Image: Why We Are Here! on Toronto Island

Call for Producer Applications

Nightswimming is seeking a Producer

To co-lead the company starting August 3, 2021

About Nightswimming

Nightswimming is one of Canada’s leading creators of new works, with a 25-year history of commissioning plays, devised works, dance, musical pieces and adaptations.

Nightswimming is a creative laboratory devoted to creating powerful, moving and beautiful works of performance. We foster the development of the artists we’ve commissioned by offering them the opportunity to concentrate on their dream ideas and with them we design a unique artistic process for each project. We invest in long-term dramaturgical relationships with the artists we commission and provide them with the tools they need to create demanding, adventurous and audacious new works.

Founded by dramaturg and artistic director Brian Quirt, Nightswimming is based in Toronto’s Distillery District. Nightswimming honours the ancestral caretakers and storytellers of T’karonto, where we are privileged to live and work: the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Haudenosaunee, the Anishinaabe, and the Wendat Nations.

Our activities fall into three areas: Creation includes commissioning playwrights and creators. Performance brings our new works to the stage in Toronto and on tour across Canada. Researchincludes exploratory work such as our Pure Research program.

Since 1995, we have commissioned and developed more than 30 projects, with 28 reaching the stage in more than 100 productions and presentations at theatres and festivals in 20 cities from Victoria to Whitehorse to St. John’s.

Nightswimming is devoted to advancing the field of dramaturgy – the exploration of theatrical stories, who tells them, and how they are told. We intentionally undertake projects and processes we’ve never done before, and ask the artists we collaborate with to do the same. We are constantly taking on new challenges, working with new individuals, seeking new ways to tell new stories, and designing dramaturgical initiatives to ensure we are tackling current issues and engaging with new communities.

Nightswimming has a large roster of current creative projects and resident artists, including Carmen Aguirre, Jasmine Chen, Sunny Drake, Audrey Dwyer, Jeff Ho, Anosh Irani, Martin Julien, Jani Lauzon, Anita Majumdar, Jane Miller, Andrew Moodie, Natasha Mumba, PJ Prudat, Luke Reece and xLq.

National initiatives include Pure Research, and 5×25, which called for proposals from artists across Canada born in 1995. We met more than one hundred 25-year-old artists, commissioned 5 projects and have worked with them over 5 years to develop their creations. In 2020 we invited commission proposals from Black and Indigenous artists. Applications from across the country introduced us to dozens of artists and led us to commissions and residencies with Black and Indigenous artists we’d never worked with before.

Among the core beliefs motivating our work as a dramaturgical company are:
  • the artists and their work come first; dramaturgy is always about relationships and the care with which they are nurtured
  • empowering the voices of creators to be equal partners in the process of developing their work
  • collaboration lives at the heart of every project and process
  • partnerships with organizations and individuals that share our commitment to creating new work are central to our process
  • enacting change – when we change who tells the stories, we help tell stories that have not been prioritized on our stages
  • multi-generational and intercultural staff and artists
  • patience and beauty and humour – each is critical to working together and making the serious work of creation fun, rewarding and sustainable
  • service to the performing arts community through volunteerism and mentoring
  • discovery – taking on projects and ideas you can’t do anywhere else, that you don’t know how to do, and have never tried before
  • interdisciplinary approaches to storytelling and direct engagement with audience members
  • sharing administrative and creative work between the leaders of the company is part of our commitment to collaboration.

The Opportunity

The Big Picture

We are seeking a Producer to oversee Nightswimming’s operations and financial management, and collaborate with Artistic Director Brian Quirt on the leadership of the company as it moves into the post-pandemic performing arts landscape.

At Nightswimming, the creative partnership between Artistic Director and Producer is not a traditional Artistic Director – General Manager relationship, but rather an artistic collaboration that has been central to Nightswimming’s approach since the company was established. The Producer contributes to all of our dramaturgical undertakings and Brian plays an important role in the company’s administrative activities. The Producer’s role has always shifted depending on the person. There is an opportunity for you to shape the position, and for your vision to have direct impact on the company’s future activities and projects.

We want you to love the work we are creating, and to be part of envisioning the next phase of the company’s artistic life. We invite you to bring your full self – as producer, individual, audience member, storyteller – to the position. Our highly collaborative working process invites extensive consultation, welcomes other voices such as interns into our deliberations, and always prioritizes the needs of the artists we work with. We are particularly interested in applicants with a passion and track record for inclusive practices and working with artists from a wide variety of backgrounds, identities, and abilities.

The Producer works closely with the Artistic Director, both of whom report to the Board of Directors. The Producer is responsible, with the Artistic Director, for sustaining the creative and administrative vision of Canada’s only purely dramaturgical company. Producing on location and/or on tour, and attending conferences and festivals to promote the company’s work are important components of the position. Evening and weekend work will be required at times. The Producer must share and advocate for Nightswimming’s priorities of collaboration, partnership, mentorship, inclusion and commitment to long-term relationships with artists.

We’re seeking…

– A leader with experience at professional arts organizations, preferably in theatre producing and/or administration; ideally with experience in new play development and creative process; and a desire to break new ground artistically while promoting the company, its artists, and their projects.

– A manager who enjoys working with artists, interns, designers, and contract staff; believes that taking care of our collaborators is at the heart of sustaining an arts organization; and loves numbers and spreadsheets and platforms such as Quickbooks and Mailchimp because each helps tell the story of the company and its projects.

– A partner that finds joy and beauty in making projects happen; who believes that producing is a creative act; who embraces change and flexibility and adaptability and problem solving; wants to work on a national scale; and is committed to collaborating with and amplifying the work and voices of equity seeking artists, crew, contractors and interns.

We’re curious to hear what you could bring to Nightswimming. We don’t expect every applicant to have all of the skills and interests we’ve outlined. What would you want to do in the position that isn’t articulated in these lists? How might the position be tailored to you, your experiences and goals?

Key Responsibilities

Producing
  • Promotion and advocacy for Nightswimming projects, initiating and following up on creative partnerships with companies, festivals and developmental organizations;
  • In collaboration with the Artistic Director, create and implement Nightswimming’s artistic and financial long and short-term plans, including projects being discussed for commissioning and development;
  • Attend readings, workshops and rehearsals of works in development, and performances, festivals, and conferences when appropriate to meet artists and promote the company’s projects;
  • Identify and establish producing partnerships and touring opportunities, domestic and international; lead negotiation and contracting process for all partnerships;
  • Manage company communications on all platforms including print and social media to maximize awareness of company projects and activities;
  • Serve as spokesperson for the company as required.
Administration
  • Oversee the day-to-day operations of the company; prepare and manage the annual operating and long-term plan / budget, and detailed project budgets;
  • In collaboration with the Artistic Director, prepare and write grant applications to all appropriate government funding agencies;
  • Assume responsibility for revenue generation and manage fundraising activities including public, private, and foundation;
  • Hire and manage all staff required to execute the artistic and administrative plans;
  • Maintain official records and documents, and ensure compliance with federal, provincial and municipal regulations;
  • Develop policies and procedures as necessary for administrative areas, such as human resources, finance, communications and marketing.
  • Report on artistic, financial, personnel, promotional and contractual plans to Board of Directors (with Artistic Director); and co-ordinate the meetings and necessary record keeping of the Board.

You should have great written and oral communication skills, be proficient with standard computer software and be able to work independently and as part of a creative team. Familiarity with CADAC, PACT, CAEA, CTA and arts councils is valuable; experience with accounting software, Photoshop, social media and WordPress is an asset.

Key Details:

Start date: August 3, 2021. Paid transition period with current Producer in late July. (This could shift based on availability).

Salary: At full time hours (37.5 hrs/week) the Producer will be paid $50,000 annually.

Holidays: 4 weeks (20 days) paid holiday annually, to be arranged in collaboration with the Artistic Director. Historically, two of those weeks are around winter holidays; this is flexible and open to discussion.

Professional Development: Nightswimming supports and will contribute to professional development that is important to the job and your practice.

Working Remotely: Nightswimming staff and artists are currently operating from home. This will be the case until health authorities recommend returning to the office at which time the Producer will generally work from our office at Toronto’s Distillery District. Working from home after that point is flexible and can be discussed. The Producer may need to work from theatres or studios when our projects are in process or production.

How to Apply:

Please email your application to applications@nightswimmingtheatre.com
by FRIDAY MAY 28 2021 at 5pm EST with “Producer Application” as the subject line.

Please attach a single PDF containing the following:

  • A letter outlining why you want to work with Nightswimming, what you imagine the position to be, and what you bring to your vision of it.
  • A biography of yourself – how do you describe yourself and your community/communities?
  • Your CV + name/email for three references.

Given the nature of Nightswimming’s leadership team, we encourage applicants to contact Brian and/or Producer Brittany Ryan in advance to talk about the company, its plans and vision for creating new work. They are available on May 17/18/20/26 to talk with applicants. Please feel free to contact Brian directly at brian@nightswimmingtheatre.com or book a phone call at https://calendly.com/brian-ns.

We intend to meet with short-listed applicants in June 2021 through scheduled Zoom conversations. The search process will include conversations with a committee that includes Board members, Brian and equity seeking artists from the Nightswimming community. Only references for short-listed applicants will be contacted.

We welcome applicants of every identity, and especially encourage folx who identify as Women, Gender minorities, Black, Indigenous, People of Colour, 2SLGBTQ+, d/Deaf, Mad, Disabled/People with Disabilities, and/or Neurodiverse to apply.

We thank everyone who applies for their interest, but only applicants selected for a conversation will be contacted. All applications are considered confidential.

A copy of this Call for Producer Applications can be downloaded here.