Shakespeare & Company
Founded in 1978 by Tina Packer and other artists, Shakespeare & Company (Shakes & Co.) is one of the preeminent Shakespeare festivals in North America. For more than four decades, Shakes & Co. has amplified the canon of Shakespeare’s work while also presenting exceptional productions of contemporary and other classical voices. All Shakes & Co. productions are produced with equal focus on three organizational pillars: performance, training programs for theater professionals, and significant educational opportunities for teachers, students, and the community. Because of its deep commitment to this three-pillar approach, Shakes & Co. has built an international artistic and educational reputation as well as a devoted and loyal donor and audience base.
Shakes & Co. was founded to perform Shakespeare's plays with a unique and specific approach to actor training at its core. The company embraces the classical ideals and visceral experience of Shakespeare's work: collaboration, commitment to language, physical prowess, analysis, Alexander movement, fight, dance, clown, and the personal relationship between the actor and the audience. Actors, directors, writers, and teachers from all over the world come to work with the faculty to not only train their voices and bodies with a daily regimen of demanding classes, but also to delve deeply into their own imaginations, intellects, emotional lives, and connection with Shakespeare’s text. Annual programs and workshops reach more than 400 theater professionals each year, including the Month-Long Intensive, Summer Shakespeare Intensive, a variety of specialized workshops exploring a full range of disciplines, and more than 20 Weekend Intensives offered in various cities throughout the year.
One of the most extensive arts-in-education programs in the Northeast, Shakes & Co. typically reaches more than 40,000 students and teachers each year with innovative, socially responsive, and educationally challenging performances, workshops, and residencies, including the annual Fall Festival of Shakespeare, the flagship of the Education Program. The program has been nationally recognized as an innovative leader in the field of integrating theater arts into education and teaching Shakespeare. Since the program was founded in 1978, nearly one million elementary, middle, and high school students have taken part. The Fall Festival of Shakespeare is a residency program at 10 high schools in Massachusetts and neighboring New York. Shakes & Co. directing teams lead students at each school through a language-based exploration of different Shakespeare plays, culminating in full-scale productions at their own schools and then on the main stage at the Tina Packer Playhouse. More than 500 students participate in this program each year.
Shakes & Co. owns its 33-acre campus located in the heart of Lenox, Massachusetts and features several indoor and outside performance spaces, including the Tina Packer Playhouse with flexible seating for 350 to 420 people; the intimate 192-seat Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre; the Roman Garden Theatre, a 280-seat outdoor venue created in 2019; and its newest venue, the New Spruce Theatre, a 540-seat amphitheater and the largest outdoor theatrical venue in the Berkshires. While most productions occur in the summer season, there are up to 14 productions on campus throughout much of the year. Additionally, the expansive site features various indoor and outside rehearsal spaces, teaching studios, offices, artist residences, and a robust prop and wardrobe facility.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Shakes & Co. doubled the number of donors to the organization and developed a robust virtual theater program, enabling the company to reach a worldwide audience. Given its success during the pandemic, digital programming will now be a permanent aspect of the company’s offerings. Shakes & Co. is producing its current season in its outside venues and recently completed a successful production of King Lear.
Allyn Burrows was hired as Artistic Director of Shakes & Co. in 2016 after being involved with the organization as an actor and board member for more than 20 years. Shakes & Co. promotes a highly collaborative culture, which includes a staff of approximately 25 to 30 full-time professionals; a seasonal ensemble of 150 to 200 artists, designers, and production staff; and an extensive group of volunteers. Shakes & Co. has a 27-member board of trustees, led by Chair Kenneth E. Werner. For the fiscal year ending March 31, 2020, Shakes & Co. reported total revenue of $4.5 million, with $1.7 million from contributions and grants and $2.5 million from program services. Due to the pandemic, for the fiscal year ending March 31, 2021, the reported total revenue was lower at $3 million, with $2.5 million from contributions and grants and $98,600 from program services.
Lenox is one of the 30 towns and two cities that make up the Western Massachusetts region known as the Berkshires. Beloved for its rich cultural offerings in a rural setting, Lenox offers a highly desirable lifestyle. Just a scenic few hours’ drive from New York City and Boston, Lenox can also be reached by Amtrak into Albany, followed by a taxi or bus ride. The area features bucolic surroundings with access to many larger city amenities.
Historic downtown Lenox has a collection of charming restaurants, parks, shops, and municipal buildings. Unlike many other New England towns, Lenox does not close at the end of the summer, but thrives at all times of the year, with many social events continuing into the fall and winter months. The fall is a spectacular time of the year, with trees drenched in glorious autumnal colors as well as many craft fairs to enjoy, including the Apple Squeeze and the Lenox Tub Parade. There are also plenty of outdoor recreational options, including biking, kayaking, and exceptional skiing. In winter, skiing at resorts like Bousquet Mountain, Ski Butternut, and Jiminy Peak Mountain are popular activities, as is snowshoeing through the woods. The glorious Mount Greylock provides more than 70 miles of designated trails, including an 11.5-mile section of the Appalachian National Scenic Trail.
Lenox and the surrounding areas of the Berkshires have long been a home and an inspiration to artists and arts lovers. In addition to Shakes & Co., Lenox is the site of Tanglewood, Boston Symphony Orchestra’s summer home. The Mount, Pulitzer-prize winning novelist Edith Wharton’s home and gardens, has been restored to its former splendor and offers events, tours, and lectures. Other cultural institutions nearby include the Williamstown Theatre Festival, Jacob’s Pillow Dance Festival, Mahaiwe Performing Arts Center, Clark Art Institute, and Norman Rockwell Museum, which offer world-class experiences. The Massachusetts Museum of Contemporary Art, known colloquially as MASS MoCA, is one of the largest centers for contemporary visual art and performing arts in the country and is located in North Adams, less than an hour’s drive from Lenox.
Lenox is becoming increasingly more diverse and over the past 10 years, the region has gained more Black, Asian, Hispanic, and multiracial residents. The area appeals to year-round residents and vacationers alike. Its award-winning healthcare system and providers are recognized among the nation’s best. The Cancer Center at Berkshire Medical Center was recently ranked among the top one percent in the country. The local public school system and the nearby Williams College and Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts offer strong community partnerships. There are also highly rated private college preparatory schools, including Berkshire School and Miss Hall’s School. A culinary mecca with some of the best farm-to-table dining in the country, the area features innovative restaurants, breweries, and wineries that draw sophisticated diners from all over the country.
Sources: explorenorthadams.com; berkshires.org; lenox.org
Reporting to the board of trustees in partnership with the Artistic Director, the Managing Director will provide strategic leadership and financial oversight. They will be responsible for all of Shakes & Co.’s administrative and business functions, including fundraising, marketing, and human resources. This individual will build and maintain positive and authentic relationships with all staff, artists, volunteers, board members, and audiences, helping to bring more people to Shakes & Co. and making it a welcoming community hub. They will collaborate with partners locally throughout the Berkshires, as well as nationally and internationally. The Managing Director will be committed to making Shakes & Co. more inclusive by developing and championing diversity, equity, and inclusion initiatives.
Roles and Responsibilities
Organizational Leadership and Oversight
- Actively partner with the Artistic Director in a co-leadership model so that business functions and artistic vision work together to ensure the ongoing viability of the company.
- Conduct an organization-wide audit, identifying ways in which positions and departments can be restructured for maximum effectiveness and ensuring that staff are placed in roles that best align with the organization’s needs.
- Oversee the hire of key roles within the organization while nurturing and mentoring new and existing staff.
- Build and maintain a robust Human Resources function, implementing new policies, systems, and procedures that are in alignment with the organization’s mission and values.
- Improve the facilities on campus, including creating more space for costumes, upgrading the fleet of vehicles, modernizing onsite housing, and obtaining new machinery, equipment, and technology.
- Support the Marketing Department by implementing a website update and making prompt decisions to ensure external marketing communications are consistent and timely.
- Prioritize the work of the Education and Actor Training Departments so that they are more integrated into the organization, helping expand their reach and impact nationally and internationally.
- Create and maintain a positive culture and work environment where all departments are equally valued and staff of all genders, ethnicities, and backgrounds feel appreciated.
- Prioritize equity, diversity, inclusion, and access work in all aspects of artistic and management decisions.
- Demonstrate a genuine curiosity and interest in all aspects of the organization, including attending educational performances, so that all parts of the institution are fully understood and valued.
Community Engagement and Fundraising Excellence
- Act as a visible spokesperson for the organization, positively engaging with audience members and donors at performances and taking an active public speaking role at events to become a major community leader.
- Participate in local committees and boards, leveraging the growing population in the Berkshires in order to develop relationships with individuals in the community who can become donors.
- Collaborate with other arts and culture organizations locally and nationally, including institutions that are BIPOC-led, creating partnerships that serve a wide audience and create lasting impact.
- Develop and champion transparent equity, diversity, inclusion, and access initiatives, ensuring that historically underrepresented people are included in all activities and that Shakes & Co. is a safe and welcoming space.
- Expand fundraising efforts, including creating new institutional, individual, and foundation relationships.
- Identify and establish relationships with key funders and donors to help develop new sources of fundraising.
Financial Management and Board Governance
- Oversee and develop the organizational budget, carefully managing expenses and income to ensure financial stability and growth.
- Develop forecasting models for all revenue streams in partnership with the Artistic Director and Director of Finance.
- Lead the finance and executive committees, monitoring and reporting financial performance to the board to support decision making.
- Explain budgets and forecasts to staff, funders, and board members so that everyone fully understands why financial decisions are made and how resources are allocated.
- Broaden earned income through increased ticket sales by growing the number of visitors to the campus and enhancing revenue from training and education.
- Expand, diversify, and manage the board of trustees by ensuring that current board members are best engaged according to their skills, interests, and the needs of the organization.
- Regularly keep board members updated, acting as a liaison between board committees, staff, and the Artistic Director.
Traits and Characteristics
The Managing Director will be a dynamic and inspirational leader who communicates effectively with all stakeholders and solves problems with a calm and entrepreneurial approach. They will have the ability to give constructive criticism or positive feedback when required and make difficult decisions firmly yet compassionately. With a transparent, collaborative, and open-door approach, the Managing Director will be a thoughtful and patient individual who is trusted by all and is committed to ensuring that everyone feels valued, respected, and heard.
Other key competencies of this role include:
- Diplomacy and Teamwork – The ability to tactfully handle difficult or sensitive issues while working closely with other team members to meet goals and objectives.
- Time, Priority, and Conflict Management – The capacity to prioritize and complete tasks within scheduled time frames while addressing and resolving conflict constructively.
- Planning and Organizing – The dexterity to establish courses of action to ensure work is completed effectively.
- Interpersonal Skills and Customer Focus – The acumen to communicate effectively and relate well to people from all backgrounds while anticipating and meeting the needs and expectations of customers.
Shakes & Co. does not require specific educational requirements for this position, although credentials in arts administration, nonprofit management, business, or a related field are useful. Previous theater management experience is beneficial. Qualified candidates possess a leadership background that includes managing staff, building and strengthening strategic partnerships, and overseeing finances and budgets. Previous experience working alongside a board is highly desirable. The successful candidate must have a deep passion for theater. Exceptional writing abilities and verbal presentation skills are expected.
Compensation and Benefits
Shakespeare & Co. provides a competitive and equitable compensation package in the range of $100,000 to $130,000, with benefits that include paid vacation; health insurance (60 percent paid for by Shakes & Co.); sick leave, personal days, and holidays; and a voluntary retirement plan with company match. A generous relocation bonus will be offered if the candidate is not already based in the Berkshires.
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:
1040 First Avenue, Suite 352
New York, NY 10022-2991
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 218
Shakespeare & Company believes that live theater connects us all in the universal pursuit of a purposeful existence and reveals through storytelling the meaning of our humanity. This can only be achieved when theater is genuinely inclusive and reflects the stories of all, particularly those who have been ignored, diminished, or erased.
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