TheatreFIRST Careers

Seeking TheatreFIRST Artistic Director

Theatre People!
Are you committed to using your work as part of a larger social justice mission?
This is your chance to become an Artistic Director.

This 3.5 year residency at TheatreFirst is intended to provide an open-door to aspiring Artistic Directors whose vision hasn’t been traditionally included in the canon of American Theatre.

Early career applicants are encouraged to apply.

See the description below. For inquiries:

Who We Are

TheatreFIRST (T1) is a theatre lab that has joined the search for new forms of progressive justice. Leading with mandates of a minimum two-thirds people of color, half female-identified, and one-third LGBTQIA2+ in all aspects of infrastructure and production, TheatreFIRST is a forty-member-strong community. We challenge traditional constructs at every stage of theatre’s world-building process.

Each year we craft initiatives that deeply respond to our community’s needs and chart new models of equity. Our work is built upon ongoing initiatives that include CALLBUCKS, which pays an hourly stipend to all auditioning actors and provides childcare and eldercare during their in-person callbacks, LIVING WAGE, our policy of paying everyone in the organization the same hourly rate, and BLANK SPACE, which created resources, space, and time for our community members free of charge.

We are not another theatre company with an EDI committee: we are a social and economic justice organization that uses theatre as its method for change.

Reimagining Leadership

TheatreFIRST now begins the year-long implementation of a new cyclical leadership structure. Going forward T1 will become a pipeline for Artistic Directors who are committed to a social justice mission. We want to give artists who use art as activism a platform to create, build, learn and ultimately go on to lead larger institutions.

The current Artistic Facilitator, Jon Tracy, will finish planning and executing the 20-21 season programming through June 2021. At the same time, T1 will hire an Incoming Artistic Director to develop their own programming for the following three seasons. By June 2021, Jon Tracy will transition to Company Manager, working under the leadership of the newly instated Artistic Director.  The new Artistic Director will work part time as an Associate from January 2020-June 2021 and will transition to full time June 2021. In 2023 the cycle will begin again with the hiring of a new incoming Artistic Director who will begin programming a new season in 2024.

What You Will Do

  • Define an annual vision for TheatreFIRST, curate the performance season, and be a champion of our long-term mission, all the while evolving the company to continuously respond to the needs of our community. 
  • Act as ambassador from TheatreFIRST. Promote our social justice focus and strengthen our ability to create impactful change in our community and beyond.
  • Actively work with the Board of Directors and Company Manager to pursue donor development and fundraising activities to ensure TheatreFIRST’s financial stability and promote long-term sustainability.
  • Recruit, oversee, and mentor artistic personnel, including directors, performers, designers, and stage managers.
  • Recruit, oversee, and mentor key technical personnel, including Technical Director(s), and Production Manager(s).
  • Work with the Education Director to design, implement, and evaluate all education initiatives, with the focus of integrating education into our work. Develop a business model for education as a revenue stream.
  • Act as a spokesperson for TheatreFIRST via speaking engagements, public and social appearances, and, as requested, at fundraising events and solicitations.
  • Foster the development of productive relations with other cultural organizations by pursuing meaningful collaborations where appropriate.
  • Report to the Board of Directors on a regular basis to give an update on artistic activity at monthly meetings.
  • Continuously reevaluate current protocols, looking for more effective approaches to equitable representation.
  • Identify and secure venues for productions as needed. 
  • Shape the role of Artistic Director, during this inaugural first cycle, so that the program is sustainable into the future.


Who You Are


  • Ready to make a 3.5 year commitment to TheatreFIRST

Qualities in an ideal candidate:

  • Wildly Creative
  • Leadership Experience
  • Believe that theater can be a tool for social change
  • Have a track record of centering the voices of and supporting the development of artists of color, LGBTQ+ artists, female-identifying artists, disabled artists and/or their communities. 
  • Demonstrate commitment to a small theater company during transitional period.
  • Approach work with generosity and kindness
  • Motivator
  • Strong vision
  • Problem solver
  • Sees opportunity in barriers
  • Anticipate obstacles
  • Have an emotional connection to T1 and a plan for the future
  • Collaborative spirit
  • Decisive
  • Demonstrated conflict resolution skills
  • Have a holistic view of the company (initiatives, shows, projects, etc.)

Previous skills/interests:

  • Directing experience (preferred)
  • Management or comparable experience (preferred)
  • Administrative skills
  • Intercultural communication skills 
  • Project and/or Production Management experience
  • Experience and/or  Interest in fundraising and financial management/budgeting

Other preferences

  • Living in the Bay Area or having strong ties to the Bay Area
  • Familiarity with the TheatreFIRST community



January 2021 – June 2021, Part-time Incoming Artistic Director: ~$1280/mo
June 2021 – June 2024, Full-time Artistic Director: ~$2560/mo
While the Artistic Director job is full time, it does allow for other employment, such as teaching and/or directing outside of TheatreFIRST.




To Apply:

Please send your resume and a one page artistic statement to

In your artistic statement tell us about how your experience relates to TheatreFIRST’s mission, and give us a bird’s-eye view of your artistic vision for TheaterFIRST.


Leadership Hiring Committee:

Tierra Allen, Stephanie Anne Johnson, Jeffrey Lo, Domenique Lozano, Geetha Reddy, Cathleen Riddley, Alejandra Maria Rivas, Cleavon Smith, Jon Tracy