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PLEASE APPLY BY: July 8, 2024

Who We Are

For 60 years, Long Wharf Theatre has been producing boundary-breaking theatre for New Haven and beyond. We are committed to revolutionizing the power and possibility of live theatre as a catalyst to bring people together and fulfill our promise of “theatre for everyone.”


Established in 1965 at the start of the regional theatre movement, Long Wharf Theatre was born on the notion that New Haven deserves an active arts culture that is locally created. Our founders shared the dream of starting a professional theatre company in Connecticut, built with the aid of community leaders and supporters of the arts.

In 2022, we announced the departure from our longtime space at Sargent Drive to begin a new Path Forward — the start of an exciting next chapter of bringing theatre to spaces and stages across Greater New Haven.
Our company has received national and international renown, recognized for a historic commitment to commissioning, developing, and producing new work and serving as a beloved artistic home for playwrights, directors, designers, and performers.

Our Mission and Vision and What That Means

Mission Statement: Long Wharf Theatre is dedicated to producing boundary-breaking theatre with and for
its many, kaleidoscopic communities.

Vision Statement: Theatre for everyone.

We are serious when we talk about breaking boundaries.   It means that we do not hesitate to try things that have not been the traditional ways theatre is made in this country.  It means we will make bold choices and see where they take us.  It means that our communities, our artists, our supporters, and our staff and board are the kinds of people inspired by curiosity, learning, growth, connection, and having memorable experiences that may not be the same as what they have come to expect in the past.

 Our communities and our team are kaleidoscopic – many vibrant colors combining and reforming into beautiful new combinations without losing their own individuality.  This reflects how we see our vision of ‘Theatre for everyone’ – it is not just that everyone gets their ‘own’ theatre, but that there can be theatre experiences that bring together people who our society has habitually separated.  Very different people can experience the same moment, find their own connections to that moment, and then witness how those connections are different for the person next to them and grow as a result. 

Our team similarly includes a wide variety of human beings, who all bring their own perspectives, history, and passion to the journey we are on together.  With a staff of twenty-six, an eight member Artistic Ensemble, and twenty Board members, we are all committed to Long Wharf Theatre’s role in forging new paths for the communities of Connecticut and opening new opportunities for the American Theatre.


With a current annual budget of $4 million and offices at 70 Audubon Street with the New Haven Arts Council, we were recently honored to receive a  $1 million grant from the Mellon Foundation specifically to support the leadership of Artistic Director Jacob G. Padrón and his proven track record of “in the ways that they advocate for their theatres, their communities, and the ways that they use their platforms for local artists and the national conversation."  Along with the continued financial support of many long-standing and many brand new advocates of Long Wharf Theatre, we are in a time of bringing new voices into relationship and writing a long-term story together that joins the resources we
all bring to the table to flourish this new vision for the people of New Haven.

What We Do

THE CITY IS NOW OUR STAGE.  For our 60th anniversary season, we are continuing on a bold journey through storytelling, including live and virtual productions, exclusive member programming, and more. The 2024-25 season includes three productions at The Lab at ConnCORP, Southern Connecticut State University's Lyman Center for the Performing Arts, and the Off Broadway Theater at Yale University; an Artistic Congress in partnership with Yale Schwarzman Center; and our 5th annual Black Trans Women at the Center new play festival (virtual). Long Wharf Theatre is using our artistic expertise and community relationships to activate societal change throughout New Haven and beyond.

With the transformation of our approach in the last three years, we have made physical spaces and the communities that move in those spaces a central and vibrant component of our artistic work.  Physical space is not a ‘container’ for the art, but instead becomes a character and participant in the artistic creation and the process of community building and social change.

Our nearly sold-out production of A View from the Bridge was performed at New Haven’s Canal Dock Boathouse, where the docks themselves and the water surrounding the space informed our collective experience and the artistic choices of the team. It also created an environment where everyone who participated in the experience from artists to audiences were entering a space that was new, surprising, and powerful.  This opened doors for a unifying artistic exploration that moved away from comfort or insider-ness into Long Wharf Theatre’s growing embrace of bringing different kinds of people into a new, uniquely shared experience.

We continue to explore and expand ways to build on these dynamic moments to bring broadly inclusive mixes of audience into relationship with one another.  This will include bringing many new physical locations into the artistic process, as well as changing form, structure, and approach to how shows and events are built with our audiences.  All of these explorations will continue to be underpinned by our commitment to the highest quality standards for artistic work and process that Long Wharf Theatre has long been known for. Our community can trust that this quality and care will always be present, whatever the location, format, or story being told.

We are committed to this approach and the creative activation of the life of a variety of physical spaces for the next five years, while maintaining our stance of listening and living authentically, which could take us in any number of directions in the future.
How this Search will Operate – Values, Communication, and Compensation

Overall Estimated Timeline:

  • Preferred Application Period:  June 5 - July 8, 2024    
    After the end of the application period, please reach out if you are still interested and we will let you know if there is still an opportunity for consideration.
  • First Conversations & Semi-Finalists Conversations:
    These will be ongoing as applications are received and reviewed (June 1 - ongoing).
  • Finalist Visits On-Site in New Haven: Late July through August, 2024
  • Employment Begins:  End of Summer 2024

After an initial submission of interest, a candidate may be invited for a virtual First Conversation with Calida Jones, Dr. Kim Davis, and/or Douglas Clayton from Creative Evolutions. Following the First Conversation, some candidates will be advanced to a virtual Semi-Finalist conversation with an Industry Representative in the non-profit development sector.

Semi-finalist candidates will all be compensated $500 for their participation. Candidates who advance as Finalists will be invited to come on-site to interview at Long Wharf Theatre and will be compensated an additional $1,000 plus reimbursement of all travel, lodging, and food expenses for their trip.

This search process is rooted in values shared by Long Wharf Theatre and Creative Evolutions, and will include the following elements:

  • It is important to us that you are treated with respect and are appreciated for the value you create for Long Wharf Theatre through your participation. 
  • Throughout the process we commit to active communication with you, so you are never wondering what is happening or where things stand with your application or the hiring process.
  • It is very important that the Long Wharf Theatre staff and board participate in the selection process to set you up most effectively for success. This announcement has been informed by many perspectives, and finalists will have the opportunity to come on site and meet the staff and board before a hiring decision is made.

In addition, Creative Evolutions is engaging a paid Industry Advisor who will be collaborating with Creative Evolutions to design and conduct the Semi-Finalist Conversations as part of the process. This peer will select the candidates who advance to Finalist consideration and will also commit to be available for up to three calls for the selected Director of Development during their first year of employment at Long Wharf Theatre to provide strong collegial or mentorship support during the transition period.

If you have questions or recommendations (under our referrals compensation policy), we encourage you to contact the team at Creative Evolutions at:
Calida Jones:
Dr. Kim Davis:
Douglas Clayton:
What We Are Looking for in Our New Director of Development

Long Wharf Theatre is eager to bring in a Director of Development who will approach connecting us to people and resources with the same rigor, innovation, and exploration we are applying artistically. Long Wharf Theatre is growing new models and opportunities to reframe the American Theatre, and our Director of Development will also be a national leader in reframing, recreating, and redefining how resources join the path of an organization.

Human Expectations and Personal Values

Our Director of Development will be energizing and energetic, who radiates a love and passion for the diversity and uniqueness of human beings.  Their joy will come from being part of the power of conversation and engagement between people. They will be a human who likes to be out - breakfast, coffee, lunch, dinner, walks, whatever! - to fuel their spirit as opposed to being behind a desk. In many cases, the driver of their curiosity will be the hunt for opportunities to connect others, building a resilient network that strengthens everyone in it. Courageously learning about and building links throughout the Greater New Haven community and with individuals participating with Long Wharf Theatre will be what gets them up and moving each day.

They will also be habitually reflective, considering their own assumptions, language, behaviors, and expectations and how those relate to and impact the people around them. Constant finessing of how much they are speaking and listening, offering and receiving, and leading and following will be evident in how they move in different environments. This will also be reflected in how they participate with the staff and board of Long Wharf Theatre, often providing bold direction that adds to the momentum of the team, while also knowing when to sidestep and follow in the wake of another leader.

Lastly, our Director of Development will love what we do. Being in the room and in dialogue with artists, producers, audiences, and partners will give them great satisfaction and the fuel to share that love with the world.

Where Our Director of Development will be Exceptional

Our Director of Development will be truly exceptional at seeking out and growing new relationships, while innovating new models for how resources can align with artistic creation and social change.  They will be a people person and connector by nature, and being with people outside the building will help them generate kaleidoscopic ideas far beyond what they could invent at a desk.  They will also be an amplifier – able to see the movement of others’ ideas at Long Wharf Theatre and amplify those ideas to make them bigger, better, and more interconnected. 

What Our Director of Development Will Handle Directly

The Long Wharf Theatre team brings many capabilities to the table, but there are specific tasks and responsibilities that our Director of Development will be expected to handle personally.  These all contribute to the overall focus on collectively raising close to $4 million in contributed revenue a year.

These include:

  • Relationship building and securing major gifts or other resources.  The Director of Development will be out in front of Long Wharf Theatre, strengthening or generating new relationships every day, and aligning resources with Long Wharf Theatre’s artistic and social impact work through their own direct efforts.
  • Developing considered and specific plans for building relationships, nurturing current supporters, and connecting to new resources. This encompasses and expands beyond the usual contributed revenue categories of government, foundation, individual, and corporate support, into potential new opportunities as yet to be defined. It also will consider not only the role of the Director and development staff, but how every member of the Long Wharf Theatre team and supporting or partnership communities fits into those plans.
  • Defining roles, hiring, and empowering a professional development staff.  The staff currently includes an Individual Giving Coordinator and a long-standing consultant for institutional giving and grant writing. Long Wharf Theatre expects the Director of Development, in consultation with the Director of Marketing and Communications, to hire or redesign development roles.
  • Growing and supporting ambassadors for Long Wharf Theatre, beginning with the board.  The board brings many assets, perspectives, and enthusiasm for Long Wharf Theatre, and has been instrumental in carrying it through the last few years and bringing it to this new era.  Without a traditional give/get, we focus on the unique opportunities brought by each individual. Moving forward, the board is ready to be activated and given the tools and direction to become full ambassadors for Long Wharf Theatre’s future vision and present accomplishments. The Director of Development will be highly effective in activating the unique talents and bringing in the unique perspectives of each person on the board (and beyond) to support progress of the organization.  This also includes the continuing work of supporting and expanding connections for current powerful Long Wharf Theatre ambassadors including Jacob G. Padrón and Managing Director Kit Ingui, among others.
  • Partnering on very clear and specific external communications.  Long Wharf Theatre has made progress in centering the relationship with constituents and minimizing conflicting messaging between ticket buyers, donors, members, and other patron categories.  Continuing this growth, the Director of Development will work closely with Avery Anderson, the Director of Marketing and Communications, to have efficient and specific approaches to communicating through various channels including the website, social media, email, direct mail, and other channels as yet to be activated.
  • Partnering on relationship and resource activation through events.  With all staff and board, including events and producing teams, design and oversee a variety of theatre events throughout the year, currently including an annual gala.

What Our Director of Development Needs to Understand
Working with and alongside the rest of the team, there are important areas where we do not expect our Director of Development to be more knowledgeable and capable than other people at Long Wharf Theatre, but where we do need them to have enough expertise to collaborate with us effectively. 

  • Navigating Complex History. No story is starting from a completely clean slate. Individuals, groups, organizations, and neighborhoods throughout Greater New Haven all have histories of their own, with one another, and in some cases with Long Wharf Theatre.  In some cases there are deep foundations to build on, and in others there has been hurt or disappointment that is real and alive. Long Wharf Theatre has many staff, board, and supporters who will help the Director of Development navigate this shared history, but the Director should understand how history plays into questions of approach, authenticity, respect, and pacing.
  • Data Systems for Relationship Management, Tracking, and Strategy.  The core data for Long Wharf Theatre patrons are currently managed in the Spectrix system by External Relations staff, which includes both Development and Marketing team members jointly. The Director of Development does not need to know the ins and outs of running the direct data tools, but needs the knowledge and expertise to collaborate on how to best gather, organize, and leverage company patron data for relationship and resource building.
  • Intergenerational Dynamics.  Expectations continue to evolve around art, culture, process, and workplace dynamics between generations, and that is a present reality at Long Wharf Theatre across the artists, board, and staff, as well as in our evolving audience and patron community. Having experience navigating these realities as they evolve and insights into how to support various activities and teams from different generations will be valuable on a daily basis.
  • Capital Campaigns. The new Director of Development will need a confident understanding of how annual or repeated support can relate to specialized, one-time, initiative, or campaign activities.
  • The American Non-Profit Theatre Industry.  We can’t forge new paths without some understanding of where we have been and the context that most artists, arts administrators, audiences, funders, donors, supporters, and partners have for the American Theatre as it has operated for the last 60 years.
  • Anti-Racism and Anti-Oppression.  An understanding of anti-racism and anti-oppression principles and how they apply in real life in organizations and in relationship to partners, donors, and supporters is vital.  Not all money is good money, and while the Director will be focused on aligning resources to Long Wharf Theatre it cannot be ever at the expense of Long Wharf Theatre’s values or at the cost of fostering racism or oppression, or injury to communities of expanding potential.

How We Will Support Our Director of Development

We know that we need to support our Director of Development so that our mutual success is aligned. At Long Wharf Theatre, we continue to work to support the team and each individual as specifically as we can.
To begin we commit to providing:

  • Starting annual salary for a full time position starting between $100,000- $120,000.
  • An array of benefits that includes medical and dental insurance.
  • A flexible schedule, centered on the Director of Development’s confidence and capability to self-motivate, manage their time, and wisely plan when to be in the office and when to be out in the world.  The schedule will include evening and weekend events throughout the year.  We do expect our Director of Development to live full time in Greater New Haven.
  • Regular access and collaboration with all members of the board, leadership team, artists, and cross-departmental teams throughout the organization.
  • Mentorship or Advisory support during the first year with Creative Evolutions and one industry peer (see the Search Process above).

How to Express Your Interest

Please complete the application in the Creative Evolutions JazzHR portal. We will stay in communication with you consistently throughout the process. You will not at any time go more than two weeks without an update on where you are in the search process.

Your application should include:

  • Your resume. The resume can be of any length and style, though we encourage you to adjust it as appropriate to help us see how your history and experience connect to the current circumstances, intentions, and hopes for Long Wharf Theatre.
  • Instead of a standard cover letter, the application portal will ask you to answer a set of questions that will help us to understand you more. In case you wish to prepare in advance, the questions are as follows:
    • Who are you, and what is most exciting for us to know about you as a human being?
    • What excites you specifically about Long Wharf Theatre’s approach, values, or moment in this journey, and how will that excitement inform your approach to what you would do as Director of Development?
    • Tell us a story that shows how being out in the world building relationships gives you joy!
    • Share your thoughts around creating capital campaigns or major fundraising efforts that are NOT for a physical building, but instead are purpose- or people- focused, like endowments, artistic innovation funds, creative or growth periods, etc.
    • What approaches do you use to encourage people to support causes or organizations when they may not have done so for ANY organization in the past?
  • Please also share how you self-identify on any and all lenses so we can honor your preferences and perspectives specifically in our communications with you!

If possible, please have any attachments be included in pdf format.
If you have any questions about the position or your submission, please feel free to e-mail, and we will be happy to discuss with you at any time!

Calida Jones:
Dr. Kim Davis:
Douglas Clayton:

About Creative Evolutions

As the Executive Search support team for Long Wharf Theatre, Creative Evolutions operates as an evolving and adaptable ecosystem of human beings who believe that We Can Do Better. In creative and cultural sectors, there has been a national discussion for decades where people identify broken systems and ask for new solutions. Most new solutions suggested tend to be either minor adjustments that do not significantly shift impacts for the humans involved or calls for transformational change without specific structures or models to implement. We believe that our structures and behaviors can be addressed through bold action through human-centered principles, which the ecosystem of managers, innovators, consultants, coaches, and speakers involved with Creative Evolutions embrace in finding new futures for creativity and culture.
In Executive Search support, Creative Evolutions has pioneered new processes that include commitments to active communication, paying semi-finalist and finalist candidates for their time, engaging paid industry advisors as part of the evaluation process, building onboarding and mentorship into hiring, and structuring executive positions around healthy organizational team dynamics.

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