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Board of Directors


Job Title: Director
Department: Board of Directors
Start Date: Rolling
Posting Date: June 16, 2021

About Victory Gardens
Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens Theater nurtures and produces relevant, new theater work that reflects the diverse stories of our world and contributes to the vitality of the American Theater. Our work inspires dialogue towards meaningful civic change and creates an inclusive theater experience that belongs to everyone. Our vision is to be the leader in bringing stories to the stage that help ignite social change for a better world, through new work commissioning and development, education initiatives, community engagement, and our Access Project (serving patrons and artists with disabilities).

The Board of Directors is currently working to expand its membership. After part of the Theater’s leadership departed in June 2020, the Board of Directors embarked on an internal review process and leadership search, to address inequitable practices prevalent within the performing arts sector. This has led to a year of transformation and planning for the future, including the appointment of Ken-Matt Martin as Victory Gardens’ new Artistic Director. In a New York Times profile of Martin, Victory Gardens Resident Director Lili-Anne Brown shared, “Victory Gardens’ Board has done more work at transformation than anyone else I’ve seen.”

Job Summary
Victory Gardens now seeks volunteers to join its Board of Directors. The Board is the main governance body of the Theater, overseeing the fiduciary and administrative functions of the organization, including hiring and evaluating senior leadership. Directors meet as a whole at least five times per year, participate in board committees, and attend Victory Gardens opening nights, galas, and other artistic and fundraising events. Directors are expected to support the Theater either financially and/or through donation of services, expertise, or other means as requested. Victory Gardens seeks individuals who can bring a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to all responsibilities.

Primary Responsibilities and Duties
Victory Gardens’ Directors lead and contribute to the well-being of the organization by:

  • Enthusiastically endorsing the mission, and serving as ambassadors to Chicago’s civic and corporate communities.
  • Serving as a resource and consultant to the organization, senior staff and fellow Directors by offering professional guidance and leadership, as appropriate.
  • Maintaining the financial health of Victory Gardens by ensuring that the organization is fiscally responsible, and that expenditures support its mission and strategic objectives.
  • Supporting fellow Directors by accepting responsibility for a proportionate share of the work and following through on all commitments.
  • Reviewing and approving the annual budget in a timely manner.
  • Evaluating the performance of the Artistic Director and Managing Director.
  • Accepting responsibility for – and overseeing – the organization’s policies and enforcement.
  • Being intentional in the recruitment and engagement of diverse Directors and fostering a culture of inclusivity and anti-racism.
  • Creating a climate of open communication, feedback and continuous improvement both as an overall Board and also as individual Directors.

AMBASSADORSHIP FOCUS

  • Directors regularly attend and support productions, including the Chicago Stories Gala and other significant events.
  • Directors serve as Victory Gardens’ ambassadors in Chicago and beyond, consistently promoting its mission and values to new and existing donors and audiences.
  • Directors are knowledgeable about Victory Gardens’ art, programs, staff, teaching artists, productions and Playwrights.
  • All Directors are expected to attend each production in order to be a stronger ambassador for the work that we produce.
  • All Directors are encouraged to be discerning when requesting complimentary tickets and utilize those tickets for cultivation of significant prospects.

GOVERNANCE AND LEADERSHIP FOCUS
One of the primary roles of the Board of Directors is to effectively govern the organization and help it to achieve its mission. By setting the organization’s strategic course, establishing related policy and sustaining and safeguarding the organization’s financial health, Directors provide essential leadership and vision for the organization. Through their timely review of meeting materials and active participation in meetings, Directors help the organization’s staff to maintain the highest standards of performance and accountability.

  • Directors are asked to make their best efforts to attend a minimum of 75% of Board meetings along with any special meetings and EDI trainings.
  • Each Director is expected to be an active member of one to two Board committees, including the Development; Diversity, Equity, Inclusion & Access (DEIA); Marketing; Finance; or Governance and Board Recruitment committees. Board officers and chairs of Standing Committees also are expected to serve on the Executive committee. Ideally, each Director will serve on the Gala committee occasionally.
  • Directors are also encouraged to participate in the work of ad hoc committees that are formed for a specific purpose and for a limited time period.
  • Directors should carefully review and be familiar with materials sent in advance of Board and Committee meetings.
  • All Directors participate in an annual Director conversation with Board and executive leadership, and are expected to participate in the annual Board Retreat and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) training.

DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION STATEMENT
Victory Gardens appreciates the critical role that DEI serves in theater and the community and is committed to fostering, cultivating and preserving a culture of DEI in all of its activities. We are dedicated to maintaining a diverse, inclusive, and equitable space where everyone who walks through our iconic theater doors—audience, artists, staff, Board Members, or others—feels valued and respected regardless of gender, age, race, ethnicity, national origin, sexual orientation, gender identity, education, or ability. By reflecting the diversity of our community, we try to model what DEI should look like for the entire arts industry, and better serve our audience’s needs for art and culture.

FINANCIAL CONTRIBUTION
Directors are expected to make Victory Gardens one of their top philanthropic priorities and to make an annual contribution that is significant to them. The Directors strive to meet a minimum annual ‘ give or get’ of at least $10,000 each fiscal year (July to June). We encourage all Directors to make an annual contribution that is significant to them. Directors typically reach their give/get through a combination of:

  • Personal or corporate contributions to the annual fund, Playwright’s Society, Director’s Council, Production Sponsorships, education programs and new work.
  • Personal and/or corporate contributions for tables or tickets for the Chicago Stories Gala and spring benefit.
  • Fundraising efforts for the annual fund, Playwrights Society, Director’s Council, Production Sponsorships, education programs, new work, the Chicago Stories Gala and spring benefit, or in special circumstances, with in-kind contributions as requested by Victory Gardens management.

Victory Gardens recognizes that diversity (including economic diversity) is a vital component of Board composition. Individuals who demonstrate their personal commitment to Victory Gardens’ mission in other ways will not be precluded from Directorship if they are financially unable to meet the minimum annual “give or get.”

FUNDRAISING FOCUS
Participation in fundraising initiatives is integral to keeping Victory Gardens strong. Directors’ expertise and guidance helps to ensure Victory Gardens meets its development goals. Directors are expected to contribute to fundraising by:

  • Cultivating potential Directors and donors through Victory Gardens activities, and hosting and attending donor cultivation events.
  • Supporting Victory Gardens’ efforts to secure new donors and sponsors.
  • Securing table and ticket sales and night-of fundraising participation for the Chicago Stories Gala.
  • Working with the Development Team to build a personal cultivation plan annually and a portfolio of contacts for Playwrights Society ($1,000+) and annual fund (up to $999) contributions.
  • Identifying potential individual, corporate, government and foundation donors.

BOARD RECRUITMENT
The continual evolution of the Board is critical to the future success of Victory Gardens. Directors are asked to assist the Governance and Board Recruitment Committee in ensuring the Board is equipped to meet the organization’s growing needs by representing the city’s diversity and including resources from across fields relevant to Victory Gardens’ mission. Board Members are expected to:

  • Serve as mentors to new Directors by inviting them to relevant events, providing information and insight about the organization and assisting with overall acclimation.
  • Submit suggestions for candidates who meet Director expectations, and participate in recruitment, as appropriate.
  • Actively cultivate Board candidates by hosting them at Victory Gardens events.

QUALIFICATIONS AND SKILLS
While Victory Gardens draws its Directors from a variety of industries and professional backgrounds, they are united in their drive to support performing arts and the creation of new theatrical work. Victory Gardens is particularly seeking Directors with expertise or experience in the following areas, but professionals of all backgrounds are welcome to apply:

    • Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access (DEIA)
    • Event Planning
    • Finance/Accounting (experience with non-profits preferred, not required)
    • Fundraising/Development
    • Human Resources
    • Legal (HR & Labor)
    • Nonprofit governance
    • Theatre practitioners
    • Media and PR
    • Education (Middle/High School)

APPLICATION PROCESS
Candidates should send a brief statement of interest that outlines what the candidates can bring to the Board (specifically the candidate’s skills, connections, and general experience) as well as a resume, to VGboardapplications@victorygardens.org with the subject line “Board Member.” Applications are rolling and will be reviewed as received. Candidates of interest will be contacted for an initial interview.

Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Administration


Job Title: Audience Services Associate
Department: Audience Services
Start Date: Rolling
Posting Date: October 1, 2021

About Victory Gardens: Victory Gardens Theater is dedicated to artistic excellence while creating a vital, contemporary American Theater that is accessible and relevant to all people through quality productions of challenging new plays and musicals.

Victory Gardens is a leader in developing and producing new theatre work and cultivating an inclusive theater community. The theater’s core strengths are nurturing and producing dynamic and inspiring new plays, reflecting the diversity of our city’s and nation’s culture through engaging diverse communities, and in partnership with Chicago Public Schools, bringing art and culture to our city’s active student population.

Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, and layoff, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Job Summary: The Audience Services Associate is an onsite, part-time role, providing customer support in the Box Office and during performances and events at Victory Gardens. This includes ticket sales and exchanges, greeting and seating, bartending, and other duties as assigned.

Work Hours: The Audience Services department operates 12pm-10pm, Monday-Sunday, when shows are running. This is a part-time position that requires some evening and weekend availability. All Audience Services Associates are cross-trained in box office, bartending, and house management and will work a mixture of these roles. Associates work up to 20 hours per week based on their availability, and are scheduled to work 2 weeks in advance. Please note: applicants must be age 21 and up and covid-19 vaccinated, as this position works regularly with the public and serves alcoholic beverages. 

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:
Box Office

  • Assist patrons over email, phone and on-site with ticket purchases and exchanges.
  • Assist Education and Marketing departments in booking and managing group sales.
  • Run Will Call before each performance.
  • Assist subscribers with ticket exchanges and subscription purchases and/or renewals.
  • Provide accurate and detailed information on current and upcoming productions, ticketing policies, parking and dining options.
  • Additional administrative assistance as requested within working hours.
  • Attendance at bimonthly audience services meetings (in-person or virtual)

Front of House

  • Pre-show prep: programs and stuffers, mask and sanitizer stations, signage and lobby TV checks.
  • Manage volunteer ushers (Saints).
  • Ensure smooth flow of patron seating and deal with any seating issues that may arise.
  • Enforce mask and social distancing requirements where needed.
  • Monitor lobby and bathroom cleanliness.
  • Provide support for VG events: set-up, clean-up, and patron check-in.
  • Lock up the Theater at the end of shift.

Bar

  • pre-show bar setup and checks
  • fulfill pre-show and intermission drink orders
  • bartend during performance time
  • post-show bar restock and inventory notes for Front of House Manager

Qualifications and Skills

  • Age 21 or over
  • Full vaccination against covid-19 is required, as this role will have regular contact with VG artists, donors, and the general public
  • At least one year of experience in any customer service or customer-facing role
  • Ability to think on your feet and respond to changes or customer requests on the fly
  • Willing and able to work as part of a team
  • Warm and friendly personality, whether in-person, on the phone, or emailing patrons
  • Enthusiasm for theater and performing arts
  • Familiarity with Microsoft Office and Google Suite
  • Comfort working within multicultural and multi-ethnic environments.
  • BASSET certification (optional; Associates without current certifications will be expected to complete training during work hours within the first 2 weeks of employment.)
  • Experience with Spektrix ticketing system (optional; all Associates will be trained)
  • Ability to stand and walk for extended periods of time across multiple-level environments

Compensation: This role is part-time (up to 20 hours a week) non-exempt, with some early morning, evening and weekend hours required during performance runs. Sick pay is earned at a rate of 1 hour/40 hours worked and rolls over from year to year. Pay is $15/hour and is non-exempt. Includes complimentary tickets to VG productions, occasional meals during work hours, and 2 paid personal days per year.

To Apply: Candidates should send a letter of interest and a resume to information@victorygardens.org with subject line “Audience Services Associate.” We are seeking to fill multiple positions.

Application Deadline: October 30, 2021

Department: Development

Job Title: Individual Giving Manager
Reports to: Interim Director of Development
Supervises: Co-manages with the Institutional Relations Manager the Development Associate position
Starting date: November 1, 2021
Posting date: Monday, September 20, 2021

About Victory Gardens: Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens nurtures and produces relevant, new theater work that reflects the diverse stories of our world and contributes to the vitality of the American Theater. Our work inspires dialogue towards meaningful civic change and creates an inclusive theater experience that belongs to everyone. Our vision is to be the leader in bringing stories to the stage that help ignite social change for a better world, through new work commissioning and development, education initiatives, community engagement, and our Access Project (serving patrons and artists with disabilities).

Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Job Summary: Victory Gardens Theater is seeking to expand their Development team to include a full-time, salaried Individual Giving Manager. This individual must be highly organized with a keen interest in keeping data so that it is not only usable for the present day, but also beneficial for future reference. Furthermore, the right candidate must be a relationship manager to the core, with a deep appreciation for the donor lifecycle (identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship).Victory Gardens seeks individuals who can bring a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to all responsibilities.

The Individual Giving Manager reports directly to the Interim Director of Development. This position will develop the strategy and logistics in which the Development department conducts individual giving. The position owns the management of the Annual Fund ($1-999), the Playwrights Society/major gifts ($1,000-9,999/$10,000+). Additionally, the Individual Giving Manager will work with the Development Associate to strategize and plan for the Theater’s annual gala and opening nights. Victory Gardens is looking to hire this position by end of October, early November 2021.

Work Hours, Compensation, Benefits: Full-time exempt, salaried at $44,000
Hours: 40 hours per week (inclusive of state mandated breaks)
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm, with occasional nights and weekends
Includes access to Victory Gardens Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance Plans
Includes paid vacation and sick leave

Individual Giving Manager responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • With the Interim Director of Development, provide ongoing analysis and support of The Annual Fund campaign and develop strategy adjustments accordingly.
    • Mail – Manage a highly-personalized direct mail campaign consisting of acquisition and renewal mailings; drive the design, writing and production of the campaign materials.
    • Digital – Expand VG’s overall usage of digital platforms to solicit and renew donations, including stand-alone email campaigns, digital integration to mail/phone campaigns, social media messages, add-on gifts during online ticket purchases, as well as ensure development’s overall online presence.
  • Coordinates with Development Associate to send pledge letters and acknowledgements
  • Manages—if required, delegates to Development Associate, VG support staff, and box office staff—annual fund donor requests.
  • Along with Interim Director of Development, drives the strategy for Individual major gifts.
  • Along with Interim DIrector of Development and Development Associate, drives the strategy and logistics of the theater’s annual fundraiser and opening nights.
  • Maintain accurate data and files for individual donors and prospects. Utilize database to track donor activity through the process of cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and recognition.
  • Owns the logistics/project management of the Development and New Works Board committees; works with the Interim Director of Development to prepare meeting agendas and materials, takes minutes during the meeting, distributes meeting minutes, oversees the completion of action items/next steps with committee members and VG leadership
  • Conducts and provides research; assists with prospect identification; provides preparatory support to board members and senior staff for solicitations, including briefings, talking points, proposals, decks
  • Internally coordinate individual recognition on all marketing materials, program feature articles, title page credits, sponsors grid and donor listings, sponsors signs, sponsor website pages, printed materials including invitations, posters and fliers and print advertisements.
  • Along with the Development Associate, ensure benefit fulfillment for all individual sponsor stewardship programs. This includes, but is not limited to, planning and executing special events, recognition (e.g. donor listings), securing and distributing incentive items (e.g. signed posters) from cast and crews, crafting and sending special correspondence to donors about the difference their gift makes, and developing new methods of stewardship.
  • Track and maintain donor activities including proper documentation and contact logs in the database.
  • Develop relationships with individuals contacts to better identify potential partnerships and stewardship to encourage continued giving. This may include: greeting at the theater, going out on visits, sending show reviews, compiling reports outlining the impact of their gift, coordinating site visits to VG or partner organizations, and developing new avenues to engage these prospects/donors.
  • Works with the Institutional Relations Manager to manage the Development Associate, including monitor the Development Associate’s workload and delegating tasks to them when appropriate.
  • Internally coordinate individual recognition on all marketing materials, program feature articles, title page credits, sponsors grid and donor listings, sponsors signs, sponsor website pages, printed materials including invitations, posters and fliers and print advertisements.
  • Along with the Development Associate, ensure benefit fulfillment for all individual sponsor stewardship programs. This includes, but is not limited to, planning and executing special events, recognition (e.g. donor listings), securing and distributing incentive items (e.g. signed posters) from cast
  • and crews, crafting and sending special correspondence to donors about the difference their gift makes, and developing new methods of stewardship.
  • Track and maintain donor activities including proper documentation and contact logs in the database.
  • Develop relationships with individual donors/prospects to better identify potential partnerships and stewardship to encourage continued giving. This may include: greeting at the theater, going out on visits, sending show reviews, compiling reports outlining the impact of their gift, coordinating site visits to VG or partner organizations, and developing new avenues to engage these prospects/donors.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Individual Giving Manager Qualifications and Skills

  • You are comfortable holding conversations with relative strangers as long as you know you share a common interest/passion. Experience discussing/pitching information to donors/clients/prospects/leads is a plus.
  • You hold a passion for donors; you believe philanthropy can play a role in shaping our community
  • You keep your calm in high stress situations and can quickly think on your feet; whether it’s hosting Thanksgiving dinner or helping a slew of customers, you know how to keep your cool. Event experience is a plus.
  • You value customer service, but believe that good customer care is not simply being a people-pleaser; you ensure the capacity and safety of your colleagues when considering customers’ requests
  • You are detail oriented and have a strong appreciation of data. Experience utilizing databases is a plus.
  • You thrive working collaboratively in team environments and are motivated to achieve goals
  • Candidates are required to have received the COVID-19 vaccine and agree to wearing a mask when interacting with VG donors, artists, and the general public.

Application Process

Candidates should send a cover letter and resume to estrick@victorygardens.org with the subject line: Individual Giving Manager Application. References will be collected from candidates during the interview process; please do not send with your application materials.

The deadline to apply is October 20, 2021.

We’ll confirm receipt of application, which will be reviewed by a VG staff member
Candidates of interest will be contacted for an initial interview

Department: Development
Reports to: Interim Director of Development
Supervises: Co-manages with the Individual Giving Manager the Development Associate position
Starting date: Early October 2021
Posting date: Monday, September 20, 2021

About Victory Gardens: Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens nurtures and produces relevant, new theater work that reflects the diverse stories of our world and contributes to the vitality of the American Theater. Our work inspires dialogue towards meaningful civic change and creates an inclusive theater experience that belongs to everyone. Our vision is to be the leader in bringing stories to the stage that help ignite social change for a better world, through new work commissioning and development, education initiatives, community engagement, and our Access Project (serving patrons and artists with disabilities).

Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, leaves of absence, compensation and training. 

Job Summary: Victory Gardens Theater is seeking to expand their Development team to include a  full-time, salaried Institutional Relations Manager. This individual must be highly organized with a keen interest in keeping data so that it is not only usable for the present day, but also beneficial for future reference. Furthermore, the right candidate must be a relationship manager to the core, with a deep appreciation for the donor lifecycle (identification, qualification, cultivation, solicitation, and stewardship).Victory Gardens seeks individuals who can bring a lens of diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility to all responsibilities.

The Institutional Relations Manager reports directly to the Interim Director of Development. This position will drive the grants program for the Theater, spanning across corporate, foundation, and government donors. The Institutional Relations Manager will project manage all components of grant applications and reporting, along with the stewardship of the funders. The position will coordinate with the Director of Finance to develop grant budgets, in addition to research new opportunities within the institutional funding world. The Institutional Relations Manager will play a key role in prepping the Interim Director of Development and leadership for meetings with institutional funders. This position will support the theater’s annual gala and opening nights by crafting brief summaries on attendees for leadership to utilize. Victory Gardens is looking to hire this position quickly, but will continue to review applications throughout the interview period to ensure they are engaging the best candidates.

Work Hours, Compensation, Benefits
Full-time exempt, salaried at $44,000
Hours: 40 hours per week (inclusive of state mandated breaks)
Schedule: Monday – Friday, 10 am – 6 pm, with occasional nights and weekends
Includes access to Victory Gardens Health, Dental, Vision, and Life Insurance Plans
Includes paid vacation and sick leave

Institutional Relations Manager responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • Write and submit grant proposals and reports.
  • Project manage the institutional grants calendar. 
  • Coordinate with Marketing/Graphic Designer to create “one-pagers” that outline the VG program/production and the visibility benefits offered to the corporation at various levels of sponsorship.
  • Identify and research prospective institutional donors for new programs and initiatives of the theater
  • Steward institutional donors by providing formal and informal stewardship reports and be their primary point of contact for matters related to logistics (ie, logo approval, booking complimentary tickets)
  • Write briefs to prepare leadership to meet with institutional donors.
  • Maintain accurate data and files for institutional donors and prospects. Utilize database to track donor activity through the process of cultivation, solicitation, stewardship, and recognition. 
  • Collaborate with Interim Director of Development team to create annual plans and benchmarks for Corporate, Foundation and Government areas for fundraising, including strategies for achieving those benchmarks and evaluating progress.
  • Works with the Individual Giving Manager to manage the Development Associate, including monitor the Development Associate’s workload and delegating tasks to them when appropriate.
  • Internally coordinate institutional recognition on all marketing materials, program feature articles, title page credits, sponsors grid and donor listings, sponsors signs, sponsor website pages, printed materials including invitations, posters and fliers and print advertisements. 
  • Along with the Development Associate, ensure benefit fulfillment for all foundation and corporate sponsor stewardship programs. This includes, but is not limited to, planning and executing special events, recognition (e.g. donor listings), securing and distributing incentive items (e.g. signed posters) from cast and crews, crafting and sending special correspondence to donors about the difference their gift makes, and developing new methods of stewardship.
  • Track and maintain donor activities including proper documentation and contact logs in the database.
  • Develop relationships with foundation and corporate contacts to better identify potential partnerships and stewardship to encourage continued giving. This may include: greeting at the theater, going out on visits, sending show reviews, compiling reports outlining the impact of their gift, coordinating site visits to VG or partner organizations, and developing new avenues to engage these prospects/donors.
  • Other duties as assigned.

 Institutional Relations Manager Qualifications and Skills 

  • You have experience with technical writing, such as instruction manuals, grant applications, research papers, and news articles.
  • You are detail oriented and have a strong appreciation of data. Experience utilizing databases is a plus.
  • You’ve got a hunger for knowledge, to document what you learn, and then share what you’ve learned.
  • You are unafraid to ask questions, but you are mindful of retaining information from time-strapped colleagues.
  • You’re comfortable talking with strangers; it’s likely not your favorite activity, but as long as you know you have something in common, you can chat with them.
  • Candidates are required to have received the COVID-19 vaccine and agree to wearing a mask when interacting with VG donors, artists, and the general public.

Application Process

Candidates should send a cover letter and resume to estrick@victorygardens.org with the subject line: Institutional Relations Manager Application. References will be collected from candidates during the interview process; please do not send with your application materials.

The deadline to apply is October 3, 2021.

  • We’ll confirm receipt of application, which will be reviewed by a VG staff member  
  • Candidates of interest will be contacted for an initial interview

Education

Job Title: Teaching Artist
Department: Education
Reports to: Acting Managing Director/Director of Education
Start Date: ASAP

About Victory Gardens: Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens nurtures and produces relevant, new theater work that reflects the diverse stories of our world and contributes to the vitality of the American Theater. Our work inspires dialogue towards meaningful civic change and creates an inclusive theater experience that belongs to everyone. Our vision is to be the leader in bringing stories to the stage that help ignite social change for a better world, through new work commissioning and development, education initiatives, community engagement, and our Access Project (serving patrons and artists with disabilities). Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Job Summary: Teaching Artists will partner with Chicago Public Schools and/or community organizations as part of Victory Gardens’ Drama in the Schools (DIS) program. This residency program offers three units of study: spoken word, character, and playwriting. Teaching Artists will empower 7th-12th grade students to explore their creativity, apply critical thinking, and use their voices to establish connections to the world around them. This position will report directly to the Acting Managing Director/Director of Education and the Community and Education Programs Associate.

Victory Gardens currently has 11 DIS partners. Teaching Artists may teach at more than one school, depending on their skill set and availability. Residencies will occur over an 8-24 week period with one or two class visits a week. The number of sections per school will vary.

About Drama in the Schools (DIS)
Spoken Word – Students are taught to access their emotions and use their voices through first-person, spoken word stories. During this writing and performance unit, classmates share their experiences and find a commonality that helps them become more comfortable opening up in front of a group. Each student adapts their personal monologue into a slam poem.

August Wilson – While immersed in August Wilson’s 10-play century cycle, students learn to connect to and express honest emotions through the words of the playwright. In addition to exploring character in preparation for the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition, the unit includes a research component with students completing dramaturgical investigations to better understand the decade in which their monologue takes place.

Playwriting – Victory Gardens is dedicated to the development of playwrights and new plays, making this component the flagship of our education work. Small groups create 5-10 minute plays by relying on their personal experiences and concerns to generate themes and plots for their pieces. The session culminates with a staged reading in the classroom.

Primary Responsibilities and Duties:

  • Lead residency classes for designated curriculum units.
  • Collaborate with VG Education staff, classroom teachers, and school administration to ensure classroom support and desired goals.
  • Document student progress and complete evaluation assessments at the start and end of each residency.
  • Communicate challenges and successes of the program to the Director of Education.
  • Teaching Artists are responsible for commuting to and from their assigned residency.
  • Teaching Artists must contact the Director of Education regarding conflicts and inability to teach.
  • Teaching artists are responsible for working with the classroom teacher to schedule a makeup session.
  • Attend trainings and meetings as requested by the Director of Education.

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor’s degree or higher in Theater, Education, or three years of relevant experience
  • Minimum three years as a Teaching Artist in a school setting
  • Strong classroom management skills
  • Excellent written, verbal, and interpersonal skills
  • Additional background in Theater or Education a plus
  • Ability to form and nurture strong, lasting relationships with teacher and students
  • Ability to stay organized, manage multiple tasks, meet and set deadlines
  • Ability to plan with teachers the best practices according to VGT and CPS goals to make the partnerships successful
  • Bilingual in English and Spanish not necessary but helpful
  • A car is a plus, but not required

Compensation and Benefits:

  • $56.25/hr per classroom hour
  • $25/hr per prep hour (number of prep hours are based on residency unit)
  • Hours will vary depending on the classroom schedule.
  • Two comp tickets to VG Mainstage productions.

Application Process:
Candidates should submit a letter of interest and resume with two references to tbullock@victorygardens.org with subject line “VG Teaching Artist.”

Application Deadline: November 5, 2021

Production


Job Title: Costume Supervisor
Department: Production
Reports to: Director of Production
Supervises: Wardrobe Supervisor/Dresser (seasonal); costume, wig, and make-up artisans (overhire)
Start Date: On or before November 29, 2021
Posting Date: October 7, 2021

About Victory Gardens: Founded in 1974, Victory Gardens nurtures and produces relevant, new theater work that reflects the diverse stories of our world and contributes to the vitality of the American Theater. Our work inspires dialogue towards meaningful civic change and creates an inclusive theater experience that belongs to everyone. Our vision is to be the leader in bringing stories to the stage that help ignite social change for a better world, through new work commissioning and development, education initiatives, community engagement, and our Access Project (serving patrons and artists with disabilities).

Victory Gardens Theater provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, pregnancy, age, disability, or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, Victory Gardens Theater complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, leaves of absence, compensation, and training.

Job Summary: The Costume Supervisor is responsible for the realization of costume designs for a season of 3-5 mainstage productions presented in Victory Gardens Theater’s 259-seat, proscenium Začek McVay Theater (ZMT), the 109-seat, studio Richard Christiansen Theater (RCT), and virtually.

Work Hours, Compensation, and Benefits:

  • Part-time, non-exempt, hourly
  • Schedule: flexible; average 20 hours/week over the year; up to 40+ during tech/previews, fewer hours/week during down periods;
  • daytime hours with some nights and weekends
  • $18.00/hour; time and half after 40 hours/week
  • Sick paid is earn at a rate of 1/40 hours worked and rolls over from year to year

Primary Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Review and interpret costume plots, vision boards, and renderings to assess financial and practical feasibility of costume designs.
  • Develop budget estimates based on preliminary designs and provide suggestions for adjustments as-needed.
  • Collaborate with Designers and Directors to determine appropriate materials, elements, solutions for the safe execution of costume, hair, and make-up designs in accordance with the artistic goals of each production as possible within the available time, material, and labor resources.
  • Gather actor measurements.
  • Hire, schedule, and supervise costume, wardrobe, and hair and make-up personnel for build and run of each production.
  • Coordinate rentals and purchases including in-person and online shopping (with the designer and independently as needed) and make all necessary returns.
  • Be present and assist with all fitting and note sessions and implement alterations.
  • Create and/or update, maintain, and distribute all costume paperwork.
  • Notify Director of Production and Technical Director of any potential hazards which should be included in the risk assessment for each production and assure that all backstage costume areas are ready and safe ahead of actors transitioning to stage.
  • Ensure Wardrobe Supervisor is trained on prep, dressing, quick rigging, and maintenance costume, hair, and make-up elements for each production.
  • Coordinate understudy costumes.
  • Coordinate dry cleaning and other maintenance needs for costumes and wigs.
  • Serve as show run cover for Wardrobe Supervisor for all productions.
  • Collaborate with Director of Production to determine which element should be added to VGT stock, sold, or donated at the end of each run and strike each production accordingly.
  • Exercise responsibility and accountability for all costume department labor and material budgets including the timely approval and submission of credit card receipts, invoices, OPRs (out-of-pocket reimbursements), mileage logs, and payroll.
  • Maintain all costume files and documents ensuring that records of all productions are archived and easily accessible.
  • Ensure accurate inventory, maintenance, and storage of all costume stock, equipment, tools, and supplies.
  • Attend and participate in staff meetings, production meetings, rehearsals, and previews as requested by the Director of Production.
  • Collaborate with Production Management to support the ongoing needs of Victory Gardens Theater, including but not limited to: accurately tracking lifespan of costume inventory and equipment, prioritizing maintenance and upgrades of equipment and tools, creating long term plans for capital equipment purchases, and developing and maintaining health and safety guidelines.

Qualifications and Skills

  • Full vaccination against covid-19 is required, as this role will have regular contact with VG artists and staff.
  • Thorough knowledge of costume technologies including draping, sewing, dyeing, quick change rigging techniques, and costume crafts.
  • Ability to read and interpret costume plots, vision boards, and renderings to provide accurate budget, labor, and timeline estimates.
  • Experience with shopping, renting, and building costume elements.
  • Creative problem-solving skills and ability to research new techniques and materials.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple projects and to navigate shifting and competing priorities with patience and diplomacy.
  • 2-4 years of professional or equivalent educational experience in theatrical costume construction.
  • Experience running backstage costume tracks preferred.
  • Experience with wig maintenance preferred.
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Ability to lift 35lb.
  • Able to work independently or as part of a team.

To Apply: Please send a letter of interest and resume with three references to productionjobs@victorygardens.org with the subject line “Costume Supervisor.”

 Application Deadline: October 30, 2021

Directors Inclusion Initiative

Under the leadership of Ken-Matt Martin and Roxanna Conner, the initiative has been reimagined with a new curriculum which includes four masterclasses by leading theater artists, observing first rehearsal for each mainstage production, and directing one reading in the 20/50 Festival. The Director Inclusion Initiative cohort will also have the opportunity to attend optional events such as technical rehearsals, final dress, and gatherings hosted by VG leadership.

Application Deadline for 2021 Cohort: October 15, 2021 by 12pm CT

Application Requirements and Details

Auditions

Victory Gardens holds general auditions for both Equity and non-equity members each year.

Equity Actors (Members Of Actors’ Equity Association)

Equity auditions are held each Spring. Once Equity auditions are announced, appointments can be made appointments directly through the Chicago Equity office. Victory Gardens does not schedule appointments. For more information contact the Chicago AEA office.

Non-Equity Actors

Non-AEA Generals are held each Spring and are by invitation only. Submissions are accepted on a rolling basis.


Headshots and resumes are only accepted electronically. For consideration, please email your headshot and resume (as two separate attachments) AND a short cover letter (no more than 100 words – see specific points below) to casting@victorygardens.org

Please adhere to the following guidelines for submission:

  • Headshot

    • Must be emailed as a picture file (ex. .jpeg, .png, etc) – please no pdfs.

    • Please label as First Name Last Name Headshot

  • Resume

    • Must be an Adobe .pdf file (please no Word docs, pages, Google Docs, etc)

    • Please label as First Name Last Name Resume

  • Cover Letter

    • No more than 100 words

    • Please indicate if you are interested in any particular shows or projects for the upcoming season

    • Please indicate your union status

    • Also feel free to indicate (but only if you are truly interested) if you’d like to be considered for understudy roles, short projects, or serving as a reader for auditions.

Out-of-Town Actors
Our mission is to provide jobs for Chicago artists. Yet, we welcome artists who are planning on relocating and desire to begin connections with the Chicago theater community. If you are an Equity actor visiting from out of town and are planning on relocating, please email casting and adhere to the submission guidelines above. You are also welcome to include a reel or other video demonstrations of your work. 

Play Submissions

Victory Gardens Theater accepts full-length scripts year-round from literary agents and theater professionals with whom we have an existing professional relationship. Mailed copies of scripts are accepted, though we encourage electronic PDF or Word document submissions if at all possible. We do not accept unsolicited scripts.

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