Appalshop News

We're hiring for our Roadside Theater

1 month ago


Roadside Theater Relationship Development Manager / Theatrical Ensemble Member

Appalshop, Inc.


Roadside Theater, founded in 1975, is a professional ensemble of community-trained storytellers in the coalfields of Appalachia, as well as the theater wing of the rural arts and humanities institution Appalshop.

We are committed to artistic excellence in pursuit of the proposition that the world is immeasurably enriched when all cultures tell their own stories and listen to the stories of others. Since its inception, Roadside has been a people’s theater, oriented toward movement building, and our work is also intercultural in nature; we have longtime artistic partnerships with diverse communities across the nation who are equally committed to cultural diversity, not only as a human right, but as a positive artistic and social value. We are known for bucking the modern trend of theater as an elite bubble and restoring it to its rightful place in the public discourse: as an open, inclusive forum where the plurality and beauty of peoples are enacted and made manifest.

Following the transition of the Roadside Theater’s longtime leadership from full-time employment to special projects and advisory roles, the theater is hiring an ensemble of new leaders to envision and implement the theater’s mission. The leadership ensemble will work collaboratively to establish and enact an operational structure, programmatic vision, fundraising and communications plan for the theater. The Relationship Development Manager / Theatrical Ensemble Member position is currently one of three in the new leadership ensemble, and is the only one remaining to be filled.

Job Duties

Each member of Roadside's leadership ensemble will possess specific areas of authority and accountability. These areas of authority are defined by specialization and not by organizational hierarchy.

The Relationship Development Manager / Theatrical Ensemble Member’s areas of authority and accountability are as follows:  

Relationship building with allies, funders, and neighbors

  • Envision and create meaningful communications platforms, systems, and/or methods through which Roadside might connect with its audience, allies, and funders.
  • Create and disseminate meaningful content that allows Roadside allies and audiences to participate with and/or learn alongside Roadside’s ongoing work.  (“Content” may include but is not limited to: in-person visits, workshops, video, audio, paper media, virtual engagements, web platforms, writing, publication, physical objects, visual art, apps, podcasts, etc.)
  • Determine and implement a communications calendar that will best allow established funders to meaningfully participate with and/or learn alongside Roadside’s ongoing work.
  • Review communications opportunities that arise and assess their potential strategic advantage. Make recommendations to the Roadside ensemble to pursue/not pursue opportunities.
  • Represent Roadside Theater and Appalshop in a variety of regional, national, and international settings. (This accountability is shared with other members of the leadership ensemble.)
  • Maintain an “Roadside Press Log” documenting and publications or public mentions.
  • Maintain an internal Roadside database recording any major developments in relationships with allies, funders, and audience.
  • Liaison with Appalshop Communications Director to distribute Roadside content via Appalshop networks, as necessary.
  • Collaborate with Appalshop Communications Director regarding any crisis level communications event.

Event Documentation

  • Arrange for the documentation of all Roadside events through audio, video, written word, and/or photography.
  • Think critically about what data we are collecting regarding Roadside’s publications, appearances, and performances. 

Roadside Theatrical Ensemble

  • Contribute to conceptualizing and enacting a program of artistic work that amplifies the vision and creative energies of all Roadside ensemble members, and furthers Appalshop’s mission.
  • Participate in Roadside ensemble rehearsals, as desired.
  • Participate in Roadside ensemble performances, as desired.
Note: This job description may be further adjusted to reflect the chosen candidate’s skills and interests. If you possess any skills or interests you believe will further Roadside Theater’s mission and vision, but which are not reflected in this job description, please specifically make note of these in your application. 

In addition, please reflect in your application if you have any skill or interest in the following areas, none of which are required for applying, but would be of interest to the hiring committee:

  • Lineage of grassroots or populist theater-making, in the U.S. or other nations.
  • Intercultural creation.
  • "Sector-agnostic” collaboration. (i.e. building alongside individuals who do not identify as theater-makers)
  • Ensemble or “devised" theater-making processes.
  • Multidisciplinary collaboration with community radio, documentary film, music, and/or community archives.
  • Human-centered organizational design for thriving work spaces, including distributed power structures.
  • Donor cultivation.
  • Grant writing.
  • Fundraising with private foundations.
Institutional Support

The Roadside leadership ensemble will have at their discretion the support of Roadside’s longtime leadership, advisory board, and the staff and community of Appalshop, Inc. (Appalshop maintains Development, Finance, and Administrative personnel which support all of Appalshop’s programs, including Roadside Theater.)

If the candidate is not already a resident of Whitesburg, KY or the surrounding communities, this position will require relocation. Roadside Theater will open dialogues with candidates to establish a relocation timeline that respects the health and safety guidelines necessary for preventing the spread of COVID-19, as well as the new at-home work environment in which many are now operating. 

In addition, regular travel outside the region is often necessary for fundraising, presenting, teaching, and performing. Travel will only possible when COVID-19 health and safety guidelines permit.

To Apply

Relationship Development Manager / Theatrical Ensemble Member is a year-round, full-time position at 40 hours a week. The position is based in Whitesburg, Kentucky in a salary range of $38,000-$42,500 annually with full paid benefits.

To apply, please submit the following materials via email to [email protected], OR, via the postal service to: Appalshop Inc., Attn: Becca Finney, 91 Madison Ave, Whitesburg, KY, 41858:

  1. A letter detailing your values and approach to your work, how this position would allow you to further your passions, and to what standards you would hold yourself in the position (what you would consider success?).  We are also open to receiving this information in a form that is not a letter, such as a video, graphic narrative, combination thereof, etc.
  2. A resume of relevant experience. We are open to receiving this information in a form that is not a letter, such as a video, graphic narrative, combination thereof, etc.
  3. 3-7 relevant work samples representing your values and approach to your work.  (Work samples might include, but are not limited to: original communications content such as posters, pamphlets, letters, reports, social media campaigns, etc; theatrical productions and performances; dramatic writing; grant language; opinion papers or articles; teaching statements; statements of methodology, original music or artwork, video blogs, etc.)
  4. Contact information for 1-3 professional references that the hiring team may contact. 

Applications will be accepted until midnight on April 30th, 2021. For any questions about the position or about submitting application files, please email: [email protected], or call: 606-663-0108. 

Appalshop is an equal opportunity employer, and its employment policies and practices are applicable to all employees without regard to race, age, sex, color, sexual orientation, creed, disability or national origin.

Looking for other positions at Appalshop? We're also hiring a Performance Coordinator.

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