Job Listing: Executive Director

Please help us share widely within your community of activist-administrators — especially those who understand the power of art to propel structural change, and believe that fun is a key ingredient for the revolution!

Organization Description

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC (TONYC) is a dynamic, inventive, and growing organization dedicated to sparking concrete social and institutional change through a powerful style of theatre that is interactive, playful, and unlike anything most audiences have ever experienced. Through long-term partnerships with community and advocacy groups such as the Ali Forney Center, The Center for Court Innovation, and Housing Works, TONYC creates troupe
s that develop and perform plays based on the challenges their members face confronting economic inequality, racism, and other injustices. Since its launch in 2011, TONYC has presented more than 250 performances in all five boroughs, engaging nearly 15,000 New Yorkers in brainstorming strategies for combating injustices and empowering audiences and actors alike to creatively challenge systems of oppression.

TONYC is in the midst of a period of incredible growth, in which the expansions of its programs, audience and impact have been matched by increased organizational and financial capacity (6 full-time staff and 18 part-time staff and a budget of over $800,000). In 2017, TONYC purchased a permanent office and creative space in the Theater District, providing the organization with a level of stability and sustainability that is rare for nonprofits of similar size. The new space will allow TONYC to grow its programs and team in a way that will deepen its ability to work towards equity and justice, impact city policy, and increase civic engagement.

Through a recent strategic planning process, TONYC has also reaffirmed its commitment to rigorous leadership development, leading to the hiring of facilitators from within our actor community; and the practices of creative advocacy and legislative theatre to bring fun, storytelling, accessibility and creativity to the ongoing movements for justice in New York City.  

Find out more about the practice of Theatre of the Oppressed and the history of TONYC in these FAQs, and learn about TONYC's Forum Theatre and Legislative Theatre work. 

Position Summary

Building on the work of the founder, the Executive Director (ED) will lead the organization into a new phase of growth by deepening TONYC’s organizational capacity to attract resources, make its work more visible to a broader audience, and ensure its relevance and sustainability. This person will lead TONYC in ensuring that the organization is prepared to meet new and expected needs and challenges, while supporting TONYC’s culture of joyfulness and equity in all aspects of our work. The ED will continue to strengthen the organization’s foundation by collaborating with the board and staff to strengthen management practices and operational infrastructure, grow financial reserves and widen its circle of support. Leading TONYC in its next chapter offers a unique opportunity for a creative visionary and hands-on manager committed to quality programming in the use of arts for social justice.

In alignment with our commitment to racial justice, anti-oppression, and leadership development throughout our organization, we strongly encourage applicants who are directly impacted by the issues we address to apply.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Leadership and Management

  • Provide strategic leadership for the organization by working with TONYC’s community artists, facilitators, staff and board to establish long-range goals, strategies, plans and policies, keeping in mind the goals of pursuing organizational health and sustainability and deepening organizational impact
  • Promote TONYC’s vision and mission, and build support for programs and initiatives within and outside of the organization
  • Lead, motivate and inspire TONYC team to achieve the organization’s mission
  • Attract, retain and develop an energetic, talented and diverse staff committed to the values and practices at the core of TONYC’s mission
  • Manage a robust, collaborative relationship with the Board of Directors
  • Align TONYC’s resources with the organization’s vision and mission in order to maximize productivity, maintain program quality, and promote the financial health of the organization
  • With external finance management team, monitor the financial health of the agency and its programs and develop plans to ensure that adequate funds are available for TONYC to carry out its work

Fundraising and Development

  • Oversee development and fundraising efforts with an eye towards diversifying TONYC’s funding streams
  • Cultivate and maintain relationships with major donors and key funders
  • Oversee the strategy for and execution of annual benefits, fundraisers, and other events
  • With support from the Communications Director, oversee the organization’s communications strategy, including social media and newsletters

Program Management

  • Ensure that programs are in alignment with TONYC’s values, vision and mission
  • Ensure the quality of TONYC’s programs and the organization’s ability to effectively respond to changing environments
  • Lead and mentor staff in the development of new initiatives that address emerging needs and opportunities within the community that it serves

External Relations

  • Raise TONYC’s visibility as a leader in its field of expertise, and promote the organization’s activities, programs and goals
  • Amplify the voices of those most affected and least heard around issues like economic inequality, racism, and other social, health and human rights injustices
  • Represent TONYC with funders, partner organizations, the community, media, government, and other key stakeholders
  • Cultivate relationships and more formal partnerships with city government (e.g., City Council members), community organizations and other service providers who complement TONYC programming

Experience and Background:

  • Experience within social justice communities
  • Love and appreciation for the arts, specifically as a means for social change
  • Minimum of 3 years in a management role (including staff supervision) as well as experience working in a nonprofit environment
  • Politically aware and savvy to respond to initiatives/issues that affect TONYC and the communities that it serves
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with multiple stakeholders such as the Board of Directors, funders, government officials and community members
  • Experience in managing successful nonprofit fundraising strategies
  • Engaging, effective communicator with excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Creative thinker and visionary who is able to articulate a compelling vision and connect day-to-day work effort to energize staff and drive efficient execution
  • Creative, insightful and out-of-the-box thinker with strong problem-solving skills

Salary and benefits

Full-time salary range is $70,000-85,000 based on experience. Benefits include generous vacation and sick time and employer-sponsored health, vision and dental plans (inclusive of family members), commuter benefits, discount ticket program membership and Flexible Savings Accounts. We also offer staff the opportunity to train in Theatre of the Oppressed and access other professional development opportunities.

To Apply

Please email your cover letter and resume to by July 30, 2018 (deadline extended!). In your cover letter, in addition to sharing why you’re excited for this position, please include answers to the following questions:

  1. In your daily life, how do you experience systems of power and privilege?
  2. Describe your current work/artistic/facilitation practice and involvement in social change.

Theatre of the Oppressed NYC is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages qualified applicants from all backgrounds to apply. TONYC is committed to building a culturally diverse team and recruits, employs, trains, compensates and promotes regardless of age, race, gender identity, sexual orientation, housing status, religion, disability, or previous incarceration.