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Milwaukee Repertory Theater Milwaukee Rep Director of Finance

Milwaukee Repertory Theater

Director of Finance

Just like Milwaukee, we’re not what people usually expect.
We’re more diverse. More impactful. More modern.


Milwaukee Repertory Theater (Milwaukee Rep) is the premiere producing performing arts organization in Wisconsin and one of the largest professional theaters in the United States. Milwaukee Rep’s mission is to ignite positive change in the cultural, social, and economic vitality of its community by creating world-class theater experiences that entertain, provoke, and inspire meaningful dialogue among an audience representative of Milwaukee’s rich diversity. Its core values are quality, inclusion, relevance, innovation, and sustainability.

Milwaukee Rep’s story begins in 1954, when Mary Widrig John forged a plan to create a professional theater for her native city, working with a committee of city leaders to renovate an existing facility and establish the company. Initially named Drama Incorporated, the new theater opened on January 25, 1955 with a production of Sabrina Fair. In 1963, the company was renamed Milwaukee Repertory Theater to reflect its newly established resident acting company and an expanded repertoire that included classics and premieres of new works. Milwaukee Rep’s current home is the Patty & Jay Baker Theater Complex, a converted power generation plant that houses three theaters, rehearsal facilities, production shops, and administrative offices, all owned by the organization. The Quadracci Powerhouse Theater has 720 seats, the Stiemke Studio Theater has 225 seats, and the 186-seat Stacker Cabaret is a full-service restaurant and bar that offers dinner service prior to performances.

Led by Artistic Director Mark Clements and Executive Director Chad Bauman, Milwaukee Rep creates world-class theater experiences for its audiences and uses education and civil engagement to bring diverse people together for healthy and respectful dialogue around important issues facing contemporary society. Throughout its history, Milwaukee Rep has been known for its commitment to the development of new works, collaborating with playwrights in the premiere of more than 150 plays and musicals. In 2016, Milwaukee Rep rededicated and increased their commitment to New Plays with the creation of the John (Jack) D. Lewis New Play Development Program. Pre-COVID, Milwaukee Rep welcomed up to 300,000 people at approximately 700 performances of 15 productions, including compelling dramas, powerful classics, new plays, and full-scale musicals in its three unique performance venues. The company provided extensive online programming through 2020, including a summer series of weekly world premiere short plays by leading playwrights and performances by some of Milwaukee Rep’s favorite actors. Milwaukee Rep will reopen with live performances in April 2021 with the concert First Lady of Song: Alexis J Roston Sings Ella Fitzgerald in the Quadracci Powerhouse, presented by Artists Lounge Live

Milwaukee Rep has been deeply engaged in Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (ED&I) work over the past five years, elevating ED&I with the full backing of trustees, staff, and stakeholders as one of the organization’s three strategic priorities. In March 2021, the organization launched REP Forward, a plan based on the ED&I principles of valuing diversity, being consciously inclusive, supporting and modeling anti-racism, and continuously learning, with the goal of Milwaukee Rep leading for change inside and outside the theater walls. The focus will be on three key areas: Workforce (ensure diverse representation throughout the organization), Workplace (build a culturally competent organization that embraces and celebrates differences), and Community (continue building stronger relationships with marginalized communities and partners).

Milwaukee Rep has a 41-member board of trustees, led by President Gregory C. Oberland, and currently operates with a core staff of 91 employees, which is expected to expand when live production resumes. Milwaukee Rep has collective bargaining agreements with Actors’ Equity Association; International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees; International Union of Operating Engineers; Stage Directors and Choreographers Society; and United Scenic Artists.

For the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020, Milwaukee Rep reported revenues of $13.8 million, with $6.1 million from contributions and grants, $6.5 million from earned revenue, and $1.2 million from investment and other income. Total expenses were $13.7 million. For the fiscal year ending August 31, 2021, annual revenues are projected to decrease due to COVID-19 to approximately $8.2 million, with $7.4 million from contributions and grants, $300,000 from earned revenue, and $500,000 from investment and other income. Milwaukee Rep’s permanently restricted endowment stands at $17 million.


Wisconsin’s largest city, Milwaukee is located along the southwestern shores of Lake Michigan. The city sits along the southwest shores of Michigami, where the Milwaukee, Menominee, and Kinnickinnic rivers meet and the people of Wisconsin’s sovereign Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, Oneida, and Mohican nations remain present. European colonists first settled in the area in the early 1800s and the city was incorporated in 1846. The 19th century saw an influx of German immigrants to the city, bringing in a sense of community and cultural traditions that are still present in this midwestern city.

Modern Milwaukee is a diverse and vibrant city, home to nearly 600,000 people. The population is 44 percent white, 39 percent Black or African American, 4 percent Asian, and 19 percent Hispanic. The median age is 31.3 years, younger than the national median of 37.4 years. Cost of living is 15 percent below the national average. Known as a “big city of little neighborhoods,” Milwaukee’s East Side, Historic Third Ward, and Bay View are just a few of its great locales, each with its own unique personality. Offering rich cultural diversity with mixed-use areas that are simultaneously historic and hip, the region attracts young professionals and families.

Milwaukee is at the center of a seven-county metropolitan area with a robust economy, ranked in the top 20 on MarketWatch's 50 best United States metropolitan areas for business and one of the 25 best places for doing business by Inc. magazine. Seven Fortune 500 companies are headquartered in the region, including Northwestern Mutual, ManpowerGroup, Kohl’s, and Harley-Davidson. Higher education institutions based in the city include the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Marquette University, and Milwaukee Institute of Art & Design. Milwaukee also offers extensive options for public transportation, including streetcar, bus, and commuter rail networks. General Mitchell International Airport is the largest airport in the Wisconsin region, offering nonstop flights to more than 35 destinations coast-to-coast and more than 200 international destinations with just one connection.

Recreation and leisure activities abound in Milwaukee. The city’s park system is ranked among the top 30 in the United States by the Trust for Public Land, with 90 percent of city’s residents living within a 10-minute walk to a park. The Oak Leaf Trail has more than 125 miles of trail for cycling, roller blading, walking, birding, and running around Milwaukee County. Sports fans can catch the MLB Brewers at American Family Field, considered one of the best ballparks in America, and the NBA Bucks at Fiserv Forum, a 17,500-seat arena designed solely for basketball. The city has a vibrant food and drink scene, with many modern craft breweries that maintain the city’s historic and cultural ties to beer. The city’s climate is typical of the Midwest, with four distinct seasons. Winters are snowy and cold and summers are pleasant and warm.

Milwaukee’s cultural vitality is a major factor in the region’s quality of life, with both nationally acclaimed anchor institutions and a growing cadre of emerging and mid-size organizations that reflect the city’s diversity and cultural heritages. The Milwaukee Art Museum, an architectural landmark designed by Santiago Calatrava, is one of the city’s most iconic buildings. The Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra is restoring and renovating the historic Warner Grand Theater as its new permanent home and the Milwaukee Public Museum will develop a new facility for its expansive natural history collections and interpretive programs. The Marcus Performing Arts Center is home to touring Broadway series, the Milwaukee Ballet, Florentine Opera, First Stage, and Black Arts MKE. The Milwaukee Youth Arts Center houses the biggest children’s theater company and youth symphony orchestra in the nation. Supporting this stellar arts scene is the United Performing Arts Fund, established in 1967 to raise funds collectively for the performing arts sector. Milwaukee’s Summerfest, recognized as the world’s largest music festival, hosts more than 1,000 performances by major artists, emerging talent, and local favorites on 11 stages, attracting more than 750,000 fans to Henry Maier Festival Park.


Position Summary

Reporting to the Managing Director, the Director of Finance will be an involved, pragmatic manager who guides financial policy and direction with the staff, senior leadership, and board. As a central figure in the business infrastructure of the organization, the Director of Finance will be integral in planning the organization’s future strategy, maintaining operational integrity, overseeing fiscal controls, and leading financial administration, business planning, and budgeting. They will mentor, model, and motivate staff in an inclusive and collegial manner while developing realistic goals and accountability measures. The Director of Finance plays a key role in Milwaukee Rep’s success, securing the foundation for the organization to build an expanded artistic vision and continuing to build sustainable growth over time.

Roles and Responsibilities

Financial Management and Planning

  • Ensure the responsible management of Milwaukee Rep’s financial assets and provide strategic recommendations to the senior leadership team on operational and financial issues as they arise.
  • Direct the organization’s financial planning processes, including management of annual and multi-year budgeting.
  • Achieve budget objectives by scheduling expenditures, analyzing variances, and initiating corrective actions.
  • Serve as a bedrock resource providing reporting, analysis, plans for operational improvement, and the evaluation of growth opportunities.
  • Maintain and strengthen the organization’s financial condition by conducting internal assessments, presenting operational metrics both internally and externally.

Fiscal Monitoring, Reporting, and Analysis

  • Lead communication with external auditors as they prepare annual audited financial statements and IRS 990 tax returns.
  • Prepare month- and year-end close documents, assuring that financial record systems are maintained in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.
  • Produce, analyze, and deliver timely and accurate financial statements, including budgets, accruals, prepaids, and deferred revenues
  • Perform cash flow analysis and planning to ensure availability of funds as needed.
  • Collaborate with the Development Department on grant budget development and timely reporting.
  • Oversee fiscal operations, including accounts payable, billing, forecasting, account reconciliations, and purchasing.
  • Oversee, administer, and monitor payroll and employee benefit programs, including health insurance, retirement plans, ACA reporting, and HSA, HRA, SEC 125, DCFSA, QTFBP, ERISA documentation.
  • Ensure compliance with federal, state, and local requirements through research and awareness of existing, new, or anticipated legislation and liaise with legal counsel to advise management on needed actions or potential impacts.
  • Review, analyze, and report on fund development accounting, including capital campaign reporting, restricted and unrestricted accounting practices, grant reporting, and accounting for endowment funds.
  • Provide oversight of all project-based and departmental financial reporting, including reconciliation of gift revenue, box office reporting, and royalties.
  • Manage banking and insurance relationships and company credit cards and merchant accounts.
  • Partner with Milwaukee Rep’s Investment Committee to manage long-term organizational investments.

Management and Administration

  • Collaborate with leadership and team members to execute organizational financial strategy and lead initiatives maintaining a high degree of accountability and transparency.
  • Guide financial decisions by establishing, monitoring, and enforcing internal controls; ensuring operational policies and procedures; and recommending processes for increased efficiency and effectiveness.
  • Participate in the strategic planning process to achieve the mutually established vision, mission, goals, and objectives of the organization.
  • Partner with the leadership team to represent Milwaukee Rep with key stakeholders, including funders, community organizations, and volunteers, and participate in advocacy efforts and company events.
  • Liaise with the Board Finance Committee and participate in committee and board meetings.
  • Manage and mentor Finance Department staff members.

Traits and Characteristics

The Director of Finance will be a collaborative and supportive leader with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to provide levity, resiliency, and perspective. A highly organized self-starter, the successful candidate will be focused on completing tasks and solving problems sensibly and expeditiously. They will be adept at establishing and maintaining order in daily activities, yet flexible to adapt to interruptions and changes in priorities. The Director of Finance will possess strong analytical skills as well as the ability to synthesize large amounts of information and make sound and timely decisions. A voracious learner, they will possess a keen awareness of the rules and regulations that impact their work and will demonstrate initiative to learn new concepts, technologies, or systems to improve their performance. Pragmatic and resourceful, they will maximize the efficient use of their time and resources to accomplish their work.

Other key competencies include:

  • Self-Starting and Personal Accountability – The confidence to take initiative and achieve results, recognize and overcome mistakes, and accept personal responsibility for outcomes.
  • Time and Priority Management – The capacity to prioritize tasks, effectively manage delays, and deliver desired outcomes in a timely fashion.
  • Planning and Goal Orientation – The willingness to set ambitious and challenging goals, establish a course of action to pursue and attain goals, and adopt an action plan with procedures and processes for efficiency and productivity.
  • Conceptual Thinking and Problem Solving – The ability to observe and analyze data to gain new insights or perspectives, use logical processes to analyze problems and define solutions, and evaluate the impact of possible solutions.


A bachelor’s degree (or equivalent experience) and significant experience in a senior financial management role are required. Substantial experience in a financial management leadership position within a performing arts or cultural organization is preferred, as well as Certified Public Accountant designation. Qualified candidates will have skills in managing processes, analyzing information, and developing standards and policies. Expertise in nonprofit accounting, budgeting, reporting, grant management, and auditing is necessary. Evidence of specific actions to advance equity, diversity, inclusion, and access in previous environments is essential, including equitable vendor selection and diverse staffing. Experience with current versions of Abila MIP, Prophix, or other financial software is required. Familiarity with Tessitura and Paylocity is a plus.

Compensation and Benefits

Milwaukee Rep offers a competitive salary expected to be in the range of $80,000 to $90,000 and a benefits package that includes 100 percent employer paid health insurance, subsidized dental insurance, voluntary vision and disability insurances, flexible spending accounts, health reimbursement account, retirement plan with employer contributions that are immediately vested and does not require an employee match, parking program, and complimentary tickets. This position will be based in Milwaukee.

Applications and Inquiries

To submit a cover letter and resume with a summary of demonstrable accomplishments (electronic submissions preferred), please click here or visit For questions or general inquiries about this job opportunity, please contact:

Jenna Deja, Vice President

201 West Lake Street, Suite 133
Chicago, IL 60606-1803
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 227

Milwaukee Repertory Theater is committed to creating a culturally diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital status, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.



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