Work at BE

Black Ensemble Theater is currently seeking qualified candidates for the following:

  • Development Manager


Black Ensemble (BE) was founded in 1976 by producer and playwright Jackie Taylor.  The mission of the Black Ensemble Theater is to eradicate racism and its devastating effects upon our society through the utilization of theater arts. BE is the only theater in the nation whose mission is to eradicate racism. BE achieves its mission through productions and programs that work to help individuals understand, respect and accept our sameness and greatness as human beings.

Position Summary:

The Black Ensemble Theater seeks a Development Manager who will report to the Director of Development and the Executive Director. The Development Manager will work in partnership with Black Ensemble’s executive development team to develop, plan, execute, and evaluate a comprehensive Annual Giving Program to increase participation and long-term financial growth from individual donors. This position will successfully organize and develop direct mail solicitations, online giving, giving circles/clubs, and acknowledgement of all donations.  The position will also help plan and organize all special events, including the annual Legacy Continues Gala.

Responsibilities: Specific responsibilities for the Development Manager include but are not limited to:

Database Management

  • Manage Donor Database system (Total Info) to keep complete and accurate fundraising records at all times
  • Input all gifts and manage all reporting through Total Info
  • Ensure donor stewardship via timely acknowledgment letters and acknowledgment in programs and publications, websites and donor walls.
  • Create monthly reports for the Director of Finance and Executive Development Staff

Donor Cultivation

  • Coordinate all digital communications to Next Stage Society and Friends of the Black Ensemble, including event invitations and quarterly newsletters.
  • Identify, research, cultivate, build relationships with current and existing individual donors including direct mail, e-campaigns, giving circles/clubs, focus on new donors, donor retention, and increasing annual gift amounts of individual donors.
  • Assist in the development and implementation of donor stewardship plan
  • Plan and implement direct mail solicitation campaigns – coordinating mailing schedule, theme, and donor segments through electronic and direct mail
  • Conduct post evaluation for donor appeals and analyze program results to plan segmentation for future mailings and/or cultivation activities.
  • Support the Director of Development and Executive Director in developing and implementing a recruitment and retention plan, for individual donors to further cultivate relationships.


  • Help plan and support all Special Events, including but not limited to Next Stage Society Previews, opening night celebrations, Legacy Continues Gala, and The Soul of a Powerful Woman, through activities like invitation creation, mailing event invitations, RSVP tracking, creating registration lists and nametags, planning catering, guest seating, and other day-of logistics
  • Help plan, execute, manage all activities for annual Legacy Continues Gala: venue, hospitality, live auction, entertainment, registration, and production logistics
  • Identify and solicit new and existing corporate sponsor prospects to ensure continued event revenue growth
  • Lead the creation and distribution of event collateral including sponsor solicitation, save the date, invitation, emails
  • Plan, execute, manage all activities for Black Ensemble special donor cultivation events (about 12-16 events per year)

Board of Directors

  • Prepare reports for executive director/board of directors on all departmental activities
  • Attend all board meetings and take notes
  • Prepare catering and logistics for all board meetings

Other Administrative Support

  • Provide project and administrative support to the Black Ensemble Executive Director, Director of Development, Grant Manager and Artistic Directors as needed.

Ideal candidates will offer:

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills, with a specific ability to create donor solicitations, and thank you letters.
  • Experience with Donor Database management systems (Total Info preferred)
  • Event management experience
  • Demonstrated record of accomplishment in annual giving, knowledge of fundraising principles and techniques, and experience managing successful direct mail programs.
  • Attention to detail, with a commitment to maintaining BE’s unique voice while improving the quality, content and format of solicitations/appeals
  • Excellent time management skills, ability to manage multiple projects and identify priorities
  • Ability to manage work flow and plan/coordinate the work of others to meet deadlines
  • Professional demeanor with the ability to work independently and as a team player
  • Proficient knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and PowerPoint
  • Ability to communicate successfully with stakeholders, patrons, performers, and employees
  • Strong focus on results with an entrepreneurial approach to fundraising and problem solving
  • Strong sense of personal and professional accountability
  • Familiarity with the Chicago philanthropic community (individual donors, foundations and government agencies)
  • Desire to work in a dynamic, fast paced and ever changing environment


Salary and benefits are competitive and offered commensurate with experience. Inquiries should be forwarded to Jackie Taylor at Black Ensemble is an equal opportunity employer.


  • Technical Director

The Black Ensemble Theater seeks a Technical Director for its upcoming productions.


Responsibilities include:

-Manage Day to day operations in scene shop

-Coordinating with the Production Manager in scheduling and managing scenic load-ins, instillation, and strike

-Attend tech rehearsals and production meetings as needed

-maintain personnel to build scenic elements for all performances

-Oversee maintenance of the shop

-Manage hiring of staff for building, and striking productions

-Manage and schedule all scene shop duties on a daily basis and report to Production Manager

All candidates must possess:

-extensive carpentry experience

-well versed in CAD and other scenic programs

-Must be able to manage an active scene shop


Please email resume’s and cover letter to or fill out the form on this page.




  • Box Office Staff

Creates a welcome environment for Customers. Candidates should have experience working with the public and have strong organizational, and communication skills; excellent with multi- tasking and trouble- shooting, box office or other theatre experience helpful. This is a part-time hourly position that requires weekday evening and weekend availability.

Essential Job Responsibilities

  • Greets Customers and visitors in a professional manner.
  • Provide general theatre information.
  • Enters ticket sale, accepts payment, processes transaction, and makes correct change.
  • Processes refunds when necessary and completes any required forms.
  • Answers telephone in a professional manner.
  • Keeps box office area clean and clutter-free.
  • Watches for safety or security issues (trip hazards, lighting, suspicious persons, etc.) and reports to management.
  • Performs other work-related duties as assigned.
  • Ability to calmly troubleshoot and problem-solve is a must.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Available to work evening hours, weekends, and some holidays.
  • Ability to communicate with all ages, genders, and personalities.
  • Ability to speak clearly and hear adequately.
  • Must be computer literate for digital ticketing equipment.
  • Must be at least 18 years of age.
  • Strong verbal and interpersonal skills.
  • Ability to work independently.
  • Accurate cash handling and math skills.

Please fill out this form to be considered.

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