Laboratory Schools: Theater Director (Teacher)

University of Chicago

University of Chicago

Chicago, IL, USA
Posted on Friday, September 22, 2023


Lab School High School Faculty

About the Department

At the University of Chicago Laboratory Schools, students in Nursery through Grade 12 experience a world-class educational journey. Founded in 1896 by John Dewey as a place for educators to develop and explore novel approaches to pedagogy and curriculum, Lab continues to provide excitement and imagination in learning to this day. Academic rigor, experiential learning, and intellectual discourse are hallmarks of a Lab education. Lab educators are recognized for excellence in teaching and pride themselves on innovation in the classroom. Students in every grade have access to unparalleled resources, and all members of the Lab community benefit by partnerships and connections with the University of Chicago. Families who choose Lab care deeply about curiosity, inquiry, and creativity.

No less than scholarship, Lab’s mission prioritizes honoring diversity and exhibiting kindness. We are committed to building and supporting a teaching and learning community where young people see aspects of their backgrounds and identities reflected around them, where they feel a deep sense of belonging, and where they discover and use their voices to full effect. Today, 53-59 percent of Lab’s student body are students of color. Families report speaking nearly 40 different languages in their homes. Approximately 60 percent of Lab families are also affiliated with the University of Chicago. Half of our families live in Hyde Park, and the rest come from across Chicago, the suburbs, and northwestern Indiana. Inclusion is a fundamental value at Lab, such that we celebrate every facet of community members’ identities, and even where we disagree, we emphasize respect, civility, and maintaining a spirit of community.

Lab seeks the finest employees to join our vibrant learning community. We employ people with a wide range of skills and training in many different disciplines, who have in common a love of learning and the wish to inspire that same love of learning in young people. We seek candidates for employment who thrive in an educational environment. We provide a great professional home for those committed to collaboration, ongoing personal and professional growth, and cultivating positive relationships. We strongly encourage applications from candidates of color, LGBTQ+ identified candidates, candidates from historically marginalized or underrepresented backgrounds, and candidates with a demonstrated commitment to a deepening diversity, equity, and inclusion practice. In turn, we strive to ensure that Lab is a joyful, welcoming, and inspiring place to work. Through our connection to the University, faculty, staff, and administrators enjoy benefits and opportunities that would be nearly impossible to match in any other environment.

Job Information

Job Summary:

The High School Theater Director is responsible for educating and guiding students in the field of theater. This includes teaching students about the principles of acting, stagecraft, script analysis, theater history, and directing. The Theater Director should be able to create a safe and supportive learning environment that encourages students to explore their creativity and express themselves through theater.

The High School Theater Director runs classes as well as overseeing theater productions. This role will attend performances and rehearsals. The Director must also be able to manage their time effectively to meet deadlines and complete administrative tasks. The Theater Director is responsible for producing three productions over the course of the school year.


  • Develop and implement lesson plans that align with best practice in theater education.
  • Teach students about acting techniques, stagecraft, theater history, and directing.
  • Organize and oversee auditions, rehearsals, and performances.
  • Provide constructive feedback and evaluate student performances.
  • Create a positive and inclusive classroom environment that promotes creativity, collaboration, and respect.
  • Encourage students to participate in extracurricular theater activities, such as productions and competitions.
  • Stay up-to-date with current theater trends and techniques, and continuously improve teaching methods and curriculum.
  • Collaborate with other teachers, administrators, and theater professionals to enhance the theater program.
  • Manage the theater budget and ensure that all equipment and materials are properly maintained and used.
  • Provide timely communication with students and families.
  • Collaborate with Middle School theater teachers as well the High School music department.


  • Quickly adapt to changing circumstances and flexible in work with students.
  • Interact with a diverse group of faculty, staff, students, and parents required.
  • Analytical skills required.
  • Problem-solving skills required.
  • Decision-making skills required.
  • Attention to detail required.
  • Organizational skills required.
  • Computational skills required.
  • Creativity required.
  • Verbal and written communication skills required.
  • Interpersonal skills required.
  • Work independently and as part of a team required.
  • Manage stressful situations required.
  • Maintain confidentiality required.
  • Work on multiple projects simultaneously, set priorities, and meet deadlines required.
  • Strong communication and interpersonal skills.
  • Inspire and motivate students to learn and participate in theater activities.
  • Organizational skills to manage auditions, rehearsals, and productions.

Additional Requirements​​

Education, Experience, or Certifications:


  • Bachelor's degree in theater education or related field required.
  • Master's degree in theater education or related field required.


  • 3+ years experience in teaching high school theater.
  • 3+ producing, directing, managing high school theater productions.

Technical Knowledge or Skills:

  • Knowledge of theater history, acting techniques, directing, and stagecraft.
  • Knowledge of diversity, equity and inclusion issues, and dynamics in the classroom and in developing healthy, supportive relationships with all students.
  • Strong knowledge of course subject matter required.
  • Knowledge of instructional methodologies required.
  • Strong knowledge of child development required.
  • Develop innovative curricula, lesson plans, and assessment tools required.
  • Use standard productivity and educational software or platforms (calendar/schedule software, learning management system, etc.) required.

Working Conditions and Physical Requirements:

  • Move in and around the classroom/building to interact with students, faculty, staff, parents, and other members of the community.
  • Move class-related equipment/tools, as appropriate, around school property.
  • When appropriate, escort children from one classroom to another, in and out of the building during arrival and dismissal, and in an emergency situation.
  • Demonstrate lessons, when appropriate.
  • Flexibility to work after-school hours and attend evening and weekend events.

Required Documents:

  • Resume/CV
  • Cover Letter
  • Professional References Contact Information (3)
  • Link to Portfolio of high school student theater performances
  • Observe Performances - The Theater Director is an important hire for the Laboratory Schools. This position will begin the 2024-2025 school year to give the search committee the opportunity to view productions directed by potential candidates, in person. The search committee may travel out of state for highly competitive candidates. When available, candidates should provide a schedule of productions they are directing for the 2023-2024 school year.

When applying, the document(s) MUST be uploaded via the My Experience page, in the section titled Application Documents of the application.

Benefit Eligibility


Requires Compliance with University Covid-19 Vaccination Requirement


Pay Frequency


Pay Range

Depends on Qualifications

Scheduled Weekly Hours



000- American Federation of Teachers , Local 2063

Job is Exempt


Drug Test Required


Motor Vehicle Record Inquiry Required


Health Screen Required


Posting Date


Remove from Posting On or Before


Posting Statement:​​

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action/Equal Opportunity/Disabled/Veterans and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, national or ethnic origin, age, status as an individual with a disability, military or veteran status, genetic information, or other protected classes under the law. For additional information please see the University's Notice of Nondiscrimination.

Staff Job seekers in need of a reasonable accommodation to complete the application process should call 773-702-5800 or submit a request via Applicant Inquiry Form.

We seek a diverse pool of applicants who wish to join an academic community that places the highest value on rigorous inquiry and encourages a diversity of perspectives, experiences, groups of individuals, and ideas to inform and stimulate intellectual challenge, engagement, and exchange.

All offers of employment are contingent upon a background check that includes a review of conviction history. A conviction does not automatically preclude University employment. Rather, the University considers conviction information on a case-by-case basis and assesses the nature of the offense, the circumstances surrounding it, the proximity in time of the conviction, and its relevance to the position.

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