Berkeley Repertory Theatre
“A major institution: a reliable purveyor of daring, form-breaking art; a draw for artists around the world;
and an incubator of the next generation of playwrights, actors and leaders.”
- San Francisco Chronicle
Founded in 1968, Berkeley Repertory Theatre (Berkeley Rep) creates ambitious theater that entertains and challenges its audiences, provokes civic engagement, and inspires people to experience the world in new and surprising ways. Known for its ambition, relevance, excellence, and adventurous audience, Berkeley Rep has provided a welcoming home for emerging and established artists for more than 50 years. Over 5.5 million people have experienced nearly 500 shows at Berkeley Rep, which have gone on to win six Tony Awards, seven Obie Awards, nine Drama Desk Awards, one Grammy Award, one Pulitzer Prize, and many other honors. Berkeley Rep received the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997.
Berkeley Rep’s work includes the commission and development of new works, many of which go on to notable productions across the country and around the world. These new plays and musicals sit within the season alongside imaginative reinventions of classic plays and other projects that span theatrical forms and styles of storytelling. The artists engaged range from those at the earliest stages of their professional careers to some of the most lauded in the world. They are selected to ensure that the stories on Berkeley Rep’s stages include the perspectives and practices of the broadest possible range of theatrical storytellers. The work is supported by extraordinary artisans in each of Berkeley Rep’s technical departments and is informed by the organization’s values, its deep relationship to the Berkeley community and the Bay Area, and its ambition to engage in a field-wide conversation about the role that theater plays in culture.
The Ground Floor: Berkeley Rep’s Center for the Creation and Development of New Work (The Ground Floor) was launched in 2012 to formalize, enhance, and expand the processes by which Berkeley Rep makes theater. The Ground Floor includes a year-long series of commissions, workshops, and a concentrated Summer Residency Lab. Artists currently under commission include Todd Almond, Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs, Dipika Guha, Richard Montoya, Nico Muhly, Lisa Peterson, Sarah Ruhl, Tori Sampson, Jack Thorne, and Joe Waechter. Each individual project receives customized support.
The Berkeley Rep School of Theatre (School) engages and educates 20,000 people each year and helps build the audiences of tomorrow with its nationally recognized teen programs. Since its inception, the School has served more than 300,000 people and collaborated with hundreds of professional teaching artists. Education programs include Youth and Teen Summer Programs, Adult Classes, Teen Council, Young Writers of Color Collective, and Student Matinees, along with a wide range of free and low-cost theater-based workshops in Bay Area schools. The School also offers a range of tuition-based programs for adults.
Berkeley Rep offers an 11-month fellowship program that provides emerging professionals the opportunity to learn alongside an accomplished company of artists, administrators, guest directors, and designers. While at Berkeley Rep, fellows are encouraged to fulfill as many career-building goals and objectives as possible, gaining both practical experience and professional contacts through the program. Fellows receive housing and a $1,000-per-month stipend for participation in the program.
Berkeley Rep owns and operates several facilities, including the 400-seat Peet’s Theatre and the 600-seat Roda Theatre. The spacious campus is located in Downtown Berkeley and consists of two theater buildings, an adjoining courtyard and bar, education center, rehearsal space, and meeting rooms. A 45-unit housing complex for artists and fellows is under construction to further expand the campus. Nearby in West Berkeley, a 62,000-square-foot administrative and pre-production facility features scenery, props, and costume shops, alongside large light-filled rehearsal halls and administrative offices.
Berkeley Rep has asserted that its commitment to antiracism requires a commitment to changing policies, practices, and procedures, thereby creating a set of tools that make it easier for individuals to de-activate their bias. In June 2020, the board of trustees began working with a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion professional and established a Board Antiracism Task Force. The Task Force centered “We See You, White American Theater” and “The “Living Document of BIPOC Experiences in Bay Area Theater” in its discussions of antiracism and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion. The board has made a commitment to the work of antiracism and charged Berkeley Rep to take action to address systemic racism within the organization. The staff has created a staff-led education committee to facilitate weekly antiracism discussions and trainings. In 2021, the position of Director of Human Resources and Diversity was created to help align institutional policies to antiracism commitments.
This work on anti-racism is one of six strategic initiatives that Berkeley Rep has created as part of a five-year plan, envisioning that the theater moves from survival to ambitious and bold experimentation through the creation of new structures and practices across the entire organization. Another initiative relates to artistic implementation. In seeking to make Berkeley Rep a leader in production creation and artist development, it will support emerging and early-career artists, explore new partnerships, invest in new platforms and modes of storytelling, and take collaborative approaches to virtual programming. Focusing on audiences is also an initiative, with the aim to expand, diversify, and engage a larger and broader demographic of attendees, fostering those relationships and using technology to overcome barriers to make Berkeley Rep’s work more accessible.
Another initiative addresses the School, with the intention of using technology to reach school-age children throughout the region, exploring new opportunities for people of all ages and backgrounds to engage in creative experiences, and shifting from live to virtual classes. In Dialogue is a new programmatic initiative inspired by and in dialogue with community partners, where Berkeley Rep uses its theatrical skills to participate in collaborative engagement to serve the needs of the community. The final initiative relates to infrastructure, aiming to reduce Berkeley Rep’s institutional carbon footprint, raising funds to sustain stability and growth, and exploring new uses for the campuses.
Berkeley Rep is governed by a 31-member board of trustees, led by President Emily Shanks. Johanna Pfaelzer has served as Artistic Director since 2019. For fiscal year ending August 31, 2019, Berkeley Rep reported revenue of $20.8 million, with approximately $8 million from contributions and grants and $12.7 million from program services. Total expenses were $22.9 million. Due to the COVID-19 shutdowns, the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021 had total revenues of $10.7 million. Berkeley Rep’s current investment portfolio stands at approximately $8 million.
Situated on the unceded ancestral lands of the Ohlone people in Northern California, Berkeley is on the east shore of San Francisco Bay, with the cities of Oakland and Emeryville bordering to the south. Its location in the East Bay provides easy access to the global hub of San Francisco and Silicon Valley, with Yosemite, Lake Tahoe, and Napa Valley within driving distance. The nine-county San Francisco Bay Area is home to approximately 7.8 million residents. According to the 2020 census, Berkeley had a population of 124,321 people.
Berkeley is a cultural icon for progressive thinking and action. It is home to the University of California, Berkeley. The oldest campus in the University of California system, UC Berkeley welcomes more than 10,000 new undergraduate students each fall to bustling campus, just minutes away from Berkeley Rep. Also located in Berkeley is the Math Sciences Research Institute, which is the world’s leading collaborative mathematics research organization; the Graduate Theological Union, one of the largest religious studies institutions in the world; and the Centre of Investigative Journalism and Reveal, its nationally broadcast public radio show and investigative reporting podcast. Notable Berkeley residents include legendary actress Rita Moreno and ‘The Three Michaels of Berkeley,’ distinguished authors Michael Pollan, Michael Chabon, and Michael Lewis.
Berkeley Rep is a leader among the city’s more than 100 arts and culture organizations, which include the Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive, Aurora Theatre Company, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Berkeley Art Center, and La Peña Cultural Center. Cal Performances brings international stars to the UC Berkeley campus year-round, and Pixar Animation Studios is located in neighboring Emeryville. Berkeley is also renowned for its restaurants, farmers markets, and craft breweries, including the acclaimed restaurant Chez Panisse, which was founded by chef Alice Waters and is known as one of the originators of California cuisine and the farm-to-table movement. Other nationally prominent businesses include Peet’s Coffee’s original store, the music club 924 Gilman, and the historic Claremont Resort Hotel (now the Claremont Club & Spa).
With its Northern California weather, Berkeley has a Mediterranean climate of warm summers and cool winters. Its network of 140 public paths, hiking and biking trails, public gardens, and regional parks all provide countless opportunities to enjoy outdoor activities throughout the year. Visitors to the UC Botanical Garden can admire more than 12,000 plants, while Tilden Regional Park has 2,000 acres to explore. Children can enjoy a visit to Adventure Playground, one of National Geographic’s Top 10 playgrounds.
Sources: visitberkeley.com; census.gov; cityofberkeley.info; berkeleyrep.org
Reporting to the board of trustees as a co-leader with the Artistic Director, the Managing Director will jointly lead Berkeley Rep’s strategic direction. With responsibility for overseeing the organization’s administrative and business functions, the Managing Director will support the Artistic Director’s vision of developing, producing, and presenting theatrical work that expands and diversifies audiences and sets new standards of artistic innovation and production excellence. They will share responsibility with the Artistic Director for production and artist agreements and attract and retain production staff and human and financial resources to create and support Berkeley’s Rep’s mission.
Respecting Berkeley Rep’s past and current identity, the Managing Director will also envision its role as a courageous change-maker within the field and propel it into the future. The Managing Director will create concrete policies in the areas of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in order to build positive and authentic relationships with all staff, artists, audiences, donors, and community members. They will work collaboratively with all parts of the organization to ensure all departments are fully integrated and aligned with Berkeley Rep’s mission, vision, and values, while maintaining and cultivating deep relationships with community partners, locally, nationally, and internationally. This individual will also be accountable to the board, including the development of and abiding by an accepted annual budget. They will work with the board to ensure the theater has the ability, credibility, and resources to oversee and support Berkeley Rep’s mission.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Vision and Financial Oversight
- Partner with the Artistic Director to lead the organization’s strategic vision, collaborating effectively to ensure that all artistic and financial decisions are mission-aligned.
- Serve as a committed and visionary leader, guiding Berkeley Rep into the future through the creation of pathways for new programs, partnerships, and revenue opportunities.
- Lead conversations with staff and board members to inspire organizational growth across all business areas, communicating openly and consistently in full transparency.
- Demonstrate solid fiscal acumen, including overseeing organizational budgets, controlling expenditures, creating forecasting models and scenario plans, and developing financial analysis.
- Provide leadership to the Finance Committee, alongside the Finance Director, in overseeing the budget, making recommendations, and reporting key financial issues relating to general operations and Berkeley Rep’s real estate portfolio to the board.
- Dedicate financial resources to organization-wide efforts on justice, equity, diversity, and anti-racism work.
Community Engagement, Fundraising, and Earned Revenue Enhancement
- Act as a visible spokesperson throughout Berkeley and the Greater Bay Area, developing relationships and engaging with a wide variety of constituents, including business owners, schools and colleges, elected city officials, and the media, enhancing the organization’s brand and reputation.
- Maintain and grow partnerships and alliances with mission-compatible arts and cultural organizations locally, nationally, and globally to expand programs and access, retain relevance, and build community.
- Support ongoing relationships and manage contractual negotiations with a wide range of partners, including artists, unions, guilds, producing partners, and the League of Resident Theaters.
- Actively seek out new and renewed sources of contributed income, with a particular focus on identifying and establishing relationships with key individual donors, while motivating and inspiring board members in their fundraising responsibilities to leverage their skills and networks.
- Cultivate and deepen relationships with foundations in order to grow contributed revenue.
- Oversee marketing and communication strategies to expand and diversify audiences, subscribers, and donors.
- Re-envision and lead new and innovative approaches to earned revenue models, including the growth and use of digital content offerings, and develop partnerships with Silicon Valley technology companies.
Administrative and Organizational Leadership
- Supervise and mentor all administrative staff and fellows, providing opportunities for professional development and growth to support employee engagement, satisfaction, and a high level of performance.
- Foster a positive company culture where all staff, fellows, and artists feel safe, valued, and respected and where a healthy work-life balance is actively encouraged.
- 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.
- Oversee the hire of key staff positions, including a General Manager, and reassess the organizational structure, supporting more diversity in leadership positions.
- Integrate the School more closely with the rest of the organization, ensuring that all departments work together cohesively and effectively.
- Oversee the opening and use of the new housing complex and establish processes for sustained and effective facilities management.
- Grow and diversify the board of trustees to include people from different ages, races, and socio-economic backgrounds, while managing board relations through regular and effective communication and ensuring that board members are best engaged according to their skills and interests.
Traits and Characteristics
The Managing Director will be an inspiring, forward-thinking, and strategic visionary who leads with a balanced sense of pragmatism and risk-taking. Embracing a public-facing role, they will enjoy working collaboratively with people from all backgrounds throughout the organization as well as with community partners locally and nationally. With a flexible and entrepreneurial approach to problem-solving, this individual will be an ongoing learner, receptive to new ideas and adaptable to change. A fearless champion of justice, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism work, the Managing Director will be emotionally intelligent and approachable, with advanced cultural competencies. They will have the ability to resolve conflict, handle difficult situations, and make tough decisions with compassion and grace.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Diplomacy – The ability to organize and influence people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction and to effectively and tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues.
- Time and Priority Management – The capacity to prioritize and complete tasks in order to deliver desired outcomes within allotted time frames.
- Personal Accountability and Interpersonal Skills – The dexterity to be answerable for personal actions while effectively communicating, building rapport, and relating well to all kinds of people.
- Resiliency and Flexibility – The acumen to quickly recover from adversity while readily modifying, responding, and adapting to change with minimal resistance.
Berkeley Rep does not require specific educational credentials or a specific number of years of experience. Qualified candidates should demonstrate a successful track record of leadership and managerial experience within complex and dynamic organizations, as well as skills in financial management, fundraising, and relationship building. Candidates need not come from within the performing arts sector, although a passion for theater and knowledge of the field are expected. Demonstrated experience in creating and managing anti-racism policies is critical. Exceptional communication skills are required.
Compensation and Benefits
Berkeley Rep provides a competitive compensation package with a salary range between $300,000 and $350,000 and benefits that include paid vacation, sick leave, personal days, and holidays; health, dental, vision, and long-term disability insurance; and a 403b retirement plan. A relocation bonus will be offered to the placed candidate if they are not local.
Applications and Inquiries
To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit artsconsulting.com/employment. For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:
Geoff Chang, Vice President
501 West Broadway, Suite A-582
San Diego, CA 92101
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
Berkeley Rep is committed to becoming an antiracist organization through the efforts of our Board, management, and staff. We are working to become a place where we welcome, support, and honor the fullness and complexity of all people’s identities.
Click here for the downloadable PDF.