• AlterTheater

Hiring an Assistant to the Artistic Director

Organization

AlterTheater develops and produces plays written and performed by the best established and emerging storytellers, presented where people live, work, or play. AlterTheater has been commissioning, developing and premiering new plays in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2008. Its AlterLab playwright residency focuses on writers from underrepresented communities: 85% of writers are women and ⅔ of writers identify as BIPOC (Black, Indigeneous, People of Color). While our cohorts are multi-ethnic, we’ve supported more Native playwrights than any other demographic (30%). AlterTheater’s mission has always been about telling stories in places where people are; for 15 years, the company performed in highly visible, non-traditional spaces, primarily storefronts in downtown San Rafael’s pedestrian shopping district.


AlterTheater seeks to create a more just, more equitable community by:

● supporting the creative growth of theater artists from historically underrepresented communities;

● telling stories that reflect the full complexity and diversity of our community; and

● sharing stories with our full community, in places where people are.


Recent Challenges and Opportunities:


In partnership with The Parsnip Ship, AlterTheater produced an audio play version of Andrew Saito’s Br’er Peach, which will “tour” BIPOC theaters this summer and become available on TPS’s podcast platforms this fall, adding to AlterTheater’s digital offerings.


The pandemic shut down theaters a few weeks before AlterTheater was scheduled to start rehearsals for our first touring project to Native reservations, Pure Native, a new play by Vickie Ramirez. As part of the tour, AlterTheater planned to hold intergenerational acting workshops. Over the summer, Alter’s Native artists designed a weeklong virtual playwriting class, that has expanded into our fledgiling Arts Learning Project for Native Youth. Pure Native is waiting in the wings for California to open up enough to perform for a live audience again. AlterTheater plans to create a Hybrid Performance with a filmed version of the play available for ticketholders that are unable to attend in person.


Future

Producing in a rented physical space for a limited audience, is incredibly expensive. We think the way forward is to lean in to deeper partnerships with other organizations. With this in mind, we have been cultivating several relationships with theater companies, community organizations, and educational institutions.


As we emerge from this year of paused productions, AlterTheater is considering how to continue serving and expanding our community of artists and audiences. Alter’s future programming will deepen its focus on social justice work using theater as a tool for change. We will produce a mixture of live, in-person events and hybrid asynchronous performances, including radio or audio plays. We will also continue to develop and expand intergenerational opportunities among professional Native performing artists and Native youth through our Arts Learning Project for Native Youth and other initiatives.


Work Culture

AlterTheater works under a distributive leadership model, with an ensemble sensibility. We engage in consensus-based decision-making, and also provide opportunities for individuals to take ownership of their own projects, using our company’s values as their guide.

Cofounded by five artists, including two Native American (Onondaga and Chiricahua Apache/Tohono O’odham), AlterTheater has always centered Indigenous voices and practices. Located on Coast Miwok land, AlterTheater creates work in consultation with our local elders, as evidenced by our decade-long partnership with the Marin American Indian Alliance (president: Sky Road Webb (Coast Miwok)). A BIPOC majority company, our Board is 80% BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, people of color). We believe in telling stories by, for, and with our community. AlterTheater resides in a community that was built on dispossession and land theft, but despite generations of erasure and genocidal practices, Coast Miwoks continue to live and work in Marin County, along with descendents of Californios. In recognition that our country was built on a legacy of land theft and labor theft, and that anti-Blackness is woven into the very foundation of our society, at AlterTheater we center the emotional and spiritual well-being of Black and Native people.


Position Summary

The Assistant to the Artistic Director is responsible for supporting the Artistic Director (Jeanette Harrison) during a time of company expansion.


Currently, the Artistic Director is responsible for all aspects of financial management of the company, along with the Board Treasurer. The next position to be hired will likely be a Business Manager or Company Manager.


Currently, the Artistic Director is responsible, with the Literary Committee including the Literary Manager and outgoing producing artistic director, for all aspects of the artistic operations of the company.


Roles and Responsibilities

This position is generally a “finisher”, someone who likes to cross things off lists before starting new projects, and will help the AD with tasks such as:

  • Track deadlines and submit final grant reports

  • Draft emails on behalf of AD

  • Provide artists with one-sheets for promotional/publicity interviews

  • Track publicity and provide links in a master document, shared with marketing person and artists

  • Assist with newsletters, including database maintenance

  • Assist with bookkeeping, paying bills, tracking expenses and reimbursements

  • Assist with calendar management

  • Help manage communications in a way that helps a severe introvert not get overwhelmed and also meets obligations of relationship-based artistic practice

  • Supporting our company values, especially centering the spiritual and emotional well-being of Black and Native people

This position may help with research, with IT support, with travel arrangements related to the Arts Learning Project for Native Youth, with company visioning, with production support, with execution of union production contracts, depending on applicants’ skills and interests


Qualifications

  • Highly organized

  • Detail Oriented

  • Interested in systems, tracking, and making things work better

  • Demonstrated commitment to anti-racism

  • Good at balancing multiple needs

  • Great at finishing things

We believe that people who appreciate systems, who value following through on commitments, and believe in upholding promises may have success in this role. This is a brand-new position, and can be tailored to an applicant’s interests/skills. While we see this as an entry level job in arts administration, our current artistic director is committed to mentorship, and welcomes hearing about applicants’ long-term career goals.


Compensation and Benefits

$15/hour; between 10 and 15 hours per week depending on production cycle.


Location

San Rafael, CA or remote. Ideally, capable of checking PO box in San Rafael at least once a month, but open to hiring outside the Bay Area. Must be legally able to work in the U.S.

Applications and Inquiries

Please email a resume and cover letter to: casting@altertheater.org with the subject line: AD Assistant

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