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McKenzie Wilkes

Special Events Coordinator

Writers Theatre

Position: Special Events Coordinator

Location: Glencoe/Chicago, IL (hybrid)

Department: Advancement

Classification: Full-Time

Salary: $42,000- 45,000

About Writers Theatre

Writers Theatre (WT) is a nationally-recognized, award-winning theatre company located on the North Shore of Chicago with a pre-pandemic annual operating budget of $6.5 Million. Known for the consistent high quality and intimacy of its productions, WT is focused on the power of the written word and dedicated to the artists who bring that word to life. Having captivated audiences for years with its commitment to creating the most intimate theatrical experience possible, the theatre is now a major Chicagoland cultural destination with a national reputation for excellence, being called “America’s finest regional theater company” by The Wall Street Journal. Under the leadership of Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Interim Artistic Director Bobby Kennedy, the company is charting a path forward for its future.

Position Summary

The Special Events Coordinator will be responsible for managing all of the Advancement Events including the annual gala, donor benefit events, opening nights and other organizational events. The Coordinator will ensure that all special events support the mission and goals of Writers Theatre.

Annual Fundraising Gala (approximately 50% )

Writers Theatre’s WordPlay Gala is the largest fundraising event the theatre produces. Each spring close to 400 people attend the event and help raise over $500,000 through table sponsorships and auction packages. The Special Events Coordinator is the lead organizer of the Gala and works on all the elements of the event throughout the year.

Primary responsibilities include:

  • Coordinating the design of invitations and other print materials
  • Coordinating the emailing and/or mailing of Save the Dates and invitations
  • Building and adhering to budgets and timelines
  • Maintaining all vendor relationships, securing rentals and supplies
  • Working closely with event co-chairs to plan event and create guest list
  • Works with the Artistic Team to create the Gala performance

Advancement Events at Writers Theatre (approximately 30%)

Each season Writers Theatre hosts a variety of cultivation and stewardship events, including Opening Night celebrations, Behind the Scenes events for supporters and Board Meetings. The Special Events Coordinator helps plan and execute these events with the advancement team. Responsibilities include:

  • Creating email Save the Dates and mailed invitations copy
  • Working cross-departmentally on artist coordination, technical needs
  • Managing relationships with in-kind supporters and companies
  • Managing day of event logistics

Other Organization Event Support (approximately 20%)

Writers Theatre is eager to bring audiences and patrons back to the theatre and will plan a few events throughout the season to reintroduce the community to the space. The Special Events Coordinator will be a member of the team to assist with planning and execution. Responsibilities are similar to other Advancement events and other duties may apply.

Qualifications & Key Competencies

  • 2-3 years of event, stage management or producing experience, arts or nonprofit preferred.
  • Strong interest in and passion for live theatre.
  • Flexibility, creativity and poise under pressure. 
  • Superior organizational and time management skills. 
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills. 
  • Ability to correctly assess priorities and meet deadlines. 
  • Must be able to remain in a stationary position for periods of time while working at a computer, as well as move about inside the office and theatre buildings to access necessary materials and equipment.
  • Must be able to exchange accurate information both written and in-person with internal and external stakeholders.
  • Must be able to assess, identify, and make decisions about physical materials.

COVID Safety

WT requires proof of COVID-19 vaccination as a term of employment.

Commitment to Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion

WT is deeply committed to creating and sustaining an organizational culture that values equity, diversity and inclusion, as well as promoting a safe, supportive and collaborative work environment conducive to professional and personal growth. A successful candidate will share these values.

WT is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. Applicants from populations underrepresented in the theater field are strongly encouraged to apply. All qualified applications will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, familial status, sexual orientation, national origin, ability or veteran status.

Please find more information on our culture and specific policies at the following links:

Benefits include: medical, dental and disability insurance, vacation and other paid leave, a 403(b)-retirement plan (with employer match) and medical and dependent care cafeteria plans.

To Apply

Qualified and interested candidates should email a cover letter, resume and any salary requirements to No phone calls please. Want to help us improve our hiring process? Please include where you found this job posting when you email us your materials.

Contact Info:
Alexis Gilkes
Job Type: Permanent
Location: Glencoe, Chicago, IL (hybrid)