The Unusual Suspects,

Program Director

6 days ago
Employment type
Full Time
Los Angeles
Closing date

About this organization

The Unusual Suspects Theatre Company’s (US) mission is to mentor, educate, and enrich youth in under resourced communities through the creation of collaborative original theatre. Our mission powers our vision  of a world where all youth are given the opportunities and support they need to succeed; and to be heard,  valued and respected. We strive to be a bridge that helps youth make positive life choices.

Founded in the wake of the 1992 LA Uprising, US has grown from a small, volunteer-led youth intervention  program into an award-winning leader in the fields of arts education, youth development, mentorship, and  community building. After nearly three decades of service within disinvested and underrepresented  communities, the focus of our work remains to ensure the equitable enrichment and development of Los  Angeles County under-resourced youth and their communities. Our free, theatre-arts programs go beyond  the reach of typical arts education workshops to offer personalized mentorship and a safe space for self expression, empowering those we work with to identify and leverage their innate talents and overcome  inequitable circumstances.

US is currently pursuing transformative action steps aimed to center our communities in all aspects of our  work and bring Diversity, Equity, Access, and Inclusion (DEAI) to the forefront of our operations and  programs. For more information, visit:

About this job

The Program Director oversees the development, implementation and strategic growth of US theatre arts programming to youth from under-resourced communities in the Los Angeles area. The Program Director  leads the artistic and educational vision of US’s programs in LA County schools, parks, and with community based nonprofits. Develops program policies and assessment practices to ensure strategic goals, academic  growth and social emotional standards and guidelines are adhered to, and residencies and performances are  of the highest quality. Hires, develops, and supervises Program Managers and keeps senior management informed with detailed and accurate reports or presentations. Contributes significant leadership in program  partnership development, strategic planning and executive level decision making. Position reports to the  Executive Director.

Salary & Benefits

● $80,000 - $85,000 annually, commensurate with experience. Exempt position.  ● Health benefits reimbursement of up to $400 monthly.

● CalSavers - Roth IRA Program.

● Cell phone and Internet reimbursement.

● Accrued PTO; 2 weeks’ vacation per year and paid sick leave.

● Additional week off from December 24th through January 1st.

● Candidate is expected to work a standard 40 hours weekly and must be open to a flexible schedule,  including some evenings and weekends.

Roles & responsibilities

The Program Director will work closely with the Executive Director to enhance US impact on the under  resourced youth and communities in Los Angeles. Responsibilities include but are not limited to:

Program Development and Management

• Oversee the development, implementation, evaluation, and innovation of US high-performing,  theatre-based academic programs for young artists, educators, and community partners, upholding  the highest standards of academic excellence and artistic practice while embracing social  empowerment as the ultimate goal.

• Lead a team of three full-time staffers and 15+ Teaching Artists to ensure the successful integration  of our equity, diversity, multiculturalism, and inclusion standards into the ideation and  implementation of our programs.

• Meet with the program team and local partners regularly to ensure US programs are running  smoothly, are adequately supported, and engage a robust volunteer base.

• Frequently visit school sites and workshops to support Teaching Artists and identify opportunities  for innovation and growth.

• Lead the design of program evaluation tools, oversee data collection, and evaluate outcomes to  innovate and improve existing programs and partnerships to best serve LA youth and communities. • Develop and manage long-term program strategy and budget alongside the Executive Director,  ensuring institutional/government grant compliance and deliverables.

• Hire, train, lead, mentor, evaluate, and inspire a team of program staffers and Teaching Artists. • Attend and plan professional development seminars as required.

• Other duties as assigned.

Internal and External Communications

• Serve as the spokesperson for US public programs; deliver presentations at program events. • Ensure that the Executive Director has routine and timely information about program success and  challenges.

• Under the Executive Director’s direction, provide regular updates to US board members and  facilitate monthly program subcommittee meetings of the board.

• Attend relevant partnership meetings to connect with key stakeholders within the Los Angeles area  and ensure partners are aware of program successes and challenges in a timely manner. • Develop and maintain a pipeline of future partners and potential funding opportunities. • Work with the communications team to craft program related communications via social media,  website, print and digital.

• Supply development & communications teams with program information and deliverables. • Help articulate US mission, goals, and achievements to a variety of audiences and represent US at  local and national conventions and conferences.

• Continually update and improve US program materials, both print and digital.


Required Skills & Qualifications

• An unequivocal commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, access, and multiculturalism as core  principles in all programmatic activities.

• Preferred master's degree or equivalent professional experience in Arts Administration, Arts  Education, Education with a related focus, or Performing Arts.

• Demonstrated success in high-performing program design and/or implementation. • A natural desire to mentor and inspire others, recognize and celebrate excellence, take initiative,  work independently as part of a team, and lead by example.

• Strong leadership and interpersonal skills required.

• Experience in budget design, administration, and analysis.

• Adherence to data-driven, consensual, and inclusive decision-making processes. • Natural talent for relationship building.

• Proficiently in relevant academic software as well as Zoom, Microsoft and Google Suites. • Experience in meeting facilitation, and/or community relations.

• Detail-oriented with excellent communication, organizational, interpersonal and writing skills. • Must have a reliable form of transportation.

Preferred Skills & Qualifications

• Experience in program budget design, administration, and analysis.

• Team management and administrative experience.

• Knowledge of the Los Angeles City/County political and policy process as well as a general  understanding of LAUSD policies and procedures.

• Developed relationships with outside vendors, contractors and operational resources is preferred. • Experience with public speaking and presentations.

• English/Spanish bilingual a plus.

To apply

All applicants who are offered employment with The Unusual Suspects will be subject to a background  investigation.

Apply Today!

Send your resume and cover letter to Include in the subject line of your email  Program Director Application. No calls please.

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