Delaware Shakespeare (“Del Shakes”) seeks a Managing Director to provide long-term management vision and oversee day-to-day business operations to build on Del Shakes’ 21-year commitment to bringing people together from all walks of life to explore and celebrate their shared humanity through Shakespearean works.
Delaware Shakespeare is a 501c3 nonprofit organization with a $450,000 annual budget and pursues the following mission: Inspired by Shakespeare’s creative vision and the broad societal mix of audiences of his era, Delaware Shakespeare brings our community together for vibrant theatre and learning experiences.
Founded in 2003, Del Shakes' two programming pillars are the Summer Festival, an annual Shakespeare production outdoors under the stars at historic Rockwood Park, and the Community Tour, a fall production that travels to individuals with limited or no access to the arts in locations like prisons, community centers, and medical facilities.
The Summer Festival, held annually since 2003, is an outdoor production staged in historic Rockwood Park. It creates an informal, family-friendly environment wherein audience members enjoy live theatre, picnics and a communal experience. In a concerted effort to remove barriers to accessing the arts, the $25 general admission ticket is among the lowest price for any professional theatre company in the state. Del Shakes also offers Pay-What-You-Can Wednesdays, where patrons are able to select the ticket price. Summer Festival attendance ranges between 2,000-3,000 people, with audience members coming from Delaware, Pennsylvania, Maryland, New Jersey and beyond. Delaware Today has dubbed the Summer Festival the “summer’s must-do event.”
In recent years Del Shakes has significantly increased focus on the objective of bringing Shakespeare to audiences with wide-ranging backgrounds throughout Delaware. The cornerstone of this effort is the Community Tour. Launched in 2016, the Community Tour brings high quality Shakespeare performances to the full spectrum of humanity by traveling to locations such as prisons, libraries, and community centers. Tour performances are presented free of charge, ensuring that people from all walks of life have the opportunity to experience professional theatre. The tour reaches all three Delaware counties with a total audience of over 1,000 people.
Del Shakes often partners with other arts and non-arts organizations to increase impact, extend its reach, and develop new audiences.
Del Shakes is deliberate in following the lead of its namesake, Shakespeare, who wrote his plays knowing that all social classes would be in his audience. Del Shakes believes that thrilling things happen when his stories are shared with audiences made up of people from all walks of life, and with artists that reflect the diversity of the community in which we live.
Candidates should share Del Shakes’ values, and its commitment to antiracism.
Del Shakes is perhaps most defined by its commitment to theatrical and community-engaged excellence. Any candidate for the position should value engaging with Delaware communities as a driving force of their daily work.
The candidate will welcome the opportunity to live in Delaware and to participate actively in the life of the community. They will invest significant time and energy in building relationships within the community.
The Managing Director for Del Shakes supervises and implements the overall business, administrative, and operational management of the company, including leadership of sales and marketing, budgeting and financial management, contract administration, human resources, information systems, ticket and concession sales, and Board relations, while collaborating with the Artistic Partner & Development Officer on contributed income development.
Sales & Marketing
- With the Artistic Director, ensure progress on 3-year Strategic Plan. In 2025, assist the Board in creating a process to develop new 3-year Strategic Plan.
- Collaborate with Artistic Director on season planning, by providing fiscal and marketing analysis of artistic choices.
- Alongside fellow organizational leaders, represent Del Shakes in Wilmington, throughout the state of Delaware, and in the Greater Philadelphia area; engaging with internal and external stakeholders, and the general public.
- Ensure that Del Shakes provides a welcoming, inclusive, respectful environment for all employees, contractors, and volunteers.
Budgeting & Financial Management
- Develop and implement an annual marketing plan that maximizes Del Shakes exposure, develops new and untapped markets, and ultimately boosts earned and contributed income potential.
- Collaborate with graphic design firm to develop season and full production marketing materials.
- Maintain social media presence, currently focused on Facebook and Instagram.
- Maintain Del Shakes website. Pending a successful grant application, MD may be responsible for overseeing the development of a new website.
- Ideal candidate will possess graphic design skills to create promotional material for smaller events and performances, and complete program design/layout for Summer Festival and Community Tour.
- Sell ads in Summer Festival program.
- Re-start group sales and VIP Hospitality Tent sales for Summer Festival.
- Pursue new and increased earned income opportunities through avenues such as merchandising, concession sales, and additional programming/classes.
- Del Shakes has a goal to increase Summer Festival audience to 2,700 by 2025 (up from 2,200 in 2023) and Community Tour audience to 1,000 by 2025 (up from 700 in 2022).
- Own and lead the annual budgeting process in deep collaboration with the Artistic Director with a goal of balanced or revenue positive budgets. Develop an annual budget for Board approval.
- Manage Del Shakes’ finances: oversee free-lance bookkeeper; ensure adherence to budget; provide accurate and timely financial reports to Finance Committee and Board. Ensure the Board is aware of any material budgetary discrepancies and other significant issues.
- Cut checks, process vendor payments, and make bank deposits.
- Oversee the filing of all required tax and business forms (990, 1099s, etc.).
- Hire and collaborate with accounting firm on annual Financial Review (as required by Delaware Division of the Arts grant).
- Manage payroll in conjunction will payroll management firm.
- Develop, negotiate, and draft all relevant contracts and letters of agreement for employees and independent contractors. This is does in collaboration with the AD and (for the Summer Festival) the Production Manager.
- Manage and ensure compliance with all applicable employment laws and regulations.
- Oversee and implement all HR functions for all employees and contractors, including compensation, and where applicable benefits, workers’ compensation, etc.
- Oversee QSEHRA health care reimbursements for three full-time employees, using third-party online vendor and payroll company.
- Develop, maintain, and implement personnel policies in compliance with all applicable laws and regulations.This includes Sexual Harassment Policy and Antiracism Policy.
- Procure insurance, including liability, D&O, workers’ compensation, and equipment.
- In collaboration with Artistic Director, determine and implement process for staff meetings.
Ticket Sales, Concessions, and Front of House Oversight
- Manage and ensure the effective functioning of Del Shakes information systems, including:
- Patron Manager (ticketing system and donor/patron CRM)
- Dropbox (current platform for shared company files)
- Gmail and Google Drive
- Phone lines/internet
- Oversee the effective and timely updating and maintenance of Del Shakes web assets and properties to provide a quality patron experience and maximize patron engagement, ticket sales, and donations.
- Oversee adherence to established corporate IT policies to ensure the security of corporate data and system assets.
- Set-up all ticket sales for public events in Patron Manager.
- Hire Front of House staff for Summer Festival and collaborate with team to develop plans/procedures for onsite ticket sales, concession sales, and audience experience.
- Oversee recruiting of volunteers for Summer Festival front of house needs.
- Plan ways to collect as much patron information as possible for walk-up Summer Festival sales that sets the stage for long-term patron relations.
- For Community Tour studio performances and additional smaller-scale programming, MD serves as Front of House staff.
- For Summer Festival, complete Memorandum of Understanding process to procure use of Rockwood Park each summer. Identify location for Community Tour studio performance and venues for additional season programming/classes.
- Develop and maintain the highest level of communications with Board members, including coordinating with Governance Committee on annual Board review and annual Board member commitments (work with individual Board members to ensure follow-up on commitments).
- With the Board President and Artistic Director, plan agendas for all Board meetings.
- Prepare materials for Board and Board Committee meetings, as needed.
- Serve on Board committees related to the administration of Del Shakes, specifically Governance, Development, and Finance committees.
Del Shakes has a full-time Artistic Partner & Development Officer who currently runs all components of fundraising. MD will supervise this employee’s development-related activities, ensuring the achievement of development goals (regular check-ins, proofing grants, collaborating on necessary financial materials, etc.). In addition, the MD will add value to development strategies by collaborating with the Development Officer in the following ways:
Qualifications & Qualities
- Pursue new major gift opportunities, including corporate sponsorship (currently in the realm of $1k-$2.5k) and honorary producers ($1k-$5k individual donation connected to major productions).
- Create and implement fundraising special events.
The ideal candidate will offer most or all of these characteristics, traits, and competencies:
Reporting Relationships and Collaborators
- Experience in non-profit or arts management.
- Experience in marketing, social media, business development, financial record-keeping, and fundraising.
- Strong writing and math/financial skills.
- Graphic design skills, including competency in Adobe InDesign.
- Inclination and mindset to closely collaborate with Artistic Director to guide the company into the next phase of its evolution.
- Experience collaborating with a wide array of partners, including non-arts partners.
- Experience with and desire to work in diverse intersectional spaces with colleagues of different ages, abilities, experience levels, and racial, ethnic, and gender identities.
- Commitment to community engagement and accessibility.
- Leadership and the ability to develop leadership capacity in others.
- Project management.
- Supervision and mentorship.
- The ability to work evenings and weekends during production and for meetings is necessary.
- Knowledge and experience with Wilmington communities and the state of Delaware.
Del Shakes is currently shifting from a single leadership structure (a Producing Artistic Director who oversees the entire organization and reports to the Board of Directors) to a dual leadership structure (Artistic Director and Managing Director both reporting to the Board of Directors).
Del Shakes has one additional full-time employee, the Artistic Partner & Development Officer. The Managing Director would supervise the development components of this person’s work.
Del Shakes currently engages an Associate Producer as a part-time contractor. On the management side of operations, the Associate Producer has assisted with contracting and served as the Festival Manager for the Summer Festival, overseeing all Front of House operations and personnel.
In 2020, Del Shakes created the Artistic Squad, a rotating collective of BIPOC mid-career theatre artists who have provided programming and management support to Del Shakes. The vision for the future of the Squad is unfolding. Del Shakes hopes that some of the current members of the Squad will continue with Del Shakes in 2024, and support the transition to a new Managing Director by providing institutional knowledge and guidance on current personnel practices. The new Artistic Director will seek input from new Managing Director to determine the next evolution of the Artistic Squad. Compensation and Benefits
This is a full-time position, with an annual salary of $50,000. Benefits include QSEHRA health care reimbursement plan (up to $6,000 a year) and two weeks paid vacation. Conditions of Work
This position requires local residence, ideally in Wilmington, and combines remote and onsite work.
Del Shakes rents office space in the OperaDelaware Studios on the Riverfront in downtown Wilmington. Work at home would be an option some days, but developing your working relationship with the new Del Shakes admin team is best achieved through in-person work.
The office environment is somewhat “tech start-up” at the moment. Employees work on their own laptops with printer, copier, and shared digital storage provide by Del Shakes.
As with most small and mid-sized organizations, Del Shakes employees often “pinch hit,” and the Artistic and Managing Directors will both be called upon to fill operational gaps. We embrace flexible schedules within operational constraints, and strive for a culture of communication, consultation, and adaptability that supports everyone’s ability to succeed.
As mentioned previously, Del Shakes is currently transitioning from a single Producing Artistic Director to a dual Artistic Director-Managing Director leadership model. Both of these roles are currently being hired. As the Artistic Director sets the programmatic vision for the Del Shakes, the plan is for the Artistic Director to be hired first. The new Artistic Director would collaborate with the Board on identifying and hiring a new Managing Director, to ensure an effective match in leadership styles and vision.
The plan at this moment is for the current Producing Artistic Director to remain with the organization through EOY 2023 (also the end of Del Shakes’ fiscal year). Del Shakes is interested in new Managing Director starting in a part-time consulting manner in December, while current PAD facilitates the conclusion of the fiscal year. Ideally, new Managing Director be in place full-time by January 1. How to Apply
Interested candidates are invited to apply by submitting a resume and cover letter to firstname.lastname@example.org
. The position is open until filled; priority will be given to candidates who apply by October 15, 2023.Del Shakes’ services and employment are provided in a nondiscriminatory manner, without regard to race, sex, color, national origin, ancestry, religious creed, ability or age. BIPOC candidates and candidates who have historically been excluded from artistic leadership are encouraged to apply.