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Ten Thousand Things Theater, based in Minneapolis, MN, seeks a strong, visionary leader and a highly skilled theater director to steward the organization through its next phase. For 25 years, under the direction of the Founding Artistic Director, Ten Thousand Things has presented high-quality, critically acclaimed professional theater to audiences who typically don’t have access to the wealth of the arts as well as to our vibrant, loyal paying audiences. Building on the success and reach of Ten Thousand Things’ unique model of making and presenting theater, the successful candidate will be a driving force for the theater’s mission, vision and values while representing the theater among its diverse range of community partners. The Executive Artistic Director (EAD) is responsible for both the artistic vision and the organizational direction of the company. 

The EAD will plan and manage the theatrical season, including selecting the plays and securing the production teams, directing two of our three season productions and providing guidance and overseeing a guest director for the third production. As the face of the company, the EAD introduces each of our shows to both non-traditional and traditional audiences, actively participates in the local and national theater community, and speaks about the theater’s work to media, community groups and funders.

The EAD supervises a four- to five-member staff, and works directly with the:

  • Managing Director overseeing grant writing, budgets and planning;
  • Development Director assisting with individual donations, public relations and communications;
  • Production Manager, planning rehearsals, tour dates and sites for each production;
  • Public relations and marketing consultants and Development Director on website development, social media and media relations.

As a member of the Ten Thousand Things Board, the EAD attends all board meetings to report on artistic and other news, helps identify new board member candidates, and creates strategic plans in conjunction with board, staff and artists. 

The new Executive Artistic Director will start in June 2018, with some work to be completed in spring 2018 to prepare for the 2018-19 season.

This is a full-time position that reports to the Board of Directors. The salary range is $50K-60K, depending upon experience. 

Review of applications begins September 18, 2017. The position will remain open until filled.

Minimum Qualifications

  • Evidence of leadership and vision in the areas of artistic direction and strategic planning; 
  • Strong professional directing experience of classical theater, musicals and new plays; 
  • Commitment to TTT’s diversity objectives; evidence of engaging diverse leaders, organizations and the community at large to ensure success of programs;
  • Ability to build and nurture trusting relationships with a diverse group of board members, donors, artists, volunteers, patrons, staff and peers in the arts community;
  • Experience as primary spokesperson and organizational representative in soliciting funding support and establishing and maintaining relationships with community partners and key individual donors.

Preferred Experience 

  • MA, MFA or 4+ years commensurate experience as an Artistic Director
  • Directing with very minimal production values (no lights, minimal set, props)
  • Directing for marginalized audiences, and/or in the round
  • 3 to 4 years of experience working with the administrative side of a theater company, as well as business acumen and demonstrated experience in fundraising
  • Leading marketing and public relations communications initiatives
  • Building and maintaining relationships with theater artists and producers locally and nationally
  • Attracting and developing compelling, culturally rich and relevant artistic programs and community engagement efforts
  • Knowledge of or willingness to commit to the Twin Cities communities

Interpersonal Skills

  • Strong attention to detail
  • Excellent interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills
  • Highly organized and creative, able to prioritize and execute multiple tasks
  • Experience working in a fast-paced environment; ability to work well under pressure
  • Willingness to approach difficult situations in a non-judgmental manner and enjoy challenging work in a dynamic environment
  • Ability to work with a wide range of communities
  • Self-motivated, high energy, positive attitude, enthusiastic, open minded and flexible
  • Clear understanding of issues around social justice and gender equity

To apply

Respond with a resume, list of references and a cover letter addressing these questions:

  1. Why is this position compelling for you?
  2. How are you uniquely qualified to be Executive Artistic Director of Ten Thousand Things Theater?
  3. In what ways have your past and present efforts in theater worked towards the goals of equity, diversity and inclusion?

Email cover letter and attachments addressed to Ten Thousand Things Board - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

About Ten Thousand Things Theater

Ten Thousand Things brings lively, intelligent, professional theater to people with little access to the wealth of the arts – who in turn help our artists and traditional audiences re-imagine what theater can be.

Ten Thousand Things will continue to be a significant force in the American theater, inspiring its audiences and the field with its unique model of high quality, low cost, accessible theater and transformative outreach. We aim to brighten the future of theater through our successes in Minnesota and across the country because we believe that theater is richer when everyone is in the audience.


  • Audiences of ALL life experiences and backgrounds.
  • Artistic excellence in all we do.
  • Investment in artists as our greatest asset.
  • Honesty, depth, and imagination in our work and our relationships.
  • Diversity at all levels – in our performances, our audiences, our staff, and our leadership.
  • Bold universal stories –  full of hard questions, complicated and hopeful – that speak to the human experience and help us to discover all that we share in common.  
  • A working environment that offers trust, room for creativity and equal participation, and that fosters laughter, play and joy.