Administrative Managing Director
Bristol Riverside Theatre (BRT) was founded in 1983 by Susan D. Atkinson who approached the Grundy Foundation with a radical proposal to transform Bristol, PA by renovating a derelict movie house into a legitimate theatre. Together, they re-developed an eyesore, transforming the building into one in which everyone from children to seniors can now enjoy high caliber professional theatre and educational activities. What was once a blight on this community is now the cornerstone of the downtown business district, and a proud community center piece. The partnership continues to this day with The Grundy Foundation as landlord and one of the theater’s largest funders.
Bristol Riverside Theatre operates out of a 302-seat theater in Bucks County, PA, just outside of Philadelphia. Programming includes five Equity Mainstage productions (LOA referencing LORT), a summer concert series, special presentations, four staged readings of new works as part of the “America Rising” series, an annual Christmas concert, and “ArtRageous,” a free summer camp for local youth. BRT’s season is notable for its variety, and the organization is known for its flexibility in responding to a range of programming choices and opportunities.
BRT is active in various community and professional organizations including the Bristol Business Association, Theatre Philadelphia, the Tessitura Consortium, and TCG.
BRT is dedicated to being the premiere regional theater for Bucks County and surrounding communities. Its mission is to engage audiences and artists alike with exceptional performances, inspired writing and superior productions that motivate us to think harder, to feel more deeply, laugh more joyfully and to reflect on ourselves and the worlds in which we live. BRT is known for a high level of production quality and is reviewed by local, regional and occasionally national publications. It is frequently represented in the annual Barrymore Awards for Excellence in Theater given by Theatre Philadelphia.
Bristol Borough was first settled in 1681 and was Bucks County’s first county seat. It developed as a center of textile mills, and the evidence of that wealth from manufacturing still exists along the Delaware River in the form of restored historic homes. Bristol is a quaint small town of 10,000 people situated 22 miles from Center City Philadelphia and 70 miles from Midtown Manhattan. Its current and potential catchment area approaches a million people in a 4-county area of Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Increasingly, Bristol is notable for the involvement and investment of its citizenry in its development. As several observers note, there has been a civic renaissance and an increase in investment. For an insight into this civic energy you can take a look at the Hulu program Small Business Revolution that focuses this season on Bristol.
Current Environment, Opportunities, and Challenges
BRT is led by Founding Director Susan Atkinson, Artistic Director Keith Baker, and Melissa Zimmerman who is serving as interim Managing Director until April 2018.
BRT has an active and committed board of directors with 13 members. One of the goals for the new Managing Director will be to assist in board development.
BRT has put together a roster of accomplished and committed employees including 14 full-time and 6 regular part-time. While it can be an overused cliché, Bristol Riverside has created a staff that is as tight-knit as a family, many having been with the company for over 10 years. Known for promoting from within, BRT has throughout its history been committed to the professional growth of its staff. It will be important for the new Managing Director to be an excellent team leader and encourage the staff’s development. BRT strives to be a “learning institution”.
One of BRT’s many assets is its control of its real estate. In addition to its 302-seat theater, it controls artist housing in several buildings within walking distance from the theater, a rehearsal studio a block from the theater, and it leases a costume shop across the street, and a scene shop approximately a mile away. The theater is located on historic Radcliff Street with a lobby overlooking the scenic Delaware River. Its location is in the heart of Bristol’s commercial center.
With 3,000 subscribers, BRT has seen a steady growth in subscribership over the last decade. Needless to say, a focused effort to continue audience growth is essential.
The Theatre’s highest priority is to grow its contributed support. BRT has begun to create a culture of philanthropy among its board and supporters. BRT believes there is substantial room to grow its current level of contributed income, which is about $1.1M annually (excluding Grundy’s in-kind contribution of the theater rent. While Philadelphia foundations are key contributors, there is potential for more foundation, corporate and individual support from the town as well as Bucks County. To that end, a full time Institutional Giving Manager was recently hired.
The 2016-17 year was BRT’s 30th anniversary season and one of its best artistically. Our Gala celebrating Keith Baker, BRT’s Artistic Director, along with honoring the Gundy Foundation and one of their most loyal staff members, was a huge success both financially and socially. In addition, the individual donor base grew by over 32%, the subscription base grew by over 11% and paid attendance grew 26%.
While no plans for their succession are in place, planning for such has begun between the board and Artistic Director and Founding Director. By the time the new Managing Director joins BRT plans for succession will be in place.
Position and Responsibilities
The Managing Director will report directly to the Board of Directors and will work in a three-part co-equal partnership with the Founding and Artistic Directors. Currently, the Managing Director has four direct reports, including Marketing, Development, Facilities, Company Management and Accounting with Production Management reporting to both the Managing Director and the Artistic Directors.
The Managing Director will understand, embrace and help articulate the artistic vision of the two artistic leaders. It is particularly important that she/he deeply understands and imparts this vision to staff, board, the Philadelphia theater community and Bristol and the Bucks County region. Developing a collaborative, open and supportive relationship with the two artistic leaders will be essential for the new Managing Director.
She/he will take the leadership role in developing new and expanded income streams. Of particular importance will be the expansion of contributed income working with staff and the board donor engagement committee. The Managing Director will devote a significant part of her/his time to this effort.
Working with the board to help it be an active contributor in all aspects of the theater’s development will be critical.
Working with the committed and hard-working staff to nurture and develop their skills will be an important component of this position.
BRT is not only centrally located in Bristol, it is central to the development of the Borough. The next Managing Director will actively engage in the community with the anticipation of becoming a community leader both for the benefits it will bring BRT and the broader community.
BRT is a mid-size theater with a culture of mutual respect and collaboration. The next Managing Director will need to demonstrate knowledge and love of theater.
A number of traits will help the Managing Director step into the leadership of this collaborative group, and these include judgment, openness, patience, authority, and confidence, leavened with a sense of humor.
BRT has worked hard to strengthen itself fiscally and establish the appropriate reporting practice. The new Managing Director will continue to strengthen BRT in this important area.
– Be deemed likely to develop a rich, collaborative thought partnership with the two artistic leaders.
– Have the experience, skills and traits necessary to lead fundraising efforts and play an active role in those efforts
– Have the ability to assess all aspects of the theater’s operations that directly impact earned and contributed income and develop a plan to incrementally improve those operations to better manage risk, accurately budget and maximize revenue for any given production and better systematize the process for growing contributed income.
– Have the leadership skills to work effectively with the board officers to engage and develop the board.
– The successful candidate will be knowledgeable about making excellent theater and have a deep appreciation for the skill and commitment needed to go from page to stage.
– Be transparent, collaborative, and confident in his/her leadership style.
– Have the ability and desire to engage constructively with the Bristol community and become a civic leader.
– Have the capacity to nurture, mentor and empower staff.
– Possess strong financial management skills.
– The ideal candidate will have the following personal qualities:
– High emotional intelligence and a genuineness that serves to build relationships of trust
– Strategic, positive, energetic, and forward-looking
– A good listener
– Loves theater and the people who make it
– Innovative problem solver
The committee intends to make its decision during the winter/spring of 2018 and work toward a mutually agreed upon start date as soon as possible thereafter. BRT offers a competitive salary with producing theaters of commensurate size and scope.
– Health and vision insurance
– Paid vacation, sick and personal time
– Week between Christmas and New Year’s off
Procedure to Apply
Recommendations of qualified individuals are welcome. Interested candidates are encouraged to send a résumé, professional reference, and a cover letter of no longer than one and a half pages that describes why the post interests them and in what ways they believe themselves to be qualified to the consulting firm retained for the search:
Management Consultants for the Arts, Inc.
Attn: Stephen Richard
Email only: email@example.com
Subject line: Bristol Riverside Theatre MD
The Bristol Riverside Theatre provides equal opportunities (EEO) to all applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, nation of origin, age or disability.
Production No positions available at this time. Please check back soon!
Casting Time Stands Still – by Donald Margulies
Director: Susan D. Atkinson
1st Rehearsal: January 2, 2018
Opens: January 23, 2018
Closes: February 11, 2018
Richard Ehrlich: Male, 55 years old. A photo editor, so he functions from the business side of things. He is a former love interest of Sarah and then a mentor to her as she progressed in her career. He is close with both James and Sarah, but has recently started dating a girl who is ½ his age and far from their liberal intellectual world. A unique charm.
Mandy Bloom: Female, around 25. An event planner and very beautiful. She is far from the intellectual liberal world that the rest of the characters live and she is trying very hard to be accepted into their world. She often makes gestures that seem appropriate to her but odd to everyone else. Very optimistic and always looking for the happiness and joy that you can find in life. She empathizes with all the tragedy around the world, but would rather hear an uplifting story.
Sarah Goodwin: Female, late 30’s to early 40’s. She is a strong woman who is bold and adventurous. She gets what she wants by going for it. In her professional world she thrives on conflict, which bleeds into her person life. She tries to maintain a sense of full control over her situation, although recently she has had a trauma that has left her trying to regain her balance. She is not used to being held up at home, so she is easily annoyed.
James Dodd: Male, late 30’s to early 40’s. Much like his longtime partner, Sarah, he has worked in high stress war areas as a reporter. Recently traumatic events have led him to desire a life with less conflict and a desire to settle down. He is a man who is trying to defuse situations and keep things low key. He is tired of the high stress world and wants a “normal” life and a family.
The Producers – by Mel Brooks and Thomas Meehan
Director: Keith Baker
Musical Director: Douglass Lutz
Choreographer: Stephen Casey
1st Rehearsal: February 6, 2018
Opens: March 6, 2018
Closes: April 1, 2018
Max Bialystock: You must “blow us away” at auditions. Max is an over-the-top, high-energy, Professor Harold Hill/Tevye-type. Once known as the King of Broadway, he’s become a producer of Broadway flops. He raises money for his shows by romancing wealthy little old ladies. Should appear to be late 40’s/early 50’s…..stocky, but has to be able to move around a lot. Always has an answer, always has a plan. A quick-talker, but you don’t miss a word he says…Perhaps one of the best roles ever written for a comic lead. Vocal Range – Bari-Tenor
Dance – Moderate. Must be able to move and have good stamina.
Leopold Bloom: A lovable nerd that can sing, dance and act. He is a meek (and wimpy at times,) law-abiding and courteous accountant….believes he should do everything by the book. Has always dreamed of being a Broadway producer. An absolute contrast to Max, character-wise and physically. Should appear to be in his 30’s, tallish, slender, neat and clean. Vocal Range – Bari-Tenor. Dance- Moderate-Heavy. Tap experience would be great. Big ballroom dance with Ulla.
Franz Liebkind: Yikes! Franz is a German nazi who now resides in New York and has written the play, “Springtime for Hitler” a tribute to his hero. This is the play that Max hopes to produce that will be a sure-fire flop. When we first meet Franz, he is seen wearing lederhosen, army boots and an army helmet while singing to his collection of singing carrier pigeons. He is a nut! Franz must be able to do a German accent that we can understand clearly. Can appear to be in his 30’s-40’s. Vocal Range – Baritone. Dance- Light-Moderate. More character dancing than anything else.
Roger DeBris: The over-the-top flamboyant director that Max has chosen to direct Springtime for Hitler (he’s looking for the worst director to create the biggest flop.) When we first meet Roger, he is wearing a silverish gown that he’ll be wearing to a costume ball (he’s going as the Grand Duchess, Anastasia). He at first declines to direct the show because it’s too serious, but eventually agrees, providing they can “Keep It Gay” (he wants to rewrite the play so that Hitler wins and it has a happy ending…!) Roger should appear to be late 30’s/early 40’s. Must show over-the-top stereotypical flamboyant director traits. Vocal Range – Tenor. Dance- Light – Moderate
Carmen Ghia: This is Roger’s common-law assistant….and is as flamboyant as Roger… Together, he and Roger make for an hysterical couple, arguing cattily yet exchanging winks from time to time. Carmen should appear to be about the same age as Roger, perhaps a bit smaller in stature than Roger. Vocal Range – Second Tenor. Dance- Moderate.
Ulla: A knock-out, sexy, tall blonde Swedish woman. (we can work on the blonde…might have to make concessions for the tall…but MUST be sexy) Must be able to read with a stereotypical Swedish accent…She comes to audition for the show, Max & Leo hire her as a receptionist/secretary, though her limited English allows her to say little more than “Bialystock and Bloom..” Her song, “When You Got It, Flaunt It’ characterizes her quite nicely! Vocal Range – Second Soprano. Dance- Moderate-Heavy. Has a dance solo (If you can do splits that would be great) Big ballroom number with Leo.
Hold Me Touch Me: One of the many old ladies who help finance Max’s creations. She has a very funny scene with him in his office. She needs to be able to look and sound as if she’s 75-80 years old…great character part.
Triumph of Love – by James Magruder, Jeffery Stock and Susan Birkenhead
Director: Keith Baker
Musical Director: Douglass Lutz
Choreographer: Stephen Casey
1st Rehearsal: April 10, 2018
Opens: May 1, 2018
Closes: May 20, 2018
Agis: A student of reason. Beautiful. Destined to be the returner of Sparta to his family’s reign. Puts thoughts before emotion until he falls head over heels for the disguised Princess Leonide. Gender: Male. Age: 20 to 25. Vocal range top: A5 – Vocal range bottom: E3
Hesione: Agis’s aunt. A stern philosopher who, until she is wooed by a disguised Princess Leonide, has little time for emotions or flattery after having her heart broken as a young girl.
Gender – Female. Age: 40 to 55. Vocal range top: F5 – Vocal range bottom: E3.
Harlequin: The valet. Quick, clowning, and smart. Fancies himself a Casanova. Scheming, but with mostly good intentions. He falls in love and lusts after Corine. Gender: Male
Age: 30 to 40. Vocal range top: B5 – Vocal range bottom: E3
Dimas: The gardener. Grumpy and lewd, but an obedient and honorable worker to Hermocrates and Hesione. Lusts after Corine. Gender: Male. Age: 30 to 40. Vocal range top: A5 –
Vocal range bottom: F3
Hermocrates – A philosopher. Hesione’s brother. A powerful, forbidding intellectual tyrant. Thinks emotions are a waste of time until he falls in love with the disguised Princess Leonide.
Gender – Male. Age: 50 to 65. Vocal range top: F5 – Vocal range bottom: G3
Princess Leonide: Beautiful, young, and strong. She is clever, quick, and hopelessly in love with Agis. Disguises herself as several different people in order to have the opportunity to win his love. Gender: Female. Age: 18 to 24. Vocal range top: G5 – Vocal range bottom: F3
Corine: Princess Leonide’s maid servant. Sexual and brassy. She is a good servant, but also very much looks out for herself and has her own agenda. The only character who truly can’t be bothered with love. Gender: Female. Age: 30 to 40. Vocal range top: G5 – Vocal range bottom: G3.
Questions? Please contact David J. Abers at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Script Submissions BRT thanks you for your interest in submitting a script for season consideration. BRT reads and considers work for both its mainstage season as well as the America Rising: Voices of Today new and contemporary play staged reading series. Due to the volume of plays and musicals that we read, we can no longer accept unsolicited work for consideration. All plays and musicals must be submitted via agent or MFA Playwriting program recommendation only.
We apologize for any inconvenience and wish you the best of luck in finding a home for your work.
If submitting via agent or MFA program, e-mail submissions are preferred. All scripts should be sent to the Artistic Associate listed on the staff page. If necessary, please send hard copies to:
Bristol Riverside Theatre
120 Radcliffe Street
Bristol, PA 19007