, especially space rental revenue
Periodically work with staff, board, and other NYU Partner Theaters on multi-year NYU Contract negotiations

Capital Projects
Oversee the planning and development of Uptown and Downtown capital projects in tandem with staff, Board and consultants
Negotiate contracts with architects and general contractors
Ongoing involvement with pre-construction work including design development, construction financing, and project permitting
Ongoing involvement during construction including weekly construction meetings and change order reviews


10+ years of experience in performing arts or non-profit leadership; search committee is open to considering additional leadership paths as preparation for the role
A generous and collaborative spirit, and an ability to work as part of a resourceful team that is respectful yet non-hierarchical
Demonstrated leadership capacity and ability to inspire, motivate, and discipline staff as needed
Demonstrated fundraising abilities and successful participation in direct individual and institutional strategies and asks
High degree of comfort with legal documents for collaboration with retained counsel or independently
Strong written and oral communication skills
Strong organizational, multi-tasking, prioritization, and time management skills
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to handle difficult or sensitive issues, build relationships, and relate well to people across the organization.

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.

Playwrights Horizons offers competitive compensation, with a salary range expected between $170,000-210,000 and a generous benefits package that includes health, dental, life, and short-term disability insurance; a 403(b)-retirement plan; flexible spending account; health reimbursement account; paid-time-off and holidays. Health benefits commence on the first day of the first full month of employment.