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Part-time ,
submitted by
Katie Yohe

Teaching Artist

Position Summary:

A.B.L.E. - Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations is seeking Teaching Artists to join our programming team. Teaching Artists work with A.B.L.E.’s Ensembles and Outreach programs to develop and deliver performing arts programming for and with individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities, and direct accessible and inventive public performances. New team members would start work with A.B.L.E. in July 2024

A.B.L.E. was founded on the belief that everyone is A.B.L.E. to connect, to contribute, and to create. Our work centers on fostering communication, teamwork, and inclusivity, not just among our program participants, but for all who work with us. We are proud to be an equal opportunity employer and encourage applicants from all races, religions, gender identities or expressions, sexual orientations, ages, and disability statuses. A.B.L.E. is committed to including diverse voices and perspectives across our organization.

What do Teaching Artists do?

Teaching Artists work in pairs to design and deliver 90-minute sessions geared towards participants with intellectual and developmental disabilities such as Down syndrome, autism, and cerebral palsy. The majority of A.B.L.E.’s actors are in their 20’s and 30’s, but we offer programming for ages 8 and up. Content varies by session, but might include improvisation, devising, Shakespeare, musical theater, and puppetry. Sessions take place both in person and online.

In rehearsal:

  • Oversee the setup and breakdown of studio space
  • Lead pre-and-post-session meetings with A.B.L.E.’s volunteer facilitators
  • Engage participants with a mix of learning and communication styles through a range of different activities and support strategies
  • Manage safety of the classroom and participants
  • Foster trust and cooperation among the entire group
  • Direct end-of-semester performances, including content, casting, staging, and design with support from programming staff

Outside Rehearsal:

  • Represent A.B.L.E. in communication with parents/caregivers, outreach partners, and audiences.
  • Create and/or source visual aids and other support materials and content to engage different learning styles
  • Craft scripts and design concepts for performances and projects
  • Maintain accurate records including attendance, rehearsal reports, materials, and show coordination consistent with A.B.L.E.’s policies. (Familiarity with Google Workspace is a plus).
  • Maintain effective communication with teaching partner and A.B.L.E. administration
  • Attend regular check-in meetings with programming staff, Teaching Artist rehearsals, and lesson planning sessions with TA partner meetings throughout the year (calendar varies by season)
  • Participate in at least one Professional Development session per semester

How do I know if I am a good fit?

You should be able to say “yes” to all or most of the following:

  • You are informed - you have experience and/or education teaching or directing theatre in a community setting. Experience with the disability community is a plus, but not required.
  • You are creative - you have experience in one or more artforms and can infuse your teaching with your personal artistic expertise; you generate new ideas and lend your artistic vision to shape projects and curriculum.
  • You are adaptable & responsive - you meet participants where they are in the moment, incorporate new ideas and contributions, and problem-solve on the fly.
  • You are prepared - you create clear lesson plans with built in scaffolding suitable for multiple learning styles and modes of expression, and utilize materials and tools to support your instruction.
  • You are reliable - you arrive on time, meet deadlines, and demonstrate organization and thoughtfulness both in and out of rehearsal.
  • You communicate clearly - you can deliver written and verbal instructions and support for participants, volunteers, and parents/caregivers; you can explain things in different ways as needed.
  • You are collaborative - you value the process of creating and sharing; you are excited to work with an ensemble and to be a supportive teaching partner.
  • You are reflective - you show willingness to grow and deepen your practice; you are willing to ask for help when you need it; you seek out and give supportive feedback.
  • You are open - you bring your authentic self to work; you have courage to take artistic risks; you nurture a positive, honest and safe environment for others to connect and create.

Other details


  • This is a part-time position. The schedule fluctuates throughout the season, averaging around 3-5 hours per week
  • At this time, A.B.L.E. is particularly seeking individuals with daytime and weekend availability.


  • A.B.L.E. is an itinerant company and works with a variety of rehearsal spaces, theatres, and partner organizations throughout the season. Frequent collaborators include The Menomonee Club Drucker Center in Lincoln Park, Gateway to Learning in Lincoln Square, Misericordia Home, and Chicago Shakespeare Theatre at Navy Pier.
  • A.B.L.E. also hosts virtual sessions online via Zoom.

Compensation & Benefits

  • $50/per hour for teaching time and $25/hr for administrative work including planning, preparation, meetings, and attending professional development sessions.
  • Teaching Artists are paid as employees
  • $650/year tech & travel stipend
  • $250/year professional development reimbursement to attend conferences, workshops, or other sessions that can expand your skill set.
  • $200/year “treat yourself” stipend.

Health & Safety

  • A.B.L.E. works in a variety of settings with participants who are immunocompromised. Program staff must be fully vaccinated for COVID-19. Masks are also strongly recommended while attending programs.
  • Program staff must undergo a criminal background check prior to employment

More about A.B.L.E.

A.B.L.E. – Artists Breaking Limits & Expectations is a Chicago based non-profit that creates theatre and film projects for, with, and by individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Through our core ensemble program, specialized workshops, and outreach efforts, A.B.L.E. creates platforms for individuals with disabilities to share who they are and all that they are A.B.L.E. to do. Whether in person or online, all programs strive to foster independence, deepen social skills, and celebrate creativity. By promoting practices that place participants with disabilities in the spotlight, A.B.L.E. strives to shift societal preconceptions about disability, and build more inclusive, empathetic communities.

You can see some of our past shows, read about our rehearsal process, meet our current team, and learn more about all of our programs online at

Ready to apply?

  • Fill out the application and requested materials online at by 5pm on Wednesday June 12th. Late submissions will not be considered.
  • If you need support or accommodations to complete your application, please contact us at
  • We will respond to all applicants by Monday January 17th. Select applicants will be invited to attend an in-person paid audition with A.B.L.E. staff and actors at The Menomonee Club Drucker Center (1535 N. Dayton St.) Interested applicants must be available for at least one of these sessions:
    • Sunday June 23rd at 10:30am-12:30pm OR 1pm-3pm
    • Thursday June 27th 5:30pm-7:30pm
Contact Info:
Katie Yohe
Job Type: Permanent
Compensation: $50/per hour for teaching time and $25/hr for administrative work including planning, preparation, meetings, and attending professional development sessions.
Location: Chicago, IL