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Artistic Director

Artistic Director

  • Full Time
  • Toronto, ON
  • Applications have closed.

Website Soulpepper Theatre Company

ORGANIZATION: Soulpepper Theatre Company
ROLE: Artistic Director
REPORTS TO: Board of Directors
DIRECT REPORTS: 5 staff members
TYPE: Permanent, Full Time


Soulpepper Theatre Company (Soulpepper) is Toronto’s largest not-for-profit theatre company. Founded and guided by artists, Soulpepper has an integrated mission which includes: industry-leading youth outreach initiatives; the Soulpepper Academy, Canada’s only multi-year paid professional training program for theatre artists of all disciplines; and a diverse repertory season which is grounded in the classics and committed to the creation of new works, new forms and innovative practices.

Founded in 1998 with two summer productions, Soulpepper operates with 350 full- and part-time arts workers, with an annual budget of just under $12 million. It is located in the multi-venue Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto’s Distillery Historic District.

Soulpepper is proud to be Canada’s only year-round repertory company. We are also one of the most active commissioning bodies in Canada, developing new original work, devised creations, and vital Canadian translations and adaptations.


Soulpepper Theatre Company (Soulpepper) is seeking an inspiring Artistic Director (AD) to lead one of Canada’s largest and most dynamic theatre organizations.

Together with the Executive Director (ED), a position currently being filled, the AD will lead a new and re-energized Soulpepper that embraces and engages a wide diversity of audiences.  The AD will contribute a clear and innovative artistic vision for the organization’s future while also furthering Soulpepper’s reputation for the creation of original work.

In order to build on Soulpepper’s previous successes, the AD will work with a group of talented resident artists, and be responsible for: programming a year-round mix of classical and contemporary work performed at the highest level of excellence; overseeing the Soulpepper Academy, an exemplary theatre training program; nurturing Project imagiNation, a well-funded enterprise that commissions and develops innovative new theatre work; and bringing new energy to well-regarded community outreach programs.

The AD and ED will develop a new five-year Strategic Plan, with input from artists, staff, a highly engaged Board of Directors, and supportive stakeholders.  The AD will have primary responsibility for setting Soulpepper’s artistic direction, its year-round programming, and managing all artistic personnel.  This includes directors, actors, designers, producers, music directors, academy faculty, and production (which is shared with the ED).

The AD will advocate for the company with utmost integrity and respect for an inclusive and collaborative culture, while demonstrating artistic and operational best practices.



  • In partnership with the ED and the Board of Directors, lead the development of a new Strategic Plan. Ensure at least semi-annual evaluation and reports to the Board regarding the progress and implementation of the Strategic Plan (in addition to regular reporting at Board meetings).
  • Develop the annual season of plays and productions and select the directing, design and production teams, all with a view to balancing company objectives of artistic excellence, audience growth, and risk-taking.
  • Lead and develop artistic policy with a view to Soulpepper’s mandate and long-term strategic objectives; create an imaginative programme of high-quality theatre performances and attract the best directors and actors.
  • Ensure that the company’s artistic output consistently achieves the highest quality of artistry on all our stages and platforms. Maintain a high standard of dramaturgical input to new, original work commissioned and produced by Soulpepper.
  • In collaboration with the ED, ensure that artistic objectives and activities at Soulpepper are achieved within budget.
  • Initiate and develop collaborations and creative partnerships that will support the artistic and business objectives of Soulpepper and help achieve our ambitions.
  • Select, secure, and/or approve all personnel directly concerned with the artistic elements of all productions. This includes guest directors, visiting companies, creative teams, actors, and other artists.
  • Ensure artistic staffing structures are responsive to emerging needs and are conducive to an effective, working team.
  • Lead the planning of annual festivals, concerts and music programming, recording on digital platforms, touring, workshops, readings, community outreach activity, and development of new theatrical work.
  • Direct and oversee Soulpepper’s theatre training program, The Soulpepper Academy, selecting and evaluating faculty, overseeing curricula development, guiding the candidate audition and selection process, and rigorously ensuring that values of equity, inclusion, and diversity are embedded throughout.
  • Along with the ED, act as an ambassador for Soulpepper, actively engaging the broader artistic community, fostering constructive relationships with our peer organizations across Canada and internationally, as well as with government, donors, audiences, media, and the wider public.
  • Establish and maintain a strong and respectful working relationship with the Chair and other members of the Board of Directors, and staff.
  • Develop the widest possible audience for Soulpepper’s work, embracing the concept of engaging audiences while extending its reach into Toronto’s diverse communities and beyond.
  • Create a positive, open, respectful and responsive working environment and cultural ethos that is conducive to the highest standards of artistic endeavour.
  • Balance artistic initiatives and risks with responsible fiscal management while respecting Soulpepper’s mission.
  • Provide leadership in setting artistic standards for creative content, communications and brand.


  • Develop fundraising strategies geared towards Soulpepper’s long-term financial sustainability and revenue.
  • Refresh and renew Soulpepper’s existing relations with the corporate sector, individual givers, trusts, and foundations.
  • Maintain a proactive, passionate, and creative leadership role in the identification, generation, and solicitation of corporate, individual, foundation and government contributions.
  • Secure a robust and diverse support base of key sponsors and donors, facilitating the creation of new and renewed sources of major gifts and grants.

Organizational Management

In partnership with the ED:

  • Maintain oversight of production costs and ensure fiscal prudence of Board-approved annual budgets.
  • Create long-term artistic objectives which include high-level financial forecasts.
  • Prepare Soulpepper’s annual seasons with respect to advancing strategic priorities as well as maintaining financial accountability.
  • Attend and report at meetings of the Board of Directors and its committees and working groups; ensure the timely preparation of Board reports; communicate appropriate information to the Board on all artistic matters relevant to the discharge of its responsibilities at and in between Board meetings; and advise it on artistic matters.
  • Oversee the recruitment, professional development, working conditions, management, and regular performance appraisal of artists and Soulpepper’s artistic staff. Ensure these align with objectives and policies in accordance with current best practices.


  • Creativity, innovation, and ambition, with a passion for a broad range of theatre that explores and addresses social and political issues, as well as theatre that engages and entertains.
  • A clear and inspiring vision for the future of Soulpepper, with demonstrated ability to develop and implement practical strategies to achieve our collective aspirations.
  • A demonstrated track record of inclusive and strategic artistic leadership, collaboration and team building with strong interpersonal skills, integrity, high energy, and creativity.
  • A successful record of directing significant theatre productions and developing new work on contemporary issues for the stage.
  • National and international network of relationships with other theatre companies, as well as writers, directors, musicians, choreographers and others.
  • Proven ability to program and commission new plays combined with an ability to provide dramaturgical support to writers.
  • Proven record of attracting and collaborating with artists of the highest calibre, developing new projects, co-productions, creative partnerships and nurturing artists.
  • Commitment to the highest level of artistic excellence in every area of the company’s activity.
  • Progressive experience in leading and managing fundraising strategies and campaigns, and in identifying sources of earned revenue.
  • Strong financial management skills and experience managing budgets. Excellent stakeholder management skills; experience reporting to a Board of Directors is an asset.
  • Knowledge and passion for Canadian artists and playwrights.
  • In-depth awareness of theatre activity: locally, nationally, and internationally. Brings a global perspective capable of developing international collaborations.
  • Undergraduate degree or experiential equivalent.


  • Genuine commitment to the principles of equal opportunity, respect and inclusion, cultural diversity, and broadening access to the arts.
  • Creative and visionary leadership, with a demonstrated dynamic presence that will inspire the Board, staff, donors, and patrons to support the public vision.
  • An engaging personality; one that can clearly articulate Soulpepper’s artistic vision.
  • Resilience and responsiveness to the changing external environment.
  • A sensitivity to the distinctive cultural plurality of 21st century Toronto.
  • Willingness to foster collegial relationships with peers and other members of management.
  • Innate honesty and transparency. An individual whose first instinct is to always take the high road.
  • Professional, confident, calm, and tactful approach with an ability to deal with a wide variety of people.
  • Consistency in seeking out, hearing, and embracing diverse voices and alternative points of view.
  • Ability to delegate, negotiate, and resolve conflict.
  • Personal integrity, honesty, intellect, empathy and strong social skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, with outstanding interpersonal skills.
  • Capacity to work under pressure, accepting ownership with a roll-up-your-sleeves approach.
  • A desire to surround oneself with high-level talent and celebrate achievement in others.
  • A masterful team builder, motivator, coach and mentor who leads by example.
  • A collaborator who works well with staff to create and mount a production, with a supportive and empowering management style.
  • An entrepreneurial risk-taker.


A competitive, experienced-based compensation package will be provided.


Please submit your application by emailing your cover letter and résumé to: no later than June 15th, 2018.

Soulpepper Theatre Company is an equal-opportunity employer, committed to reflecting our city’s and country’s diversity. We encourage Canadians of all backgrounds to apply.

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