Imagination Stage Managing Director

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Imagination Stage Managing Director



Position: Managing Director

Location: Bethesda, MD

Reporting Relationship: Board of Trustees




Imagination Stage is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit arts education organization that empowers young people to discover their voice and identity through performing arts education and professional theatre. We envision a future where theatre experiences are a fundamental aspect of children’s lives, nourishing their creative spirit, inspiring them to embrace the complexity and diversity of their world, and helping them overcome their challenges with hope, courage and, above all, creativity.

Imagination Stage was founded as BAPA (Bethesda Academy of Performing Arts) in 1979 in response to the urgent need for arts education for young people. The company was renamed Imagination Stage in 2001, and is incorporated in both Maryland and The District of Columbia.  Imagination Stage has grown from a handful of children in a single classroom to a full-spectrum theatre arts organization, with theatre productions by professional actors and artists. Unlike most children’s theatre companies, Imagination Stage commissions new works for children every year. These productions have been recognized with awards and productions by other companies around the world.

Imagination Stage’s major program areas include:

  • Education: many arts education programs on-site; Classes on Request in Schools (CORS); Arts integration on-site, in schools, and digitally; Youth Conservatory for pre-professional acting students
  • In the Community: Professional Development for Educators; Arts Enrichment; Access Education (community programming:
  • Professional Productions: 3-5 mainstage productions annually for young audiences; Annual series of productions for very young audiences in the black box theatre; Learning Through Theatre (LTT) Field Trips
  • Theatre for Change: Currently touring 10 Seconds (grades 8-12), SPIES digital productions (grades K-5); ¡Óyeme! workshops and performances for immigrant youth; The Youth and Police Partnership; Voices Beyond Bars



The Managing Director, in partnership with the Founding Artistic Director (FAD), ensures that Imagination Stage fulfills its mission and vision to empower young people to discover their voices and identities through performing arts education and professional theatre. The Managing Director leads and oversees the administrative arm of the organization including daily operations, fundraising, marketing, financial and facilities management. Along with the Founding Artistic Director, the Managing Director works closely with the Board of Trustees, government officials, donors, and other community partners to achieve the organization’s objectives.  As co-leader, the Managing Director ensures Imagination Stage’s success and accountability to itself and stakeholders.



  • Work closely with the FAD to lead the organization towards its mission and vision.
  • Reflect the organization’s values in daily management, strategic planning, and communication.
  • Establish a positive, healthy, and safe work environment in accordance with ISI’s core values and all appropriate legislations and regulations.
  • Support ISI’s culture of transparency, optimism, entrepreneurial profile and creativity.
  • Ensure the recruitment and selection of leadership staff with appropriate skills, expertise, and personal values to help further ISI’s vision and mission and in accordance with the goals set forth in the strategic plan.
  • Ensure all programs, hiring decisions, and management decisions are carried out with an EDI lens.
  • Advance my own, and ISI’s, anti-racism learning and efforts.
  • With FAD, determine All Staff Meeting Agendas and help to lead these convenings.



  • With FAD, seek opportunities to be visible in the local, DMV, and national communities to enhance ISI’s recognition and perceived value.
  • Support staff participation and service as panelists and speakers in local, state, regional and national meetings and conferences.
  • Maintain and seek out relationships with leaders of other TYA’s.
  • Participate in TYA-USA leadership discussions and convenings.



  • Oversee work of organization’s finance team.
  • Collaborate closely with board treasurer to ensure effective financial management.
  • Create and oversee strategic, short- and long-term financial planning that positions ISI to accomplish long-term organizational strategies and priorities.
  • Develop and implement effective financial management practices and systems to ensure accountability.
  • With Staff Accountant and auditors, ensure that sound bookkeeping and accounting procedures are in place and followed.
  • Oversee annual budgeting process.
  • Assist in creation of new program budgets.
  • Perform budget analyses for new and existing programs to inform decision-making.
  • Prepare monthly Finance Committee statements.
  • Maintain relationship with organization’s bank.
  • Oversee and aggregate monthly year-end income statement and cash flow re-projections.
  • With facilities team, create and monitor a capital budget and oversee organization’s capital spending.
  • With Artistic team, make royalty arrangements for productions and ensure royalties are calculated and paid according to contract.



  • Ensure that all reporting and legal requirements are met and that appropriate risk management policies are in place.
  • Ensure identification and evaluation of potential risks to and from ISI stakeholders (donors, patrons, students, staff, board and other volunteers), its property, finances, goodwill, and image and ensure that actions to control any risks are implemented and maintained.
  • Ensure organization obtains and maintains all required insurance policies and procedures.
  • Seek advice of Imagination Stage’s Legal Counsel to ensure compliance with legal not-for-profit requirements and work closely with Counsel on issues that may require legal oversight.
  • Negotiate with playwrights and agents for new commissions and ensure these documents are approved by legal.
  • With Production Manager, negotiate company’s relationship with all relevant performance unions.
  • Maintain relationship with insurance brokers.



With FAD:

  • Ensures ISI has effective governance structures; (by laws, etc.).
  • Ensures the Boards receive timely, comprehensive and regular reports on administrative aspects of the business.
  • With FAD, identify, assess, and inform the Boards of internal and external issues that affect or could affect the organization.
  • Drafts new/updated policies for the Board’s approval.
  • Create/consult on agendas for meetings.

With FAD and Director of Development:

  • Cultivate existing trustees and identify new members.



 With Business/HR Manager:

  • Ensure the implementation of an annual performance evaluation for all staff that ties to the goals for the organization.
  • Ensure the recruitment and selection of staff with appropriate skills, expertise and personal values to help further ISI’s vision and mission.
  • Ensure ongoing evaluation of staff compensation and benefit levels to attract and retain appropriate staff.
  • Oversee the implementation of effective and comprehensive human resources policies, procedure and best practices.



  • Ensure regular discussion about the facility’s immediate and long-term needs.
  • Ensure facility is safe and accessible and all necessary procedures are in place to ensure these objectives.
  • Negotiate leases for rented spaces.
  • Support the rentals program.
  • Ensure regular maintenance of all facilities, their operating systems, and technology/IT.
  • Oversee management of large-scale physical plant contracts, such as HVAC.



  • Create and disseminate annual dashboard through collaborative process.
  • Ensure regular strategic planning process takes place and plan is created.
  • Monitor implementation of planned action steps.
  • Involve Board and leadership staff as appropriate.




With Director of Development:

  • Ensure creation of annual strategic fundraising plan and oversee its successful execution.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with new and existing donors.
  • Remain current on fundraising trends and funder behavior/interests
  • Develop and maintain relationships with elected officials, community members, and business to communicate ISI’s mission, vision, and values.


With Director of Marketing and Communications:

  • Ensure creation of annual marketing/communications/public relations plans and oversee its successful execution
  • Participate in all branding discussions/decisions



The ideal successful candidate for the Managing Director will have:

  • Leadership Presence: The ideal candidate must be confident, composed and courageous – willing to challenge the status quo – while demonstrating integrity and humility. The successful candidate will have a track record of identifying, supporting and developing future leaders.
  • Change Management Skills: the ideal candidate will focus on, and demonstrate ability to achieve consensus for implementation of performance improvement plans that seek to provide the highest quality. Demonstrated ability to partner with others in a productive manner, including the willingness to step into any role when necessary and appropriate.
  • Team Builder: the ideal candidate must be able to inspire and build strong, collaborative relationships with colleagues and staff in a complex, multi-site environment.  He/she will possess the ability to interact with associates at all levels of the organization in order to solve problems.  The successful candidate will successfully drive a true sense of team, and will always prioritize the needs of the organization over any individual needs.
  • Demonstrated skills in assessing needs and developing strategies to support diversity and inclusion.
  • Influencing Skills: The successful candidate will have the ability to drive change through influence rather than strict organizational position. He/she will possess strong interpersonal, verbal and written communication skills and the ability to achieve consensus amongst disparate constituencies. The ideal candidate will have a track record of building trust with colleagues, subordinates and superiors.
  • Operational Excellence: The successful candidate will drive operational excellence through data metrics and broad-based collaboration, sustained through an effective governance model that empowers individuals at all levels while ensuring appropriate elevation of critical issues.
  • Communication Skills: Excellent verbal and written communication skills in addition to the ability to present sensitive issues with a high level of tact, diplomacy and integrity.
  • Adaptability: An openness to new ideas, and excitement for building a quality organization.
  • Exceptional intellectual ability and strong analytical and problem-solving skills.
  • Strong communications skills to ensure effective internal and external communications which will help shape the thinking on key strategic issues as well as tactical operating decisions.
  • The ability to manage and hold accountable executive management, vendors and staff.
  • The ability to be a team player who is also decisive and appreciates constructive criticism.
  • 5+ years of progressively responsible management experience, with a significant portion of that time spent navigating within a complex /fast paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to develop and manage complex budgets from multiple funding sources and adapt objectives and operations to changes in resources.
  • Strong preference for a candidate familiar with the DC/MD Metro area and arts community.


A college degree is preferred; equivalent work experience in a related field will be considered.


  • Excellent people skills, with an ability to partner with a dynamic leadership team.
  • Passionate about Imagination Stage’s mission and performance arts education and professional theater.
  • Possesses personal qualities of integrity, credibility, and commitment to corporate mission.
  • Flexible and able to multitask; can work within an ambiguous, fast-moving environment, while also driving toward clarity and solutions; demonstrated resourcefulness in setting priorities and guiding investment in people and systems.
  • Have presence of mind and have quick decision-making abilities.
  • Strong management and team building skills, which motivates top talent and generates confidence and respect from all levels of the organization.
  • Thrives in a hands-on, changing environment.


The Imagination Stage Board of Directors is leading this search with assistance from Neil Lieberman from K&A Partners. To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to

Job Details (for job postings)

Job Category: Executive (CEO, Director, President)
Position Type: Full Time
Salary Range (annual): -
Experience: 5-10 Years
Education Level: -