Associate Director

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  • Chicago
  • Hours Full-Time
  • Start Date Flexible

Position Overview: 

The Resident Stage Associate Director is responsible for working with the director as “showrunners” for the creation of a fully original Mainstage sketch and improv revue.


The successful candidate is able to: 

  • Support the director as a fellow creative and leader--providing a sounding board and contributing creatively to the overall vision of the show.
  • Lead an ensemble in creative ideation.
  • Efficiently run rehearsals.
  • Give clear, concise, and empathetic notes/feedback.
  • Collaborate with the director and musical director to create a cohesive theatrical experience.
  • Coordinate between various members of the creative team.
  • Utilize this opportunity to learn the specialized skills of directing a Second City original sketch review.

Accountabilities and Responsibilities Include (but not limited to)

  • Working with the director to create the overall vision of the show.
  • Leading segments of rehearsal or entire rehearsals as needed.
  • Facilitating ideation sessions and content generation exercises with the ensemble as assigned by the Director.
  • Diplomatically noting actors on assigned content and communicating progress to the Director.
  • Workshopping assigned content with members of the ensemble.
  • Taking “ownership” of specific aspects of the production and collaborating with the Musical Director, Stage Manager, Ensemble, and Director to bring those aspects to life.
  • Working privately with the director--providing artistic opinions, suggestions, and advice on scenes, themes, and other elements of the production.
  • Attending all rehearsals and participating in meetings as-needed.
  • Taking clear rehearsal notes (including creative assignments, blocking, and choreography) and sending those notes to the ensemble.
  • Compiling and editing the final show script.
  • Helping to determine call times and create rehearsal agendas.
  • Providing other creative and administrative support as-needed.

Ideal Skills:

  • Traditional Theater Directing - including script interpretation, blocking, actor guidance through a creative process, and collaboration with a design team.
  • Original Content Generation Experience - this may be sketch comedy experience but could also be in other forms including new works, devised works, and script writing/editing for stage or screen.
  • Comfortability leading a room of opinionated creatives and helping them to find consensus/compromise. 
  • Familiarity with theatrical genres, styles, and devices.
  • Basic understanding of the elements and philosophies of improvisation.
  • Experience working with a theatrical design team (specifically lights and sound).
  • An appreciation for comedy as an art form and a grasp of comic structures, jokes, and timing - this could be from sketch comedy but could also be from stand up, film, or comic plays.
  • An understanding of the role that sound and music can play in facilitating storytelling and comedy.
  • Additional knowledge that could contribute to the overall content variety and theatrical experience of a sketch revue (Example: stage combat, choreography, music)
  • Effective time management--especially when directing or running a room.
  • Solid communication and organization skills that would allow you to take the lead on cast communications, script archiving, etc.

Job Requirements

The ideal candidate will have a minimum of 5 years of general theater or comedy experience, 3 years directing experience, and a strong creative point of view. He/She/They should have a desire to direct Theatrical Productions for The Second City in the future. Excellent communication and leadership skills are required for this position.


We are an open, inclusive workplace and welcome applicants who bring along with them diverse life experiences, including every permutation of economic and cultural backgrounds, orientation, ethnicity and points of view. We strive to continue our efforts to work with people who may otherwise be marginalized or underrepresented in our business and around our community.

All candidates for this role will be asked to authorize a background check and must be 21 and older.

The Second City is an e-verify employer. E-Verify is a web-based system that allows enrolled employers to confirm the eligibility of their employees to work in the United States. E-Verify employers verify the identity and employment eligibility of newly hired employees by electronically matching information provided by employees on the Form I-9, Employment Eligibility Verification, against records available to the Social Security Administration (SSA) and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). Your employment is contingent upon employment authorization from e-verify.