The Drama League of New York
New York, NY 10013
Ali Skye Bennet
PRODUCTION MANAGER -- DirectorFest 2021
The Drama League seeks an artistic-minded Production Manager with festival experience, who has a knack for gentle guidance and creative solutions, and is comfortable rolling with the punches as we reinvent the wheel in how to safely produce a socially-distanced DirectorFest in April 2021. The Production Manager will work alongside the Drama League's full-time Artistic Line Producer, and will serve as a true Thought Partner to collaborate on the successful execution of this 36-year-old festival during these uncertain times.
The Drama League advances the American theater by providing a life-long artistic home for directors, and a platform for dialogue with and between audiences. As the leading career development organization for theater directors, the Drama League offers hands-on instruction, mentorship, opportunities, and work experience with established professionals. We identify talented directors through a rigorous national selection process with outside theater luminaries, and provide them with the skills, experiences, and contacts they need to bridge the gap between training and professional success.
The Drama League’s DirectorFest is a multi-week, city-wide festival focusing on the art of contemporary stage directing. The 2021 festival includes four fully-staged new productions, a reading of a classical play (co-produced with Red Bull Theatre), discussion panels, workshops, and conversations with America’s most notable directors. DirectorFest is the only festival in the United States exploring the art of contemporary stage directing. The fellows featured in DirectorFest join the ranks of the illustrious 350+ alumni of The Drama League Directors Project, including Tony® Award winners Rachel Chavkin (Hadestown), Christopher Ashley (Come From Away), Diane Paulus (Jagged Little Pill), Sam Gold (Fun Home), Rebecca Taichman (Indecent), Michael Mayer (Burn This), Pam MacKinnon (The Parisian Woman), John Rando (On The Town), Tony Award nominees Alex Timbers (Moulin Rouge!), Moritz von Steulpnagel (Bernhardt/Hamlet), Mark Brokaw (Heisenberg), as well as Lila Neugebauer (The Waverly Gallery), Anne Kauffman (Marvin’s Room), Arin Arbus (Frankie and Johnnie in the Clair de Lune), to name only a few.
~ We are looking for a Production Manager who is collaborative in spirit and creative in execution, with a passion (and the patience) for guiding and mentoring early-career directors.
~ We need a Production Manager who can think about the Festival holistically -- not just show by show -- who is comfortable working closely and artistically in collaboration with the Producer and Designers to keep the physical space (and its limitations) in mind, as well as the challenges inherent to social-distancing in a festival setting.
~ The ideal candidate can quickly and seamlessly adapt to changing circumstances, and has the capacity to think through multiple iterations of the festival simultaneously.
~ Must possess exceptional skills in budgeting and budget-management, expense tracking, coordinating labor and technical crews and overseeing their timesheets, placing equipment orders/deliveries, supervising production staff (including serving as the direct-report for the TD, Associate PM, and PAs), highly detailed scheduling, and time management.
~ In collaboration with the Producer and other relevant staff/designers, the Production Manager will be responsible for hiring the Technical Director, the Associate PM, Production Assistants, Deck Carp, Wardrobe Supervisor, Master Electrician, Board Operator(s), and Labor crews as needed (electricians, carpenters, audio, painters).
~ The PM will collaborate with the Artistic Line Producer to plan a portion of "DirectorFest Prep Week" for the Fellows, held virtually in September 2020.
- Prep Week begins with the Directors presenting their directorial concept "pitches" in order to open a dialogue about their plans, ideas, script analysis, design, marketing, etc., and to alert the PM and Producer about any extraordinary budgetary/design considerations.
- Following the pitches, Prep Week consists of workshops specific to the pre-production process, including collaborating with designers, overall DirectorFest expectations, and a virtual site-visit to the theater.
~ DirectorFest 2021 is a 4-week festival of 4 one-act solo plays, directed by The Drama League's 2020 New York Directing Fellows (plus additional ancillary artistic programming not relevant to the PM).
~ While each play has its own director, cast, and stage manager, the Festival has one team of designers and production staff working on all four shows, which perform in ART/NY's Gural Theater in Hell's Kitchen.
~ Each show has 2 weeks of rehearsal, 3 days of tech, and 4 performances.
~ At this time, we are planning the socially-distanced version of DirectorFest ("Plan A"): in addition to committing to solo plays, audience capacity will be limited to 10-20 people, the run crew will be small, and hand props & physical scenic elements will be kept to an absolute minimum. All Design and Production meetings will be held virtually until tech, and a Health & Safety Compliance Officer will be hired to manage and track company & audience wellness. Simultaneously, we are preparing for the possibility of having to move to "Plan B" -- producing in the theater but without an audience, and filming the performances for a limited at-home broadcast -- as well as "Plan C" -- a fully virtual festival with actors performing from home.
~ There will be no scenic builds or constructed walls -- the scenic design will incorporate found elements only.
~ Every show will use the same stage/audience configuration.
~ We'll be working with one lighting plot -- lights will only need refocusing, not re-hanging.
~ September 17-25, 2020: DirectorFest Prep Week
- Directors meet the PM for the first time
- Directors "pitch" their plays/concepts, learn about designer collaborations, discuss the casting process, and attend a virtual site-visit to the theater.
- The PM and Artistic Line Producer lead a session on DirectorFest Expectations.
~ October 19-November 15: Design Team is confirmed; preliminary one-one-one discussions are scheduled between the Directors and Designers.
~ Week of November 30: Design Meeting #1
~ Week of December 21: Design Meeting #2
~ Week of January 25, 2021: Design Meeting #3 -- scenic design is approved and finalized
~ Week of February 8: Production Meeting #1
~ Week of February 22: Production Meeting #2
~ March 18: Rehearsals begin
~ March 26: Designer Run (Play A) and Production Meeting #3 -- tech schedule is confirmed
~ March 29, 2021: Load into ART/NY Theaters for Play A
~ April 5: Changeover to Play B
~ April 12: Changeover to Play C
~ April 19: Changeover to Play D
~ April 25: Final strike, Load-out of Theater
~ May 3: Deadline for Reconciliation -- all returns have been made, and financial reports with accompanying receipts are turned in to the Artistic Line Producer.
Click here for the current rehearsal & performance calendar (subject to change).
DirectorFest Prep Week will be September 17-25, 2020. As the PM is a key participant in Prep Week, the final schedule will not be set until the PM is hired and their availability is confirmed.
FEE & TEAM:
~ PM compensation is $5,000 for the festival & pre-production (March-April, 2021)
~ Plus $1,200 "consultation fee" paid in $200 monthly installments from September 2020 - February 2021.
~ The Production Management team will include an Associate PM, a TD, and 2 PAs, all of whom will report to and be supervised by the Production Manager.
Interviews will be held throughout the month of August, and we aim to fill this position by September 1st. To apply, please contact The Drama League's Artistic Line Producer, Ali Skye Bennet, at email@example.com, and include a cover letter, resume, 2-3 professional references (including the capacity in which you worked with those references), and where you heard about the position. No phone calls please.
The Drama League is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply.
September 1, 2020 - May 3, 2021