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Artistic Director 

The application period runs through April 12th. Candidates may be invited to interview before the application window closes. Early applications are encouraged. 






Since 1985, New York Stage and Film (NYSAF) has played a major role in the development of new stories for the stage and screen, provided a home for a diverse group of artists free from critical and commercial pressures, and has established itself as a vital cultural institution for residents of the New York metropolitan region. NYSAF was founded in 1985 by Mark Linn-Baker, Max Mayer, and Leslie Urdang in order to provide artists with a rigorous and nurturing environment to support artistic process, promote collaboration between artistic peers, foster dialogue between artists and audiences, and to facilitate the sharing of knowledge from one artistic generation to the next. The people and projects we support go on to shape the landscape of theater in America and around the world; our apprentices and early-career practitioners mature to become leaders in the performing arts and beyond. Learn more about our history here.


NYSAF seeks an Artistic Director to navigate our next chapter, emphasizing our commitment to nurturing artists and their groundbreaking stories for theater, film and television. This leadership role is pivotal in upholding NYSAF’s mission and foundational principles of supporting new stories in process, uplifting compelling artistic voices, making space for questions and bold creative exploration, and activating a communal environment in which artistic rigor, learning, and dialogue may thrive. We will look to the Artistic Director to ensure our programming and practices resonate with our commitment to social accountability, equity, and artistic freedom. 


At the core of this role is collaboration. The successful candidate will join forces with a dedicated staff, an engaged Board of Directors, and a brilliant community of artists at a crucial time of organizational evolution. This period represents a unique chance for NYSAF to further its mission as a haven for artistic development and as a platform for diverse and dynamic voices, while embracing opportunities for growth and change to ensure the longevity of our presence.

If you are driven to inspire and ready to contribute to a thriving artistic community, we invite you to shape this next chapter with us.


  • Annual Salary between $100,000-120,000

  • Health Benefits

  • Two weeks PTO; ~10 annual holidays; full-company pause around the final week of August and the final week of December.

  • The Artistic Director currently spends two months each year (from early June to early August) in Poughkeepsie, NY, as a part of the annual Summer Season at Marist College.

  • Year-round staff currently operate on a hybrid model, meeting 2-3 times per week in person in the NYC office. 

NYSAF is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants shall be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or marital status. Candidates from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply.


About The Community and Culture: 
NYSAF is deeply committed to fostering a highly collaborative environment focused primarily on the needs of the artists participating in our programming and their new works in process. Our current annual programming includes the: 

  • Summer Season at Marist College

  • New York City-based Year-Round Programming

  • Filmmakers' Workshop

  • Awards, Fellowships & Residencies

  • Apprenticeships, Mentorships, and Masterclasses for early-career practitioners and college-aged student artists 

NYSAF is an organization committed to process. In addition to supporting flexible programs that serve new stories in-process, we embrace a spirit of curiosity and a willingness to evolve our organizational practices to best support the needs of our artistic community. NYSAF’s Community Values & Guidelines allow us to pursue healthy professional engagement, especially when our staff and artists live and work together. These values and guidelines are reviewed and updated annually.


NYSAF's next Artistic Director should embody a passion for storytelling with a unique blend of the values and skills listed below. We seek an individual capable of balancing the nuances of leadership and ground-level work. Guiding characteristics include: 

Vision, Leadership, and Strategic Direction:

  • Comprehensive Strategic Vision and Leadership: Ability to develop, articulate, and execute an inclusive, forward-looking vision that draws upon  NYSAF’s history and values to sustain and strengthen the organization in a rapidly changing environment, including a strategic appetite for building upon existing partnerships and forging new ones.

  • Artistic Insight and Foresight: Possesses an exceptional ability to identify and nurture early-stage creative potential in projects. With a discerning eye for groundbreaking artistry and a deep intuition for emerging trends, this individual is dedicated to championing a spectrum of voices and cultivating a dynamic, thriving artistic community that fosters experimentation. 

  • Interpersonal Engagement: A strong ability to communicate with artists and early-career practitioners constructively and sensitively in the development of their work and careers. Demonstrates a commitment to personal and organizational growth through reflectiveness and adaptiveness. Exhibits bravery in communication, fearlessly addressing sensitive issues with tact and diplomacy while championing transparency and authenticity in all interactions.


Operational Excellence and Financial Acumen:

  • Strategic Financial Stewardship: Demonstrates proficiency in budget management, with a commitment to allocating resources effectively and equitably while ensuring organizational resilience.

  • Operational Efficiency: Skilled in streamlining operations, implementing efficient workflows, and evaluating and optimizing operational processes based on feedback, performance metrics, and industry best practices.

  • Relationship Cultivation and Fundraising: Capable of cultivating new relationships and collaboratively engaging with current foundations, donors, and board members to develop and implement diverse financial growth strategies.


Community Engagement and Collaborative Practices:

  • Engagement and Relationship Building: Exceptional ability to engage with a broad spectrum of stakeholders, nurturing relationships that build trust and foster a welcoming environment.

  • Team Development and Empowerment: Proven track record in building and leading diverse teams, emphasizing empowerment, professional growth, and a culture of respect and mutual support.

  • Network Activation: Experience with cultivating strategic alliances (i.e. relationships with artists, agents, not-for-profit leaders, commercial producers, and more) that create clear pathways for extending the life cycle of new work into subsequent developmental opportunities and/or world-premiere productions on or Off-Broadway and regionally.


Commitment to NYSAF Community Guidelines and Code of Conduct:

  • Active Advocacy: Fosters deep commitment to advancing inclusive and equitable practices within all aspects of the organization, from programming and partnerships to hiring and community engagement.

  • Cultural Competency: Exhibits a nuanced understanding of cultural differences and the importance of creating spaces where diverse perspectives are valued and integrated into the organizational fabric.


Communication and Adaptability:

  • Proficiency and Empathy: Ability to model clear and transparent communication that encourages a culture of feedback with a profound ability to set clear expectations for all stakeholders.

  • Adaptive Leadership and Problem-Solving: Demonstrates flexibility and resilience in navigating challenges with an innate ability to pivot and adjust strategies as circumstances change. 



The Artistic Director of NYSAF is responsible for all aspects of artistic programming, including the annual Summer Season, NYC programming, and the Filmmakers Workshop, and plays a pivotal role in ensuring the operations of the organization are effectively managed.

The Artistic Director reports directly to the Board of Directors, which includes our Producing Directors, who serve as a committed panel of advisors with Board-level responsibility, including Co-Founders Mark-Linn Baker, Max Mayer and Leslie Urdang, and former Artistic Director Johanna Pfaelzer. 

Specific responsibilities include, but are not limited to:

  • All project selection for all stages of development and production;

  • Selection and engagement of all personnel year-round;

  • Engagement with industry colleagues to both solicit and advance specific projects as well as enhance NYSAF’s position in the field;

  • Hands on production of projects;

  • Long-range planning, and development of new programming;

  • Creation and maintenance of strong relationships with emerging and established writers, directors, actors and designers;

  • Maintenance of the relationship and collaboration with Marist College personnel on the Summer Season and NYC-Based Programming, as well as any other institutional partners that support our annual programming

  • Budgeting and all financial planning alongside other staff/officers and the Board of Directors and subject to the Board’s approval;

  • Supervision of legal and general business affairs of the Company with support of the board and other staff/officers;

  • Supervision of marketing and communications plans that increase awareness of the organization;

  • Audience development in the various relevant communities;

  • Fundraising including establishing plan for overall development strategy for the organization



First-round virtual interviews will be scheduled between March 25 and April 29*, with invitations being sent on a rolling basis. Second round virtual interviews will take place between May 13 and 25*. (*Exact dates may fluctuate slightly pending the review process.)  

Final round interviews will be an in-person immersion in our Summer Season for 3-6 days, offering a firsthand experience of NYSAF’s dynamic environment. This opportunity for mutual exploration will take place July 15- August 4th. 

Recognizing the significant investment of time, energy, and expertise required from our finalist candidates, NYSAF is committed to acknowledging this contribution respectfully. Each finalist invited to participate in the final round of our selection process will receive direct compensation to honor their professional input and coverage for expenses (transportation, accommodation) related to their on-site engagement with our community.

Final selection and offer are expected to take place in August. Ideally, the position is set to begin in September with some potential flexibility. 

Additionally, the hiring process includes a carefully planned leadership overlap with Interim Artistic Director Liz Carlson, facilitating a healthy and enriching transition period through the end of 2024. This approach is designed to honor our legacy of process and learning while embracing the future.


This search process includes two key commitments:

  • Respect and Appreciation: We understand each candidate's value and know that the application process can be daunting and stressful.  We acknowledge and appreciate your time and energy.

  • Active Communication: We pledge to maintain open lines of communication throughout the selection process and ensure you are as well-informed as possible throughout. 



View the informational webinar and Q&A session from March 18th at 5 pm ET, offering insights into the submission and selection process. 



March 12th - April 12th, 2024 - Submission Period

March 18th, 2024 at 5pm ET - Virtual Webinar & Q&A (not required)

March 25th - June 3rd, 2024 - First & Second Round Interviews

Week of June 3rd, 2024 - Invites for Finalist Round Sent

July 15th - August 4th, 2024 - Onsite Finalist Round in Poughkeepsie, NY, during Summer Season. Each finalist will spend time in our Summer Season for 3-6 days each. Travel, Housing, and per-diem provided.

August 2024 - Employment Contract Offered and Signed

September - October 2024 - Employment Begins



  • In lieu of a cover letter, please complete this form, which includes a series of short submission questions listed below,  and upload a PDF of your resume. The following questions will help our review panel connect to you off the page. 

  • On the form, there is a space to submit up to a 10-minute video response to the submission questions if that is your preferred method of communication. You may upload a local video file (up to 10 MB) or provide a link to your video on an external video hosting platform (ex. Youtube, Vimeo, etc.)

  • For any questions, please email, monitored by Culture Change Lab* and NYSAF.


  • What parts of the job description compelled you to apply? (1000 Characters)

  • NYSAF plays a specific role within the ecosystem of new story development for stage and screen. Please expand upon your experience and/or interests that would impact your capacity to lead an organization with this focus. (2000 Characters)

  • What should we be most excited to discover about your approach to leadership? You may provide examples such as: bold steps and decisions you’ve taken as a leader; how you’ve navigated through significant obstacles as a leader; how you’ve led another organization or community through significant change. (2000 Characters)

  • NYSAF is dedicated to a powerful set of values that guide our work and community. Which of these values resonates most deeply with you? We'd appreciate hearing about specific actions or initiatives you've undertaken in the past that align with this value or principle. (2000 Characters)

  • As a small organization, the artistic leader of NYSAF will be intimately involved with fundraising strategy, budgeting, and financial management. In brief, please speak to your experience with each. (2000 Characters)

  • Please list any workshops, cohorts, or training you’ve received that has influenced your leadership style. (500 Characters)

  • Tell us something about yourself that can’t be communicated just from your resume. (1000 Characters)

Please Note:

  • While the application form will automatically save your progress if you exit the application before completing and return to it in the same browser, we strongly recommend you prepare your answers on a separate document and paste them into the response fields to prevent any loss of work.

  • Within the application form, the arrows in the bottom right corner allow you to navigate back and forth.


If you're having trouble with the submission portal, we suggest trying these steps to troubleshoot the issue:

  • Try in another browser in "incognito mode." 

  • Try restarting your browser after clearing its cache and cookies. Remember to select the right time range to clear all the data.

  • Make sure you are on the most current version of your browser(s).

  • Make sure that your VPN is turned off.

  • The automatic translation tool in Google Chrome can cause an error when filling out the application. Try using a different browser or turn off automatic translation.

  • If you are uploading a file, make sure it is under 10 MB.


Please reach out to if the issue persists.

*The Culture Change Lab search facilitation process is being carried out by team members Alexandra Meda & Miranda Gonzalez. 


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