Managing Director- George Street Playhouse
Arts Consulting Group
New Brunswick, NJ 08901
The George Street Playhouse (GSP), New Brunswick has been a vital cultural institution and an impactful creative force locally and nationally for almost 50 years. With a mission to enrich lives by producing world-class theater, GSP seeks to shape and be shaped by its diverse community while sustaining a supportive home for top arts professionals. Founded by Rutgers faculty member Eric Krebs in 1974, GSP opened in a repurposed supermarket in New Brunswick and takes its name from its original George Street location. The company moved into the former New Brunswick YMCA in 1984, becoming the first professional theater constituent of the New Brunswick Cultural Center. In 2017, the company moved to the former home of the New Jersey Museum of Agriculture, before moving into the newly built the state-of-the-art New Brunswick Performing Arts Center in 2019. The space features two theaters: The Arthur Laurents Theater with 253 seats and The Elizabeth Ross Johnson Theater with 465 seats as well as rehearsal and office space.
Artistic Director David Saint has led the Playhouse since 1997, producing exciting and acclaimed seasons comprised of new works, classics, and new and revived Broadway plays and musicals. Many shows developed or produced at the Playhouse have recently been seen on and off Broadway, garnering awards at every level, including the Outer Critics’ Circle Best Musical Award-winner The Toxic Avenger, It Shoulda Been You which transferred to Broadway in 2015; the Outer Critics Circle, Drama Desk, and Drama League-nominated production of The Spitfire Grill; and the Broadway hit, Tony®, and Pulitzer Prize winning play Proof by David Auburn, which was developed at GSP during the 1999 Next Stage Series of new plays.
Exciting new educational programs are being launched for the 2022-2023 season. These programs are inspired by the work of Arts Ed NJ, the New Jersey Department of Education’s 2020 Visual and Performing Arts Student Learning Standards (NJSLS), and research on culturally responsive teaching and learning, prioritizing social emotional learning competencies and embedded with equity, diversity, and inclusion. GSP focuses on an artistic way of knowing as the foundation for authentic educator professional learning experiences and student learning experiences (school-based residencies and theater-based mainstage offerings) that take students beyond the text of a play and immerse them in the community of live, contemporary theater—what was happening on stage, backstage, and in the house itself. The Playhouse looks to build future audiences through summer camp programs and adult programming, including the Actor’s Studio, and the Industry-Pro series.
GSP is governed by an 18-member Board of Trustees, led by Chair James Heston and President Penelope Lattimer. The staff includes approximately 25 full-time and contract staff as needed. For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2021, GSP reported a total revenue of $4.3 million with $3.5 million from contributions and grants, $443,761 in program service revenue, and $393,290 in other revenue. Total expenses were $3.1 million.
New Brunswick is a thriving city of over 55,000 permanent residents located on Lenape homeland along the southern bank of the Raritan River in central New Jersey. It is the seat of government for Middlesex County and best known as the home of the main campus of Rutgers, the State University of New Jersey. It was incorporated as a town in 1736 and chartered as a city in 1784. The city occupies 5.8 square miles and is a mixture of a micropolis and a college town that offers the energy of a large city with a vibrant culture and a grounded sense of community.
New Brunswick is home to many diverse neighborhoods, with historic architecture and independent businesses. The population is also quite diverse, with 50% of its residents identifying as Hispanic or Latino, 25% as white, 15% as Black or African American, and 10% as Asian. The area around Rutgers’ main campus is home to a large and diverse Latin community as well as New Jersey’s largest concentration of young people living on their own for the first time. Located just an hour from New York City and 90 minutes from Philadelphia with ample rail service and a lower cost of living, New Brunswick has become a haven for commuters. The area has seen an enormous amount of urban renewal including the revitalization of the downtown area, the completion of the Performing Arts Center, and the much-anticipated $665 million New Jersey Innovation and Technology Hub, which will be a unique 560,000-square-foot building that will bring academic, public and private sector scientists together.
Rutgers is the largest employer in the area but the city is also known for its concentration of medical facilities and companies. The city’s connection to the healthcare industry goes back to 1866 when the Johnson brothers started their company in a New Brunswick factory mill. Johnson & Johnson is still headquartered in New Brunswick along with RWJBarnabas Health and medical school, Rutgers Cancer Institute of NJ, and Saint Peters University Hospital.
New Brunswick is teeming with arts and culture including the museum of the American Hungarian Foundation; Above Art Studio, where African American Art is showcased; and the Zimmerli Art Museum at Rutgers University, one of the largest university-based museums in the country featuring over 60,000 permanent works of art. Performing arts abound as well with the State Theatre, Crossroads Theatre Company, The American Repertory Ballet, Rutgers University Mason Gross School of the Arts, the New Brunswick Jazz Project and New Brunswick Chamber Orchestra. There’s a world of outdoor activities to enjoy as well. The Raritan River Canal offers great hiking and biking paths as well as Buccleuch Park and Boyd Park which features river and skyline views.
Sources: newbrunswicktoday.com; cityofnewbrunswick.org; worldpopulationreview.com; nytimes.com; census.gov
Working in full partnership with the Artistic Director and reporting to the Board of Trustees, the Managing Director will co-lead one of New Jersey’s most vibrant cultural institutions ensuring programmatic and operational integrity, sustainability, and excellence. The Managing Director will support the Artistic Director’s vision of developing, producing, and presenting work that sets new standards of artistic innovation and production excellence and develops deep relationships with diverse audiences. This individual will commit to equity, inclusion, and diversity and translate these principles into action throughout the organization. The Managing Director will have oversight of all administrative operations, including GSP’s fundraising, marketing, finance, human resources, facilities, and IT departments. This collaborative leader will co-lead the education department with the Artistic Director and will build a culture of artistic excellence, financial stability, safety, and well-being reflecting GSP’s mission and values. They will excel at overcoming challenges and building internal relationships while also serving as one of GSP’s primary external ambassadors. The Managing Director will monitor and manage the organization’s financial health and fortify fundraising strategies to build contributed revenue. The successful candidate will create an organizational culture of teamwork, accountability, and trust characterized by proactive decision making, open communication, and strategic fiscal management.
Role and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Leadership
Serve as a committed, visionary, and accessible leader for GSP with a true connection to the organization’s community of artists, audiences, and donors.
Ensure dynamic and diverse program offerings while staying loyal to GSP’s values and principles in partnership with the Artistic Director.
Lead the organization’s strategic vision effectively with the Artistic Director and board to ensure that all artistic and financial decisions are mission-aligned.
Demonstrate a collaborative leadership style in a wide range of communities and settings that inspires internal and external stakeholders to participate in GSP’s vibrant and exciting future.
Embrace the principles of equity, diversity, inclusion, and access to ensure an artistic and organizational culture that respects different perspectives and nurtures an environment of empowerment at all levels.
Build and maintain a top-flight team of individuals who themselves are driven leaders.
Guide GSP as a committed and visionary leader through the creation of pathways for new programs, partnerships, and revenue opportunities.
Direct and oversee all aspects of organizational finances including the management of accounting technology systems in concert with the Director of Finance.
Communicate openly and consistently in full transparency to inspire organizational growth across all business areas, in conversations with staff and board members.
Demonstrate solid fiscal acumen, including overseeing organizational budgets, controlling expenditures, creating forecasting models and scenario plans, and developing financial analysis.
Dedicate financial resources to organization-wide efforts on justice, equity, diversity, and anti-racism work.
Oversee contracting with external agents, including the Actors’ Equity Association, Stage Directors and Choreographers Society, insurance agreements, leases, rights/royalties, and vendors.
Fundraising and Earned Revenue Enhancement
Actively seek out new and renewed sources of contributed income by cultivating and deepening relationships with key individual donors, foundations, and corporate funders.
Build a strategic vision for a comprehensive plan designed to significantly increase contributed revenue while setting the stage for a potential future capital project in partnership with the Director of Development.
Leverage board members’ skills and networks to strengthen board-driven fundraising in support of the organization.
Re-envision and lead new and innovative approaches to earned revenue models.
Oversee marketing and communication strategies to expand and diversify audiences, subscribers, and donors.
Relationship Building and Community Engagement
Create and maintain strong ties with community decision makers, government leaders, audiences, and the arts community, finding collaborative ways to achieve mutually beneficial outcomes.
Act as a spokesperson throughout the region, develop relationships and engage with a wide variety of constituents, including business owners; schools and colleges; elected city, county, and state officials; and the media to enhance the organization’s brand and reputation.
Lead efforts to embrace diversity and inclusion as a key element of community engagement, including but not limited to the areas of audience development, workforce vitality, board participation, vendor access, and programmatic vibrancy.
Maintain and grow partnerships and alliances with mission-compatible arts and cultural organizations locally, regionally, nationally, and globally to expand programs and access, retain relevance, and build community.
Support ongoing relationships with a wide range of partners, including artists, unions, guilds, producing partners, and the League of Resident Theaters.
Administrative and Organizational Leadership
Provide inspirational leadership with the Artistic Director to all staff and artists and create a culture where everyone feels safe, valued, and respected.
Identify, analyze, and diagnose conflict within the organization and formulate solutions.
Maintain and expand an efficient and effective organizational structure for fundraising, programming, organizational management, fiduciary excellence, and project leadership.
Center anti-racism work across all aspects of the organization, implementing concrete equity, diversity, and inclusion initiatives, and creating new spaces for conversation that welcomes underheard voices.
Build and mentor self-sufficient teams through training, goal setting, planned delegation, and performance management.
Create a culture of continuous innovation focused on improving administrative processes.
Traits and Characteristics
The Managing Director will be a creative, passionate, and resourceful leader with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to provide resiliency, levity, and perspective. They will embrace their role as an ambassador for GSP and enjoy working collaboratively with people from all backgrounds. This energetic and engaging leader will be receptive to new ideas, methods, and opportunities for problem solving and make tough decisions with confidence and compassion. The Managing Director will be an intense champion of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work and values deep connection with community. This results-oriented individual will be emotionally intelligent and approachable, with advanced cultural competencies leading to a harmonious professional environment.
Other key competencies include:
Planning and Organizing – The ability to establish courses of action to ensure that work is completed effectively.
Personal Accountability – The capability to self-evaluate, learn from mistakes, take responsibility for personal actions and decisions, accept setbacks, look for ways to progress, and understand how obstacles impact results
Leadership and Diplomacy – The capacity to organize and influence people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction and to handle difficult or sensitive issues effectively and tactfully.
Decision Making – The facility to analyze all aspects of a situation to make consistently sound and timely decisions.
Proven success in financial management, fundraising, relationship building, and leadership of complex and dynamic organizations is essential. Qualified candidates should possess comprehensive contributed- and earned-revenue building skills as well as experience navigating change and inspiring a high-achieving team of creative professionals and administrators. A profound and demonstrated commitment to equity, diversity, inclusion, and access are required. Experience in performing arts-based nonprofit organizational management is strongly preferred along with a passion for theater and knowledge of the industry. Exceptional verbal and written communication skills are required.
Compensation and Benefits
GSP provides a competitive compensation package with a salary range between $200,000 and $225,000 and benefits that include a health and dental plan (deductible reimbursement up to $2500), paid vacation, sick leave, holidays, and parking.