Job Posting: Artistic Director

Following the announcement of Emma Tibaldo’s departure after 13 years at the helm of our organization, Playwrights’ Workshop Montreal is seeking new artistic leadership. We are now accepting applications for the position of Artistic Director.

Applications and Inquiries

The full job posting is listed below. To apply, please indicate your interest by emailing your resume and cover letter to: artisticdirector@playwrights.ca.

Applications will remain open until the position is filled.

For questions and inquiries, please email: artisticdirector@playwrights.ca

PWM values diversity in its workforce, encouraging applications from all qualified individuals. While recognizing that the identity of each person is fundamentally plural, multidimensional, changing and evolving, we strongly encourage applications from individuals who are Indigenous (First Nations, Métis, and Inuit), Black, racialized (including recent immigrants), 2SLGBTQQIPAA+, neurodiverse, disabled and/or living with chronic illness and chronic pain. We encourage applicants to self-identify in their cover letter if they are comfortable doing so.


Organization overview

Founded in 1963, Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal (PWM) is a nationally-mandated theatre development centre based in Montréal. PWM is led by a team of experienced dramaturgs and arts administrators. With a focus on dramaturgy, its mission is to collaborate with artists in the development of new works of theatre and performance. PWM gives artists the opportunity to create and experiment, dream and take risks. Its collaborative process draws on the team’s unique expertise and is tailored to the artist’s individual needs.

At PWM, playwrights, dramaturgs, translators, directors, performance artists, and theatre companies across the country find a creative accomplice willing to invest deeply in the development of meaningful work. Through PWM’s programming and activities, individual artists and companies meet and make new connections. By fostering these artistic connections, PWM acts as a community hub for theatre-makers in Montreal and beyond.

PWM has a deep commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion. PWM’s staff have read and reviewed the progress of the 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada as well as the UNDRIP, and are committed to working towards adapting recommendations into the organization and its programming. PWM regularly partners with Indigenous, Black, racialized, 2SLGBTQQIPAA+, and disabled artists and organizations in its programming while continuing to work to deepen its practices and address systemic issues throughout the organization.

PWM’s annual budget is between $500-$600K. The organization has five full-time and three part-time staff, and offers seasonal internships. The Board of Directors currently has nine members and can hold up to 15. PWM hires 75 to 150 artists and contractors each year. In the 2019-2020 season, PWM collaborated on the development of 45 new works, with 190 artists participating in core programming.

PWM’s programming includes: the Glassco Translation Residency, Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency, Cole Mentorship for Emerging Translators, Exploring Practice series, Interdisciplinary Writer’s Lab, Young Creator’s Unit, New Stories Project, Digital Dramaturgy Clinic, and other programs in partnership with organizations in Montreal and across Canada.

PWM operates a 2,000 square foot creation studio and shared office space, equipped with theatre lighting, sound and digital equipment. Click here for accessibility information of our office and creative studio space: https://www.playwrights.ca/accessibility/

PWM is an ongoing member of the Group of 5+, a collective of five professional independent English-language theatre companies seeking to share a creative and administrative space to establish a sustainable arts ecosystem.

Dramaturgy and the creative process

Playwrights’ Workshop Montréal is committed to the exploration of dramaturgy as a process and as a discipline, and its application to the creation of new work.

At PWM, dramaturgical collaborations begin with a conversation with the artist(s) and may evolve to include workshops, public readings, residencies, studio residencies and mentorships. Artists and their creative process are at the heart of PWM’s work. The organization strives to cultivate a space where artists can be vulnerable, challenge themselves, and define their own goals.

While theatre has been at the core of PWM for over 50 years, its work now encompasses other forms of devised and interdisciplinary performance. In addition to seeking collaborations across diverse artistic traditions, PWM is strongly committed to supporting works which reflect a wide range of cultural identities and lived experiences. This commitment extends to PWM’s work in theatre translation.

In the organization’s ongoing work towards inclusivity and accessibility, PWM removed artist membership as a requirement to participate in its programming in 2018. The organization is transitioning into an application-based process for all future project selection.

PWM understands dramaturgy as an exploration of all the elements that make a work, how they are brought together to create meaning, and what the process for developing that work might be.

PWM understands that the work of playwriting and performance making is not created in a vacuum, but that it interacts with society. Theatre can be impactful, and therefore PWM considers not only how a piece is made and by whom, but also its effect and meaning beyond the walls of its creation studio. PWM collaborates with artists that are wrestling with these complexities. PWM understands that the act of creation is necessarily socially engaged. The organization is actively committed to principles of feminism, anti-racism, and social justice.

Position Summary

The Artistic Director will serve in a co-leadership role, with the Managing Director, curating and overseeing all aspects of PWM’s artistic programming and activities. As the organization’s primary artistic visionary and spokesperson, they will advance new play development, cultivate the work of dramaturgy, and commit to collaboration with both emerging writers and those who have already received professional recognition. Building on PWM’s legacy, the Artistic Director will regularly attend plays of new and emerging playwrights, cultivate relationships with artists and arts organizations, and deepen PWM’s national mandate and programmatic reach. Reporting to the Board of Directors (“BOD” or “Board”), they will perform overall strategic, financial, and operational oversight for PWM in collaboration with the Managing Director. The Artistic Director will lead and mentor an artistic team of full- and part- time staff who collectively support the goals of PWM and further its commitment to dramaturgical collaboration in the development of new works for performance. The Artistic Director will work with the Managing Director to further develop and implement goals that reflect PWM’s mission, vision, values, and business plan by enhancing PWM’s organizational, financial, and programming capacity.

Primary Responsibilities

Artistic Vision and Strategy

  • Guide artistic planning, evaluate existing and new programs, and develop initiatives that are appropriate for PWM and the communities it serves
  • Lead the artistic direction of PWM, including the selecting of projects submitted by Canadian playwrights and creators
  • Provide dramaturgical collaboration to selected projects and artists, plan and supervise the annual schedule of play readings, and oversee workshops and other public events
  • Develop partnerships and collaborate on new works and interdisciplinary programs
  • Maintain partnerships connected to the National Residencies: Glassco Translation Residency and Gros Morne Playwrights’ Residency
  • Partner with the BOD to enhance artistic policies, perform objective decision-making, and assure harmonious alignment with the mission, vision, and values of PWM
  • Collaborate with other arts organizations in the community.
  • Plan, develop, curate, and ideate around a variety of short- and long-range projects, collaborations, and opportunities
  • Hire artistic collaborators for PWM programming, in consultation with relevant partners in deep discussions and agreement with the Managing Director
  • Regularly attend local performances and periodically attend regional and national productions, events, and convenings
  • Advance the highest levels of awareness for theatre, the arts, and educational practices
  • Perform other artistic vision and strategy responsibilities as needed

Creative and Collaborative Engagement

  • Support PWM’s fundraising strategy and foster strong relationships with existing and potential funders in close collaboration with the Managing Director and BOD.
  • Broaden and diversify PWM’s sources of income, in partnership with the Managing Director, including through fundraising and matching specific funders with artistic programming.
  • Brainstorm facilities and capital projects with the Managing Director and other strategic partners
  • Develop strong and productive relationships with Canada Council for the Arts, Conseil des arts et des lettres du Québec, and Conseil des Arts de Montréal among other government funding sources as appropriate
  • Create deep relationships with the theatre industry, and other existing and potential partners to enhance PWM’s profile and activities within Montreal, Canada, and internationally
  • Cultivate existing, and foster new, Board candidates with the Managing Director to enhance the mission of PWM, its programs, and philanthropic support efforts
  • Act as the primary spokesperson for the organization’s artistic purpose via speaking engagements, public and social appearances, and fundraising events
  • Foster excellent relationships with other cultural organizations and participate in meetings and joint activities
  • Perform other creative and collaborative relationship responsibilities as needed

Organizational and Team Oversight

  • Oversee and ensure financial sustainability of PWM with the Managing Director, including the approval of annual budgets and artistic plans, as well as presentation of comprehensive project and program budgets
  • Create a positive, open, and responsive working environment with the Managing Director based on a cultural ethos that is conducive to the development of new work and attainment of the highest standards of artistic endeavor and workplace behavior
  • Attend and report at Board and committee meetings to ensure the timely preparation and presentation of artistic, program, and organizational updates
  • Maintain an open and collegiate working relationship with the BOD, staff, artists, and all others who come in contact with PWM
  • Consult with the Managing Director on the recruitment, professional development, working conditions, management, and regular performance reviews of PWM’s full- and part-time artistic staff
  • Design the programs and hire the artists that lead programmatic implementation
  • Ensure artistic staff accountability measures that align with PWM’s objectives and policies
  • Comply with all applicable enactments and regulations, as well as best practices in organisational leadership and management
  • Ensure staffing structures are responsive to emerging needs and conducive to effective teamwork in discussions with the Managing Director
  • Perform other organizational and team oversight responsibilities as needed.
Traits and Characteristics

The Artistic Director will be a thoughtful and creative leader, passionate about dramaturgy and the development of new works and personally engaged in advancing the values of equity, diversity, and inclusion. They will be motivated by emergent ideas, practices, and approaches that expand the reach of theatre creation. Using an inherently collaborative approach, the Artistic Director will mentor and support their team and appreciate their collective efforts. They will intuitively use their experience and know-how and continue to seek knowledge to develop and achieve their artistic vision. This individual will be comfortable interacting with a variety of people, adapting to changing circumstances. With diplomacy, empathy, and foresight, the Artistic Director will identify and foster opportunities to advance the organization’s mission.

  • A strong artistic vision with the ability to inspire, mentor, and guide others, build trust to support creative risks, and develop and maintain partnerships to advance the organization’s mission
  • A demonstrated commitment to emerging and established creators and new play development
  • The capacity to drive team decisions towards consensus, respecting individual perspectives and collective processes
  • The foresight to envision new artistic possibilities, champion cutting-edge ideas and concepts, and offer safe environments for artists with diverse artistic voices and lived experiences
  • A genuine dedication to championing the works and needs of artists, applying principles of equity, diversity, and inclusion, and broadening representation and access to the arts
  • The resilience and responsiveness to the changing artistic landscape and external realities
Qualifications
  • Strong track record of developing new work for the stage
  • Artistic leadership experience in an artistic nonprofit organization, company, or festival
  • Knowledge of and interest in traditional and new approaches to dramaturgy or new work creation
  • Deep familiarity with the theatre industry, including local and national artistic communities
  • Experience with relationship building that results in fundraising success considered an asset
  • Knowledge of or a strong aptitude for strategic planning, team management, and advocacy
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills in English required; professional fluency in French required, fluency in another second language could be considered
Salary and Benefits
  • An annual salary in the range of $52,000 to $62,000 
  • Six weeks paid vacation
  • 10 paid sick days per year
  • Paid company cell phone
  • Reimbursement for one theatre ticket per month or 12 per year
  • Group Insurance benefits that includes access to a health plan, life insurance and travel insurance
  • Optional enrolment in the Common Good Retirement Plan, with a future possibility of matching contributions from PWM, based on the organization’s budget