MCC Theater - Director of Public Engagement & Education

New York, NY
Full Time

MCC Theater seeks a dynamic and experienced Director of Public Engagement & Education to lead organizational initiatives that will ensure robust community and student engagement with MCC’s productions and programs. 

Founded in 1986 as MANHATTAN CLASS COMPANY, MCC began as a collective of young actors, writers, and directors determined to steer their own artistic development and redefine the NYC theater scene with the kind of stories they wanted to see on the stage. That work continues today in Hell’s Kitchen at THE ROBERT W. WILSON MCC THEATER SPACE, a creative hotbed where our ARTISTS, STAFF, and STUDENTS have the freedom to stir things up, all under one roof.


Who is MCC Theater?

MCC Theater is an award-winning off-Broadway theater company. Our mission is to provoke conversations that have never happened and otherwise never would. We are dedicated to producing work that pushes audiences, artists, and students alike to confront and consider preconceived notions about contemporary social issues. We fulfill our mission across four program areas: annual productions of new plays and musicals; artistic development; deep and enriching public engagement programs; and in-school and after-school educational programs that foster in high school students the desire to be heard and the courage to speak out.

With the opening of the $20 million state-of-the-art Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space on West 52nd Street in January 2019, MCC brought all programming and administrative operations under one roof for the first time in its history. The space features two state-of-the-art theaters, the Newman Mills Theater (245 seats) and the Susan & Ronald Frankel Theater (100+ seats, flexible configuration), two studios and ample public space. Notable recent productions include Space Dogs, The Wrong Man, BLKS, All the Natalie Portmans, School Girls; or The African Mean Girls Play, The Legend of Georgia McBride, Hand to God, Charm, Punk Rock, and many others over its 30+ years. 

Who is in leadership?

Bernie Telsey (he/him/his) is one of the Artistic Directors at MCC theater and co-founded the organization along with Bob LuPone as a collective of actors, writers, and directors eager to develop their craft in a highly collaborative manner shortly after graduating from New York University with a degree in Theater Administration and Acting. In 1986 the company, then called Manhattan Class Company, received its not-for-profit status and began producing the plays it was developing. During this time, Telsey began working at Simon & Kumin Casting as an assistant and then as a casting director at Risa Bramon & Billy Hopkins Casting. He opened his own award-winning casting office, The Telsey Office, in 1988. He has served on the Board of Directors of the Casting Society of America as Vice-President, and the Board of Governors of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences.

Will Cantler (he/him/his) is one of the Artistic Directors at MCC Theater. He studied at Washington & Lee University before a precipitous move to New York. He joined MCC Theater in 1984 and was instrumental in the company’s evolution into a non-profit producing organization in 1986 with MCC's first New York production, Beirut by Alan Bowne. He directed early productions for MCC including Bowne's Sharon and Billy starring Marisa Tomei, and Just Horrible by Nicholas Kazan. He joined Bernie Telsey and Bob LuPone as a Co-Artistic Director after a number of years as Associate AD. He is also an award-winning casting director and partner in The Telsey Office, focusing on plays. 

Blake West (he/him/his) has been Executive Director of MCC Theater since 2007, after serving for one year as Director of Development. During his tenure he has led the organization through a period of expansion that included a $45 million capital campaign and the building of MCC’s multi-theater complex, The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space, which opened in 2019. Prior to MCC he was Director of Planning and Projects at Manhattan Theatre Club during their expansion to Broadway. He was previously Account Executive at The Karpel Group, where he worked on marketing campaigns for numerous film, television and theater projects, including the original production of Hedwig and the Angry Inch, De La Guarda, The Laramie Project, and others. He started his career as a public relations writer and editor.

What will you do?

The Director of Public Engagement & Education will direct all community partnerships and engagement activities and MCC’s extensive education programming. In addition to leading strategy development and execution with the department, this position will ensure a consistent mission-driven focus on all engagement activities and education programs and galvanize collaborative participation of all departments toward this goal.

MCC’s home at The Robert W. Wilson MCC Theater Space gives MCC and the new Director of Public Engagement & Education an unprecedented opportunity to expand and enrich public engagement and education programming in a centralized location housing all of the theater’s activities and their participants. The Director of Public Engagement & Education is a member of MCC’s senior leadership team, reports directly to the Executive Director, and works closely with MCC’s two Artistic Directors. Direct reports include the full time Manager of Education Programs, as well as a full time Education & Public Engagement Assistant and a team of eight teaching artists. The Director also coordinates the external relationships with New York City public schools and a number of cultural institutions, social service organizations, and community partners.


Areas of Accountability 


  • Safeguard and execute vision and goals for MCC’s robust education and public engagement programming, coming out of a virtual, hybrid, and return to in-person programming process.
  • Collaborate with artistic and executive directors to set annual goals and facilitate achievement of those goals.
  • Lead, supervise and contribute to the professional development of two full time staff members - Manager of Education Programs and Education & Public Engagement Assistant, and teaching artist/talkback team of approximately ten people.
  • Oversee all departmental budgets; from development of seasonal budget in collaboration with Director of Finance and General Manager to execution.
  • Collaborate with the development department to steward program-specific donor relationships, including the collaborative creation of proposals for institutional funders.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with the Board of Directors and the Education Committee and make meeting presentations as needed.
  • Be a contributing member of the senior leadership team helping to set and implement strategic plans and maintain a collegial and constructive work environment.
  • Engage in internal and external conversations about anti-racism and anti-oppression work, serve on the EDI committee and co-lead some related activities.
  • Actively participate as meaningful contributor to our ongoing work in creating and nurturing a culture of belonging rooted in equity, diversity and inclusion and apply EDI principles to their scope of work.


  • Oversee team of teaching artists across all programs; hire and onboard new teaching artists; foster a community/team spirit.
  • Produce all culminating Youth Company productions, including UNCENSORED in the spring and FreshPlay in the summer (including hiring the creative teams and artists, booking space, creating and overseeing the calendars, and communicating with all parties).
  • Provide and execute group show-going opportunities for Youth Company
  • Oversee the Student Matinee program – setting the calendar, recruiting school partners and student audiences, creating study guides, conducting post-show conversations and coordinating appropriate classroom visits.
  • Create, oversee, and co-facilitate MCC’s Ambassador leadership programming including planning, scheduling sessions and field trips/outings.

Community Partnerships & Audience Cultivation

  • Facilitate and maintain productive relationships with community organizations and peer theaters to share resources, engage in dialogue, support the cultivation of new audiences, and create sustainable partnerships.
  • Collaborate with Marketing, Audience Services and Artistic departments on the development and execution of audience cultivation events, engaging with populations across the city to come to MCC for the first time and to keep returning.
  • Facilitate a weekly interdepartmental Public Engagement meeting. 
  • Maintain relationships with Youth Company alumni for a robust network and maximize opportunities for them to develop artistic work with support from MCC.

Let’s Talk Series

  • Supervise and expand MCC’s TalkBack program (which includes TalkBacks with artists, Audience Conversations, expert panels) in collaboration with the artistic department and aligned with institutional and audience development goals.
  • Conceive and implement programming for panels and forum conversations to take place with various communities in connection to mainstage work/themes and current events.
  • Facilitate and seek out/train facilitators for all TalkBack programming. 

Who are we looking for?

The ideal candidate will be a confident, strategic, and creative thinker with general experience in theater education, public engagement and producing. This should include at least 2 years of experience managing direct-reports, and/or teaching artists and consultants, and experience with application and administrative processes in large urban school systems. This individual will bring an understanding of not-for-profit structure, an ability to build internal and external stakeholder relationships to support and advocate for education and public engagement initiatives, and possess strong leadership skills and capability. Excellent communication skills are required, as well as strong organizational skills and ability to multitask effectively.

The new Director of Public Engagement and Education will bring the ambition and proven track-record to develop and execute public engagement and education programming, while always strengthening the connection between a diverse constituency of students, educators, audiences, and the MCC Theater mission. This role requires a collaborative relationship-builder, a consummate advocate for youth development, an ability to sustain and eventually grow our vision for equitable access to the arts for all the communities we serve, and a commitment to MCC’s Core Values.

How much are we paying and what are the perks?

COMPENSATION: This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary is commensurate with experience ranging $80,000-$90,000/yr 

BENEFITS: Medical, dental and vision benefits, opt-in 403(b), generous paid time off, and other benefits. 

WORK ENVIRONMENT: This is an in-person position. Work-from-home hours are available. The facilities at MCC Theater are fully accessible and ADA compliant with self-opening entrance doors, elevators, ramps, and ADA-compliant restrooms on both floors. Proof of vaccination and boosting against COVID-19 required.

Start Date

March 2023


How do I apply?

Visit to submit your application. Application deadline is February 28, 2023.

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

MCC is an Equal Opportunity Employer, committed to a diverse and inclusive work environment. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, national origin, disability, or veteran status. Women, minorities, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply.





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