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Central Square Theater - Co-Artistic Director

ALJP Consulting
Cambridge, MA
  • Expired: February 08, 2023. Applications are no longer accepted.

Central Square Theater seeks a passionate, collaborative, and visionary leader as the next Co-Artistic Director (Co-AD) to co-lead its growing organization into the future.

Central Square Theater (CST) explores social justice, science and identity politics through live theater. Combining artistic excellence, cross disciplinary collaboration and community engagement, CST creates theater where points of view are heard, perspective shifts, and change can happen.

Who is Central Square Theater?

Central Square Theater, the oldest female-led theater organization in Greater Boston, upholds the values and theatrical excellence of its origin companies, Underground Railway Theater and The Nora.

Central Square Theater engages over 35,000 people annually through live performance, rigorous youth education, and community programs. CST works closely with MIT on Catalyst Collaborative@MIT (CC@MIT), one of the only nationwide partnerships between a world class research institute and a professional theater. CC@MIT creates and presents plays that deepen public engagement with science, while providing creative and emotional experiences not available in other forms of dialogue about science.

Central Square Theater's education programs serve youth throughout Cambridge and Boston. Youth Underground (YU), CST's award-winning youth development program, seeks to provide a platform for members to broaden their own perspectives and understand others, bringing them to a deeper understanding of self as they cultivate their artistry. YU members define themselves as change agents and emerging opinion leaders, in their neighborhoods and beyond.

Under the leadership of Executive Director Catherine Carr Kelly, Co-Artistic Director Lee Mikeska Gardner, and its Board of Directors, CST is an innovator in the nonprofit arts field in collaborative leadership. The model will be expanded and this position, Co-Artistic Director, will join Gardner in leadership. Additionally, Director of Education and Community Initiatives Kortney Adams, will be joining artistic and executive leadership as Central Square Theater further expands and focuses on education and mentorship.


Central Square Theater is driven by shared values, recently reaffirmed by board and staff:

Bold Stories and Conversations

We embrace the power of theater to illuminate the full spectrum of human experience. We boldly tell stories that connect us, inspire joy, and give us the courage to build a better world.
Vital and Relevant
Our productions and programs are in service to and in partnership with our community-our artists, staff, youth, patrons, donors, neighbors, and partner organizations. We create art that reflects the important issues of our time, encourages shifting perspectives, and educates and empowers community members to embrace change.
Anti-Racist and Inclusive
We commit to be anti-racist and inclusive, and to dismantle barriers related to (but not limited to) ethnicity, nationality, religion, age, gender identity, sexual orientation, ability, and socioeconomic status. We understand that perfection is not possible and we will make mistakes. We are dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
We actively build an environment of trust and transparency. We are clear about our values, and take responsibility for living them. We invite our community members to join in holding us accountable.

Who is in Leadership?

CST is governed by a Board of Directors chaired by Laura Roberts; and led by an Executive Director, Catherine Carr Kelly; Director of Education and Community Initiatives Kortney Adams; and (2) Co-Artistic Directors, Lee Mikeska Gardner, and this vacant position. They are supported by staff in marketing, development, and production, as well as teaching artists. For a full staff list, click here.

Catherine Carr Kelly (Executive Director), (she/her/hers) was managing director of Underground Railway Theater for eleven years and served as campaign manager for the Central Square Theater Capital Campaign, two years prior to becoming the CST executive director. Ms. Carr Kelly also served as the building construction project manager for the new theater. As the founding managing director of the Women on Top Theater Festival of New Works, running from 2000 to 2007, she oversaw the creation of scores of world premieres and seven commissioned plays. She is a founding director of the award-winning I Was There Project, an interdisciplinary, arts-based, oral history residency for elementary schools created in partnership with the John Nicholas Brown Center for Public Humanities at Brown University. Ms. Carr Kelly has served on the board of the Central Square Business Association and The Providence Children's Film Festival and was a co-director of the Central Square Cultural District Committee. Ms. Carr Kelly has consulted for theaters and statewide arts councils in public relations, small business management, and marketing. She speaks often on the power of collaboration for nonprofits at conferences, in public forums and for universities. Ms. Carr Kelly has stage managed, assistant directed, and produced original theater in Prague, Czech Republic.

Lee Mikeska Gardner (Co-Artistic Director), (she/ her/hers) continues her mission of creating access and opportunity for underserved and emerging artists. Previous projects include the web series of The Washington Post columnist Alexandra Petri's Inherit the Windbag at Mosaic Theater in Washington, DC, the Elliot Norton Award winning Cloud 9 (outstanding Direction and Production), Flat Earth's hybrid event 7 Rooms: The Masque of the Red Death, Amy Merrill's 10 minute short Shoe Leather Epidemiology for CST's virtual Women In Science Theater Festival, the world premiere of The Midvale High School Fiftieth Reunion (with Gordon Clapp), Saving Kitty (with Jennifer Coolidge), the epic Journey to the West, the musical Her Aching Heart, Grounded, and Arcadia. Favorite productions include Doug Wright's Watbanaland, the Helen Hayes nominated productions After Ashley, Life During Wartime, and Goodnight, Desdemona, Good Morning Juliet, at Woolly Mammoth, Oklahoma! with Wheatland Theater Co., the Washington Shakespeare Co. world premiere of Caesar and Dada; the world premiere of Julie Jensen's Across the Wide and Lonesome Prairie at The Kennedy Center; Angels in America, Parts 1 and 2 at Signature Theatre in WDC. Lee is an award-winning actor with a Helen Hayes award (Charter Theater's world premiere of A House in the Country) and an Elliot Norton award for her performance as the title role in Lauren Gunderson's Emilie: La Marquise du Châtelet Defends Her Life Tonight. Favorite roles include Marie Curie in The Half Life of Marie Curie, Olympe de Gouges in The Revolutionists, Terry in Sideman (Helen Hayes Nomination;) Florence Foster Jenkins in Souvenir at 1st Stage; Claire in The Two-Character Play at Spooky Action. Lee has earned an additional four Helen Hayes nominations for performance. As an educator, Lee has taught or served as a guest artist at Colleges and Universities across the nation including Emerson; University of Nevada, Las Vegas; University of Virginia, Charlottesville; University of Maryland, College Park; Middlebury College the Catholic University of America, George Mason University, American University, Montgomery College, George Washington University, and founded the Acting Classes at Woolly Mammoth and Washington Shakespeare Company. Lee has a B.F.A. in the Performing Arts from George Mason University and an M.F.A. in Acting from The Catholic University of America.

Kortney Adams (Director of Education and Community Initiatives) has been an actor, director, and teaching artist in Boston since 2002. Before becoming a theater artist, Kortney was a practicing environmental engineer, and holds BS and MS degrees from Washington University and MIT. In addition to performing on professional stages throughout New England, Kortney has also appeared in numerous films, television and radio spots, and educational videos. Kortney is the Managing Director of Theatre Espresso, which uses Theatre in Education to introduce young people to issues of social justice and the law; the former Artistic Director of Deana's Educational Theater Company, which uses theater to combat relationship violence among children and adults; former Associate Director of City Stage Co. of Boston, which provides free arts education programs and performances for low-income urban youth and families; and was most recently the Associate Director of Education for Wheelock Family Theatre, where she designed, implemented, and managed numerous in-school and out-of-school arts education programs aimed at including students of all ages and backgrounds.

Laura Roberts (Board President) Principal, Roberts Consulting Laura Roberts joined the CST board in 2009. Her professional work has 2 strands: teaching graduate students in museum studies and consulting with nonprofits (primarily arts organizations) on strategic planning and organizational development. Previously she was director of education at 3 history museums, then executive director at the New England Museum Association and Boston Center for Adult Education. She serves on the board of History Cambridge and formerly was president of the First Night Boston board and chair of the advisory board of the Tufts Art Gallery.

What will you do?

The next Co-Artistic Director will join the organization as it solidifies its new operating structure. The person in this role will co-lead the organization in implementing its new strategic plan, as well as expanding relationships with community stakeholders, playwrights, national partners, and the greater theater field.

The AD will work in highly collaborative, shared-leadership with the Executive Director, Co-Artistic Director, and Director of Education and Community Initiatives to co-lead the theater in programming, production, advancement, and governance.

Areas of Accountability

We know there are great candidates that may not have all of the qualifications listed below but possess intuitive knowledge or other fully transferable skills. If that's you, don't hesitate to apply and tell us about yourself.

The Co-Artistic Director will share the following areas of accountability:


  • Co-lead and manage the selection of the main stage production titles, in partnership with the Board and CST staff.
  • Co-lead areas of production in alignment with your professional expertise, including but not limited to:
    • Produce select productions, which includes hiring, managing and evaluating directors, designers, and stage managers; attending auditions and providing input on casting; approving designs together with directors; attending rehearsals and providing support to directors.
    • Participate in CST productions as an artist whenever appropriate (as a director, dramaturg, actor, playwright or designer).
  • Ensure that main stage and education programs mutually enrich and support each other

Programmatic Leadership
  • Seek opportunities to involve new constituencies with CST artistic and education programs.
  • In collaboration with staff and board, co-lead the design of rich auxiliary programming that enhances personal experiences with the theater, deepens understanding, makes connections between issues on stage and in community, and promotes inclusive participation.
  • Provide co-leadership in the Catalyst Collaborative@MIT program, while continuing to explore new synergistic possibilities and cultivating dialogue between art and science.
  • Create programs and projects that support the development and production of new work.

Professional Development, Advancement and Affiliation
  • Have current knowledge of the theater field, in areas relevant to CST's work (new plays, practices of other theaters, and models for using theater to build community, etc.).
  • Seek membership in strategically-selected local and national professional organizations.
  • Represent CST to the press and public as an organizational co-leader and spokesperson to strengthen the theater's presence locally, regionally and nationally.
  • Collaborate with staff in the design of communications strategies, and in the development of marketing and public relations materials.

  • Collaborate with staff in the design of long and short term development strategies.
  • Help nurture relationships with existing and potential donors.
  • Collaborate on major strategic fundraising projects (grant proposals, benefit events, major donor solicitations, etc.).

Board and Governance
  • Make strategic decisions for the organization in collaboration with the Executive Director, Co-Artistic Director, Director of Education and Community Initiatives and Board of Directors.
  • Assist in the development of the annual budget with the Executive Director and Board Finance Committee.
  • Sit on the CST Board and committees as designated in CST Bylaws (e.g. CST Executive Committee, CST Finance Committee).
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Executive Committee of the Board on strategic planning and developing board meeting agendas.
  • Help increase the size of the Board by seeking and interviewing prospective members.
  • Report to Board/Committee regularly with programmatic updates.

Who are we looking for?

The role is ideal for a theater artist (i.e. actor, director, playwright, designer, dramaturg) who is passionate about the arts and artmaking, and will demonstrate creative thinking, a strong practice of and enthusiasm for collaboration, and an ability to work with a diverse group of staff, artists, board members and stakeholders.

As a member of the leadership team, this person will envision the bold future of Central Square Theater. The ideal candidate will thrive working as part of a team to help foster a sense of belonging for a vibrant multiplicity of voices and serve as a catalyst for an equitable, creative, and engaged community in and around Central Square and greater Boston.

This individual will possess...
  • Existing strong relationships with artists who represent diverse perspectives throughout Boston and across the country.
  • An understanding of the creative process from page to stage for theater productions.
  • A demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain meaningful relationships with a variety of communities both within an institution and beyond.
  • ...

ALJP Consulting


Cambridge, MA