ZACH Theatre (ZACH) is located at the very heartbeat of downtown Austin on Lady Bird Lake, mere steps from where former First Lady Johnson called for Austin citizens gathered at the dedication ceremony to “use all the imagination you have, and envision this place as a river for ALL.” ZACH takes those words to heart every day, and commits to a dialogue that is inclusive for everyone who calls Central Texas home. Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley, now in his 31st Season, envisions ZACH as a meeting tent where the community gathers because it has investment, ownership, and representation. ZACH produces plays and musicals that are entertaining, timely, and relevant, re-envisioning work to create meaningful and memorable experiences.
Founded in 1932 as Austin Civic Theatre, ZACH is the longest continuously producing theatre in Texas, and one of the ten oldest in the country; renamed Zachary Scott Theatre Center in 1968, in honor of the Austin-raised, Academy Award-nominated film star. In 1972, the 230-seat Kleberg thrust stage opened as a community theatre, and in 1991 the Binning-Dickson Education Center and Whisenhunt Theatre, a 130-seat arena stage, classroom, administrative offices, and costume shop opened after a successful city of Austin bond election. That same year ZACH joined Actors’ Equity Association (SPT contract), and was selected for an NEA Advancement Grant.
Over the next 20 years, ZACH produced multiple World Premieres by Terrence McNally, Anna Deavere Smith, Steven Dietz, Jaston Williams, Everett Quinton, John Walch, and Allen Robertson. ZACH served as a hub of the nationwide 365 Plays/365 Days festival by Suzan-Lori Parks. In 2009, ZACH opened the Production and Creativity Center (ZPACC) comprised of two large rehearsal studios, a scene shop and properties storage, and technical admin. offices.
In 2012, the $25 million 420-seat Topfer Theatre opened with Ragtime with a 50 member cast, 17 piece orchestra, supported with a $10 million from Austin arts bond initiative, and an AEA LOA-LORT agreement. The LEED-certified facility houses a proscenium stage with orchestra pit, fly tower, stage automation, and adjustable acoustics; an outdoor plaza for the annual Red Hot & Soul gala, and concerts; and a donor lounge – ushering in a new era for Austin and ZACH. Grand Opening concerts starred Bernadette Peters and Brian Stokes Mitchell. In 2013 ZACH hosted Jon Stewart’s The Daily Show, and for a decade has hosted the SXSW Film Festival. ZACH productions span a dynamic range of professional mainstage plays and musicals, and theatre for families. ZACH incubates original work, cultivating, commissioning, developing, and producing new work.
Each year, ZACH serves 125,000 Central Texans – 65,000 of which are children across 15 school districts, who participate in its education and community outreach. ZACH offers camps and classes, and creative skills through the Performing Arts School (founded 1972.) The school includes after-school classes, a pre-professional company (PPC), an audition-based, conservatory program. ZACH's Performing Arts Academy, a four-year, college-bound conservatory, is for students pursuing a performance career. No students or families are ever turned away for financial reasons.
For the fiscal year ending August 2019, annual revenues were, $10.2 million with $3.4 million in contributions and grants. In August 2020 due to pandemic, annual revenues were $6.7 million, with $2.7 million in contributions and grants. Annual revenues in August 2021, were $6.7 million with $5.1 million in contributions and grants; $3.2 million from SVOG and PPP forgiveness grants. For August 2022, annual revenues are projected to be $9.5 million with $5.4 million in contributions and grants and $2.7 million from SVOG and PPP forgiveness grants; the remainder from ticket sales, education classes, investments, and other revenues. ZACH employs 200+ artists annually, and is governed by a 55-member Board of Trustees, led by President Harriet O’Neill. The staff includes 50 full and part-time staff members, collaboratively led by Producing Artistic Director Dave Steakley and the Managing Director.
Located in the heart of Texas on the banks of the Colorado River, Austin, which dates back to the 1830s, is now the center of a rapidly growing metropolitan area of almost 2 ½ million people. As a hub for the high-tech industry, Austin is now a home to an increasing number of corporations like Tesla, Apple, Oracle, Google, Meta, and others. Austin consistently ranks as the best place to live in Texas and one of the top five places to live in the U.S.
Austin is an epicenter of creativity. Downtown’s Sixth Street Entertainment District is a vibrant nightlife hub catering mostly to Austin’s large college population. The Second Street District is centered around the Moody Theatre, home to Austin City Limits. The University of Texas at Austin campus includes Bass Concert Hall, with its touring Broadway season and other cultural events along with a number of smaller theaters. 2022 has seen the opening of two new venues, the Moody Center, a 15,000 seat venue on campus and Moody Amphitheater in downtown’s Waterloo Park. Coupled with many annual festivals like South by Southwest (SXSW) and the Austin City Limits Festival, there’s always something to do!
With ZACH at its center, Austin is also a dynamic theater community. For touring productions, Austin has become a “first year” stop for most Broadway Across America tours. In addition, there are over 80 theater companies, large and small, across the city. Working together, the organizations have created ATXTheatre.org, a website to connect theaters, artists and patrons.
In addition to cultural events, Austin attracts people with its outdoor and sporting events. UT Austin’s teams are consistently highly ranked. 2021 saw the opening of Q2 stadium where soccer fans pack the house to see Austin FC, our professional soccer team. Circuit of the America’s 120,000 seat venue also hosts prestigious international racing events and concerts. Central to the city is Lady Bird Lake, the 10-mil Butler Hike and Bike Trail and the 351-acre Zilker Park.
Education has always been front and center in Austin. With national accolades for both its public and private primary school systems, the area also boasts more than 15 colleges and universities including the University of Texas at Austin, with its 50,000 students, Concordia University, Huston Tillotson University, St. Edwards University, Texas State University, and others. Austin also is home to the Texas School for the Deaf, nationally recognized as one of the leading deaf schools in the country, with whom ZACH has partnered with on productions. These institutions not only mean there’s a large student population in Austin, it also means that there are plenty of opportunities for life-long learning.
Sources: edited from realestate.usnews.com/places/texas/austin Article by Catherine Parker, www.autintexas.gov/resident/about-city-austin, austinrelocationguide.com/education.
Reporting to the board of trustees as a co-leader with the Producing Artistic Director, the Managing Director will jointly lead ZACH Theatre’s strategic direction. With responsibility for overseeing all aspects of theatre management including fundraising, human resources, operations, finances, education, and marketing. Creating a donor and stakeholder-centric culture and implementing the organizations strategic plan, the Managing Director will support the Producing Artistic Director’s vision to create exceptional theatre experiences that inspire and engage the Austin community to be a theatre of national impact that cultivates empathy, ignites joy, and transforms lives. This individual will guide the organization in creating concrete policies in the areas of, equity, diversity, inclusion, and anti-racism in order to build positive and authentic relationships with all staff, artists, audiences, donors, and community members.
Roles and Responsibilities
Strategic Organizational Leadership and Fundraising
- Manage ZACH Theatres business functions and organizational infrastructure, ensuring earned revenue, fundraising, human resources, finance, marketing, education, and overall operations are effective, efficient, and guided by best practices.
- Build contributed revenue through the identification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship of individual donors, corporations and foundations.
- Serve as a committed and visionary leader, guiding ZACH Theatre into the future through the creation of pathways for new programs, partnerships, and revenue opportunities.
- Maintain transparent and frequent communication with the Board of Trustees, the Artistic Director, the staff, organizational partners, and artists.
- Guide the ZACH Theatre’s work in establishing equity, diversity, inclusion, anti-racism, and accessibility policies and practices, and ensure ongoing organization-wide training is prioritized, funded, implemented, and sustained.
Community Engagement and External Relations
- Maintain a consistent presence as a highly engaged member of the Austin community focused on increasing the visibility and reputation of ZACH Theatre in arts, culture, public, corporate, government, and philanthropic communities.
- Expand ZACH Theatre’s presence in the broader theatre field by representing the organization at national convenings, participating in collective lobbying efforts, and fostering relationships with local or national peer organizations that may result in producing partnerships and resource-sharing.
Staff Development, Management and Empowerment
- Nurture and build on the unique culture of ZACH Theatre’s brand to foster an inclusive environment of excellence that attracts, retains, and empowers an engaged and skilled staff.
- Create an inclusive team environment by engaging, mentoring, and managing the team at ZACH Theatre
- Empower those at all levels of the organization to have a voice in its future and provide mentorship while building a sustainable team.
- Establish accountability measures while actively ensuring a safe and healthy work environment.
Fiscal Responsibility and Oversight
- Demonstrate solid fiscal and business acumen and ensure the highest levels of financial accountability.
- Control expenditures, in collaboration with the Director of Finance, while maintaining the quality of the work, achievement of the mission, and reputation of ZACH Theatre
- Manage financial reporting systems to ensure that all staff have the data they need to manage individual budgets.
- Lead the development and management of organizational budgets and implement internal controls to ensure ZACH Theatre’s operational and fiscal integrity.
Traits and Characteristics
The Managing Director will be a decisive, dynamic, and inspirational leader who communicates effectively with all stakeholders and solves problems with a calm and entrepreneurial approach. The individual will be a proactive, resourceful, and approachable manager, a hands-on team-builder capable of uniting the collective energy and resources of ZACH Theatre to build upon its legacy and secure a path toward its future. 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. The Managing Director will be committed to the values of EDIA and strive to make ZACH a welcoming space for all people through empathetic leadership and effective conflict resolution.
Other key competencies include:
- Leadership and Decision Making – The ability to organize and influence people to believe in a vision while creating a sense of purpose and direction.
- Personal Accountability and Time and Priority Management – The capacity to identify and oversee all resources, tasks, systems, and people to obtain results and the competence to prioritize and complete tasks necessary to meet mutually agreed upon expectations and assume responsibility for professional actions.
- Flexibility, Planning, and Organizing – The dexterity to establish courses of action to ensure work is completed effectively.
- Customer Focus – The acumen to prioritize customer satisfaction with a high value on multiple stakeholder needs and the ability to anticipate challenges and develop appropriate solutions.
A bachelor’s degree or equivalent educational credential is required. A master’s degree in arts administration, nonprofit management, business, or a related field is preferred. A minimum of 10 years of senior leadership experience that includes developing new revenue sources, building and strengthening strategic partnerships, and demonstrating fiscal accountability is required. A track record of nonprofit fundraising success is ideal. Strong business experience, coupled with a deep interest and background in the performing arts, is welcomed. Exceptional writing abilities and verbal presentation skills are expected.
Compensation and Benefits
ZACH Theatre offers a competitive and equitable compensation package with a salary range of $190,000 to $210,000 (note: there is no state income tax). Benefits include 100 percent employer-paid healthcare coverage for employees, employer-paid life and ad&d insurance, optional, short-term disability and medical cost coverage through Aflac, optional LifeLock identity protection insurance, 401K program, vacation, sick, and personal time, paid holidays, work from home opportunities, tickets to mainstage and family series shows, and enrollment in camps and classes.
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:
Adam Davis, Vice President
4579 Laclede Avenue, Suite 456
St. Louis, MO 63108
Tel (888) 234.4236 Ext. 215
ZACH Theatre is committed to diversity. Diverse voices are essential to create theatre that speaks to the complexity of our world. Theatre is a place where all liberties are possible for all people; for the dialogue to truly be inclusive, it means that ZACH’s staff, trustees, donors, volunteers, and audience must also grow in diversity. ZACH will consistently strive to be a reflection of the Austin community, cultivate equity through the organization, and identify ways to create a more inclusive culture.
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