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6 Feb 2020

Contract Artistic Director for Tibbits Summer Theatre

Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council, Inc.  Coldwater, Michigan, United States

Tibbits Opera Foundation - jobs

Job Description

Job Status: Salaried; Administrative; Flexible schedule, but must be onsite June, July, August (Responsibilities begin in 2020, observing the current season, developing relationships, and setting the 2021 summer season.)

Reports to Executive Director.
Hiring/Supervisory Responsibilities:
All Summer Theatre personnel

Education/experience required:

Bachelor’s degree or higher in Theatre plus minimum 10 years’ experience

Established network in key areas of theatre—performers, directors, designers, technicians, academia

Skills Needed:

Management/personnel: Inter-personal relationship and group management skills

Diverse theatrical production experience—directing, performance, technical

Strong organizational skills

High written and verbal communication skills

Computer literate

Essential Functions:

Job Function A:  Artistic Vision, Strategy, and Leadership

  1. Continue and build upon the professional, non-Equity Tibbits Summer Theatre program now in its 57th season. Create an annual season which furthers the mission of the Tibbits Opera Foundation board of directors. Guide the program, balancing artistic mission with revenue generation.
  2. Develop each season including long-term planning. The goal is to have titles chosen a minimum of one year in advance for announcing prior to the end of the current season.
  3. Hire the company, negotiate contracts, arrange travel, and coordinate housing. The summer company is housed in volunteer homes, one theatre-owned property, and when necessary, rental properties.
  4. Manage all aspects of the season and company prior to, throughout, and following each season.
  5. Communicate effectively plans, schedules, and other aspects of summer theatre with the other staff, board members, donors, and volunteers. Work collaboratively with the marketing personnel to advertise and promote the season.
  6. Seek new ideas and methods of developing the program and expanding the TST brand.
  7. Community support of the theatre and TST are vital, thus requiring attention to balancing community involvement with the professional program.
  8. Build and maintain relationships with other theatres, universities and industry professionals and take measures to stay current in the theatre industry.

Job Function B: Management

  1. Ultimately responsible for all management activities of TST.
  2. Foster within the company an environment of professionalism, which is consistent, supportive, and collaborative and mentors and optimizes talent and expertise.
  3. Work with the executive director and accounting manager to develop and manage the summer theatre budget. Assist in seeking revenue opportunities as well as opportunities for cost savings.
  4. Actively participate in budgeting, offering recommendations for growth and improvement.

Job Function C: Facility

  1. A key element of the organization’s mission is preservation of the historic Tibbits Opera House. Protecting the historic integrity of the theatre should be first priority above any artistic decisions.
  2. Assure that the summer theatre company maintains and responsibly uses all equipment and properties belonging to the foundation or those borrowed or rented from other entities.

Physical/Emotional Requirements/Work Conditions:

Emotional maturity to coordinate the many aspects and personalities of professional summer stock theatre.

Ability to move around the theatre, stage, scene shop, costume shop and other areas utilized by TST.


TO APPLY: Please send cover letter, resume, and professional references to



Named one of 10 great places to see the lights way off Broadway by USA Today, Tibbits Summer Theatre (TST) celebrates its 57th season this year bringing professional theatre by a stock company to the region.

With an artistic mission of presenting the best possible theatre for southwest Michigan, northern Indiana and northwest Ohio, each season balances the classics of musical theatre with some of the best writing of the last 20 years. The main shows in recent years have featured two to three musicals and one to two non-musicals, usually comedies. The season also features Popcorn Theatre which offers live theatre featuring the professional company but geared toward children and families. The five-show program offered on Friday and Saturday mornings has become a multi-generational tradition for many families and serves as a beautiful introduction to theatre. TST often features other special professional performances added to round out both the offering for audiences and the artistic opportunity for the company members. These have included cabarets at area restaurants, community performances and theatre productions at other times of the year. Most recently, TST presented a fall production of Next to Normal.

The Artistic Director develops the season and hires the entire company, actors, musicians, directors, designers, and technical crew from throughout the country. Many are professionals who have been working steadily in the Midwest theatre circuit for years. The company often includes college professors, educators and graduate theatre students. The season lasts nine weeks and each production is blocked, rehearsed, designed and built in 11-14 days. The Popcorn Theatre program offers excellent opportunities for young designers, directors and performers to gain experience with guidance in a professional environment.

Between TST, Popcorn Theatre, concerts and a theatre workshop, the theatre typically brings in close to 10,000 people through the summer making it an important economic driver for Coldwater. The annual budget for summer theatre is $278,000, approximately one third of the theatre’s total operating budget. The challenge is always balancing artistic endeavors with economic viability.

Begun in 1964, summer stock has grown and transitioned always seeking to provide the community and region the opportunity to experience high-quality professional theatre at a great value. Musicals have become the staple of the season. While Tibbits has produced popular shows such as Chicago, Footloose and Fiddler on the Roof, it has also been instrumental in presenting more challenging productions including Hair, The Full Monty, and The Producers and in 2018 was the first theatre in Michigan to produce A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder. Plays remain vital to the season. Tony or Pulitzer Prize winners, comedies and farces have balanced the offering. Among the popular shows: Driving Miss Daisy, Steel Magnolias, See How They Run, Fox on the Fairway and The Foreigner.

TST is presented at Tibbits Opera House, a historic theatre built in 1882. Rich in history and ambiance, the opera house offers theatre-goers nearly perfect acoustics, an intimate 500-seat setting, and a fine array of performances throughout the year. The stage includes a fly system, full set of curtains, small orchestra pit, ample dressing rooms and cross-over space. The theatre’s electric is currently being upgraded and receiving new investments to the stage lighting equipment. There is an offsite scene shop as well as costume shop.

In 2013, the theatre completed restoration of its exquisite façade, a preservation feat which has garnered awards and accolades from across the state and beyond. Tibbits Board of Directors continues its commitment to restoration of the interior, improvements for production value of its programming, and long-term sustainability of the organization.

Tibbits Opera House operates year-round. In addition to TST, it offers touring performers, youth and educational programs, an art gallery, special events and an array of community plays, musicals, concerts, dance programs, pageants and variety shows. The opera house is owned by the Tibbits Opera Foundation and Arts Council, Inc., founded in 1963. It is funded through tickets sales, individual and corporate memberships, grants, sponsorships, gifts and special events.

Contract Job in Theatre:
Artistic Director for Tibbits Summer Theatre
  Tibbits Opera Foundation & Arts Council, Inc.
   Coldwater, Michigan, United States

Job Categories: Theatre. Job Types: Contract. Job Tags: administration, dance, director, opera, and theatre. States: Michigan.

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