6702 Detroit Ave, Cleveland, OH 44102
Get involved header 01e65bdb1516acd14873d2a7db2043dbbfd754cb4ff8147cdb506039374e960a

Employment Opportunities

Position Description

Artistic Director

Near West Theatre



The Artistic Director is responsible for conceiving, developing, and implementing the artistic and community building vision and focus of Near West Theatre’s mission.  In collaboration with the Managing Director, the Artistic Director will also participate in major decisions about the ongoing development and delivery of the organization’s mission, values and activities, with input from NWT staff, stakeholders, and the community. NWT’s Artistic Director must be a compassionate, passionate, and dynamic leader with extensive experience producing high quality musical theatre while facilitating an individual and communal transformational process with people of diverse racial, ethnic, economic, sexual, and spiritual backgrounds.


Near West Theatre has a unique identity as an intergenerational community-based theatre where people work side-by-side, onstage and off, in the creation of five major musicals each season and through participation in mission-centric programs and events. Founded in 1979, NWT provides high quality, innovative, socially relevant musicals, while maintaining affordable ticket prices. NWT is located in the heart of Cleveland, Ohio’s Gordon Square Arts District in our state of the art 27,000 square foot, fully ADA accessible facility.



Productions / Mainstage Season:

  • Directs, at minimum, two shows per season and acts as choreographer, music director, or assistant director for remaining shows
  • Secures mainstage choreographers, and musical directors for all shows and additional directors for shows which s/he is not lead director
  • Provides direct supervision and oversight to all production staff
  • Researches and selects shows for upcoming seasons in partnership with the Associate Artistic Director and Managing Director
  • In collaboration with the production manager, secures or approves all show directors, designers, and paid crew members
  • Oversees and monitors all auditions, weighs in and approves all casting decisions, and seeks the feedback of others while casting own shows
  • Has ultimate oversight over productions and works with the individual directors as needed
  • Oversight on all production schedules and calendars, ensuring enough time and planning can occur within a strategic and collaborative environment
  • Fiercely advocates for and embraces NWT’s mission of casting non-traditionally and creatively
  • Must adhere to NWT’s commitment of blending individual and community skill-building exercises and traditions into rehearsal schedules
  • Works with production team to create visibility for all NWT programs
  • Develops and implements external programs and performances to better build relationships and awareness in the Detroit Shoreway community


Education / Programs:

  • Provides supervision and oversight to program managers, curriculum, activities and outcomes for participants. 
  • Responsible for the timely submission of reports, documentation, and assessments from program managers and teaching artists.
  • Responsible for staffing and training for all program facilitators
  • Aligns all programs to mission and overall production season
  • Works with production team to create opportunities for exposure for participants and programs on the mainstage
  • Develops and implements external programs and performances to better build relationships and awareness in the Detroit Shoreway community


Administrative, Special Events, & Fund Development

  • Conducts annual performance reviews for all direct reports
  • Responsible for the timely submission of reports, documentation, and assessments from program managers and teaching artists
  • Works closely with Managing Director to develop and adhere to budgets (production and program related) and advance organization goals
  • Ability and desire to represent the organization and mission externally
  • Attends and reports at Board meetings
  • Oversees documentation and reporting of outcomes to ensure organization financial sustainability
  • Coordinates annual benefit production, acquiring production team and talent
  • Responsible for entertainment on all company functions including donor events
  • Works closely with, and provides final approval to the Marketing Manager to advance goals through digital and collateral materials
  • Provides direction, oversight, and final approval on all production artwork for the season



  • A commitment to the values and mission of the organization
  • An understanding of music direction, choreography and/or technical theatre
  • A natural and welcoming leader and mentor with a commitment to community building
  • Ability and passion to work inclusively with all ages and diverse populations
  • Passion for community, social activism, and civic engagement
  • Experience staging large productions (40-60 people)
  • Experience in conflict resolution and facilitating conversations about art and healing
  • Ability to develop skills and knowledge for our participants
  • Excellence in writing, messaging and communications.
  • Proficiency in messaging using the voice and brand of the organization.
  • Ability to multi-task and manage time effectively.
  • Strong attention to detail and accuracy
  • Proficiency Microsoft Windows, Microsoft Office Suite, Basecamp (or other task management platform)


 B.A. in theatre, musical theatre, music, dance or other related fields required.

Minimum of 7 years experience in theatre production as a director (employee or freelance). Experience with multiple ages, populations and abilities preferred.

This is a Full-Time, exempt position with many evening and weekend responsibilities. NWT offers a salary commensurate with qualifications and experience.

Normal or corrected vision and manual dexterity sufficient to perform work on a personal computer and other office equipment such as a copy machine and computer printer. Must be comfortable working in many environments. Long hours particularly during tech week. 


To Apply:
Please send cover letter and resume via email to Brant Duda at bduda@strategydesignpartners.com. Please include job title in the subject line.

The deadline to submit an application is February 15th. No phone calls, please.

Near West Theatre is an equal opportunity employer and is strongly committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment where a variety of backgrounds, cultures, orientations, ideas, and talents can flourish.

Position Description


Near West Theatre

POSITION SUMMARY: Conceive scenic design for musical productions at Near West Theatre with collaboration with entire Artistic team. We are looking to hire up to three people to fill these vacancies for two mainstage productions. Applicants must be available for the full pre-production process for at least ONE of the three remaining mainstage productions in our 2018-2019 season.

Performances run:

  • 1776, May 3-9, 2019 or
  • Chess, July 19-Aug14, 2019


  • Attend all production meetings (regularly scheduled)
  • Collaborate with Artistic Director and rest of artistic team
  • Deliver concepts on time/before organization deadlines
  • Come prepared to meetings by bringing visuals, including: pictures, paintings, sketches, models
  • Revise scenic designs as necessary
  • Design concepts realistically within fiscal and time parameters
  • Communicate regularly with Artistic Director and Production Manager


  • Script analysis – taking into account cast size, theater dimensions, historical period/locale of the production, accounting for mood and spirit of the play
  • Research architectural, sociological and cultural background of shows
  • Research the action of the play (what the characters do, how they move and behave in the space, etc.)
  • Research the socio-economic status and personality of the characters
  • Research staging circumstances/options (stage and riser configurations, platforming available, building and fire regulations)


  • Produce plans, drawings and models on schedule that communicate design ideas to Director and Production team
  • Ground plans/ elevations, detail drawings, renderings and any other drawings that help the shop build the set and properties as conceived
  • Execute and supervise the painting of the scenic elements according to the production plan and schedule
  • Follow construction and paint procedures as set forth by the Technical Director
  • Choose furniture and props as required
  • Be a good ambassador on the behalf of NWT and treat people consistent with mission and values of the organization


  • Attend ALL tech and dress rehearsals
  • Attend all production meetings after rehearsals to discuss notes and problems so future decisions and solutions can be made


  • Participate in an evaluation process staging circumstances/options (stage and riser configurations, platforming available, building and fire regulations)
  • Script analysis
  • Mood and spirit of the play
  • Action of the play (What the characters do, how they move and behave in the space)
  • Find out cast size
  • Historical period/locale of the play
  • The socio-economic status and personality of the characters
  • Fiscal and time budgets


  • Collaborative process
  • Proficient at drafting Vector Works or AutoCAD


  • Scenic Painting

JOB CLASSIFICATION: This is a self-employed contracted position. Compensation is commensurate with experience.


EDUCATION: BFA or BA in Theatre Scenic Design or equivalent experience.

EXPERIENCE: Professional Design experience in large scale Musical Productions preferred.

Apply by November 9th for Anyone Can Whistle. Applications received later will only be considered for 1776 and Chess. A resume and cover letter should be sent to Production Manager, Michael Stein, at mstein@nearwesttheatre.org. Portfolios will be expected in the case of an interview.



What's Happening Now at Near West Theatre?