Managing Director - Paper Mill Playhouse, Millburn, NJ

After nearly 80 seasons of live theater, Paper Mill Playhouse welcomes more than 200,000 visitors each year. The scope of Paper Mill’s output includes 180+ mainstage performances, 70+ audience enrichment and access programs, 150+ education classes, outreach programs, and shows for young audiences. The last 10 years have seen a remarkable turnaround for Paper Mill. From a financial crisis in 2007 followed by the deep recession the following year, PMP now has established a business model that boasts of solid financial results and has laid a foundation for significant growth through an exciting new strategic plan. Receipt of the 2016 Regional Theatre Tony Award speaks to the success of the artistic accomplishments of the last decade under the leadership of Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee and former Managing Director Todd Schmidt.

Much of Paper Mill’s recent institutional achievement can be attributed to its success in building partnerships with outside producers, both commercial and not-for-profit, in developing new musicals and launching national tours of existing shows. Premiering and transferring Newsies! (in association with Disney Theatrical Group) and A Bronx Tale (in association with Dodger Productions) to Broadway, as well as launching national tours of Little House on the Prairie, The Bodyguard, and Les Misérables, has established Paper Mill Playhouse as a leading incubator of new musicals.

Paper Mill is justly proud of its impressive array of education programs that reach nearly 40,000 students each year. Programs as varied as the Adopt-A-School Project, Theater For Everyone, Rising Star Awards, and the Summer Musical Theatre Conservatory are examples of this important work. Of many accomplishments in the education realm, one of the most notable is that Paper Mill presented the country’s first full-service autism-friendly performance in 2011. This year, the Theatre For Everyone initiative will serve 3,000 children at these autism-friendly performances.

Millburn, New Jersey is a beautiful community with many parks and gardens. There is a population of long-time residents as well as a recent influx of younger families. The downtown area, where Paper Mill Playhouse is located, consists of charming and distinctive shops and dining options. Located only 20 minutes outside of New York City, it is easily accessible by car and public transportation.


LEADERSHIP:

Mark Hoebee has been Producing Artistic Director (PAD) for 10 years. Before becoming Paper Mill’s PAD, he held a number of other leadership posts there for nearly another decade. In addition to being an accomplished director and choreographer, Mark is an active producer; he is involved with the full range of activities required to put projects together, whether independently or with outside producers. From conception to artist selection to attending rehearsals, he is vigilant about guiding work from concept to opening. Former Managing Director Todd Schmidt joined Paper Mill in 2010. He was active in state-wide arts organizations, including the board of ArtPride New Jersey and chair of the New Jersey Theatre Alliance. He left Paper Mill Playhouse at the end of May to return to his home state to become Executive Director of the Alabama Shakespeare Festival. 

The Producing Artistic Director and Managing Director jointly report to the Board of Trustees through its Chair, James Fakult, President of Jersey Central Power & Light. The Board of Trustees has seen impressive growth in numbers, impact, and fundraising in the last several years. It meets four times per year and its six committees meet regularly. Notably, the Board recently completed its work on the 2018 gala, which netted $950,000, a threefold increase from six years ago. 


CURRENT ENVIRONMENT:

Paper Mill Playhouse operates on an annual budget of just under $20 million. It produces on a COST Equity contract. There are 65 full-time and 25 part-time employees. Combined with other contracted employees and artists, the total annual employment is approximately 525 individuals. The main stage season has five full productions and a variety of theater for young audiences and other special performances. With 1,200 seats, Paper Mill achieves approximately 85% paid capacity for the season. With 22,000 subscribers, Paper Mill’s ticket sales have remained relatively constant during the last several years. A transition to the Tessitura CRM system is underway and PMP is expecting a significant improvement in regular and tailored communication with its audience as a result. There are approximately 20 performances annually of booked-in shows for young audiences. These performances are presented during school time and on weekend days and are performed in front of the mainstage sets.

Paper Mill offers a variety of education activities. Total enrollment in skill-training classes in both summer and school-year programs is 660 students. For more than 30 years, these classes have introduced and improved skills at all ages and levels of experience. Classes range from acting and improv to storytelling to the process of putting on a show. The Adopt-A-School program – which introduces New Jersey high school students to the performing arts – began in 1989 and has become a multi-year program that includes on-site participation and in-school residencies. To recognize and reward the accomplishments in the production of high school musical theater to students and schools throughout the state based on a substantive assessment program, Paper Mill presents The Rising Star Awards, nicknamed “the High School Tonys” to students and schools throughout New Jersey based on a substantive assessment process. There is also a deep commitment by Paper Mill to providing accessibility for all, with autism-friendly performances, sign-interpreted and open captioned performances, audio description and sensory seminars, and other accessibility programs. 

In 2008, the Township of Millburn, in a generous act of support, purchased the Paper Mill building and land, which it leases back to Paper Mill. The purchase provided a significant cash infusion at a critical time and has helped to position the city as an ongoing, major supporter of the organization. As a result of this purchase and lease-back, Paper Mill controls and maintains all of its New Jersey facilities. Shows are built at outside commercial shops and rehearsals utilize  spaces in New York City. Offices, costume shop, restaurant, and rehearsal spaces are part of the Millburn complex. That said, there is a need for expanding and upgrading most of the facility. A capital campaign is envisioned in the near future. 

More information can be found on Paper Mill’s website: www.papermill.org 


OPPORTUNITIES AND CHALLENGES:

Paper Mill Playhouse’s next Managing Director will join a theater company with a strong financial foundation and business model. Among the opportunities for the next Managing Director are:

  • •  Creating a partnership with Producing Artistic Director Mark S. Hoebee to lead Paper Mill into the future.
  • •  Working with the Board and senior staff, advancing Paper Mill’s mission by facilitating the completion and implementation of a new strategic plan. Collaborating with the Development Staff to plan and execute a capital campaign to address a host of important initiatives, including facility expansion/renovation (including for education programs) and expanding the endowment.
  • •  Working with a very strong senior staff to build a collegial team.
  • •  Expand and deepen community engagement efforts.

Along with these opportunities, there are challenges the next Managing Director must embrace in concert with the Producing Artistic Director and Board, including:

  • Building the fundraising capacity sufficient to take Paper Mill to the next level, while creating reserves sufficient to offset losses in other years.
  • Working with the Board to expand and strengthen its membership.
  • Ensuring Paper Mill’s position in the highly competitive arena of identifying, securing, and executing new musical productions by supporting the work of the PAD.
  • Evaluating the business model with an eye on long-term sustainability vis-à-vis its current reliance on enhancement money and earned income.


POSITION AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Reporting

The Managing Director and Producing Artistic Director will be expected to form a co-equal working relationship, in which both report to the Board through its Chair. Currently, the Managing Director has four direct reports, including Director of Communication, Marketing and Membership (in a co-reporting structure with the Producing Artistic Director), Director of External and Strategic Affairs, Director of Finance and Administration, and Producing Associate (also a co-report to PAD).

Responsibilities
The Managing Director will:

  • •  Embrace and articulate the artistic and institutional vision and the educational and outreach mission of the Paper Mill Playhouse to staff, Board, and patrons, as well as the New Jersey region and the national theater community. 
  • •  Take a leadership role in developing new and expanded income streams and create strategic initiatives that build on the synergy between marketing and development. 
  • •  Of particular importance will be the expansion of contributed income, both annual fund and capital campaign. At a high, strategic level, the Managing Director will devote a significant percentage of time to this effort.
  • •  Work with a committed and hardworking staff to nurture their skills and strengthen the collaborative culture. 
  • •  With the PAD and Director of Production, continue the excellent work of building strong relationships with the theatrical unions.
  • •  Together with the Producing Artistic Director, foster the positive and enthusiastic culture of Paper Mill Playhouse. 
  • •  Oversee the organizational, financial, and business affairs of Paper Mill.


QUALIFICATIONS:

Ideally, the successful candidate for this role will possess many of these skills and experiences:

  • •  Be deemed likely to develop a rich collaborative relationship with the Producing Artistic Director. 
  • •  A deep love of the performing arts – and specifically musical theater – as evidenced by prior roles with organizations of significant (if not comparable) size or scope. 
  • •  A strategic thinker relative to organizational vision and growth.
  • •  A background in all areas of income generation, including audience development and fundraising, with a demonstrated ability to serve as a key leader of contributed revenue efforts. 
  • •  A demonstrated ability to build relationships with major donors and community leaders.
  • •  Demonstrated success in building board membership and effectiveness.
  • •  Although someone with a theater background is preferred, the search committee has indicated an openness to candidates from other arts disciplines who understand large-scale production. 
  • •  Strong organizational management, financial management and budgeting skills.
  • •  A Bachelor’s degree or higher.

The following personal attributes are also important to the Committee:

  • •  Exceptional communication skills – both speaking and writing. 
  • •  Taking satisfaction in serving as an ambassador in business and social settings.
  • •  A real love of musical theater.
  • •  A transparent, collaborative, and confident leadership style.


COMPENSATION, APPLICATION PROCEDURE, AND START DATE:

The salary will be competitive with other theater companies of comparable stature and size. Benefits will include the following:

  • •  Medical/dental/life/disability/vision insurance plans 
  • •  A 403b plan available for employee funding
  • •  Paid vacation, holidays, sick leave, and personal days
  • •  Travel budget for conferences (NAMT, etc.)

The Search Committee, comprised of trustees and staff, hopes to make its final decision by late summer/early fall of 2018, with the new Managing Director onsite as soon thereafter as possible.

Interested and qualified candidates are encouraged to submit in complete confidence a cover letter, resume, and four professional references to the consulting firm retained to conduct the search. The letter of no more than 1½ pages should describe why this post and theater is attractive to the applicant and what about them and their work makes them a potentially strong contributor as a leader of Paper Mill. Application materials should be sent electronically – Word or PDF only, please – with the applicant’s name included as part of each file name:

Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: David Mallette or Stephen Richard

Email only: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Subject Line: Paper Mill Playhouse Managing Director Search

Paper Mill Playhouse very much encourages applications from women and from people of color.

Last modified on Thursday, 07 June 2018 10:34