October 13, 2021

Chair of Design for Stage and Film Department

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU)

Jackie Sibblies Drury, Marys Seacole. Performance view. Lea Zawada, Reese Antoinette, Julie Benko, Ann-Kathryne Mills, & Keeley Miller. Director: Machel Ross. Photo: Ella Bromblin. 

Tisch School of the Arts at New York University (NYU) is accepting applications for the position of the Chair of the Department of Design for Stage and Film for spring 2022. The Department of Design for Stage & Film is looking for a forward-thinking, inspirational, and charismatic leader to continue, expand, and evolve its groundbreaking curriculum.

One of the premiere graduate design training programs in the United States, the Department of Design for Stage and Film has existed since the inception of the Tisch School of the Arts. We are a Master of Fine Arts degree program offering concentrations in Set, Costume, Lighting, and Production Design for Film. The department offers an outstanding faculty of working professionals, close proximity to every type of performing and media art imaginable, and endless opportunities to take full advantage of the cultural resources unique to New York City. The department serves a student population of 54, full time faculty of ten, an adjunct faculty of approximately 27 in the above four disciplines, and works directly with production staff in both live performance and in film. The Department engages with over 100 guest artists every year in various capacities expanding both the students' networks and exposure to the options available.

We teach our students to tell stories through meticulous research, the disciplined practice of craft, deep dramaturgical exploration of text, unimpeded creativity, and profound respect for the cultures and identities of the stories and characters we explore. Historically, the focus in all the Department's training is on establishing a rigorous personal design and dramaturgical process, one that will serve them in any area of design and collaboration, traditional or newly emerging, they pursue. We are looking for a dynamic and ambitious individual who believes deeply in the importance of design training, and can collaborate with faculty on devising a coherent and equitable artistic vision for the future.

The Chair’s primary duties, in consultation with the faculty, include, but are not limited to: guiding the essential pedagogy and curriculum in both live performance and film; overseeing the structure of mentoring and advisement of students; and leading the selection and recruitment of each year’s cohort, including financial aid award decisions. The Chair also supervises the departmental budget, in collaboration with the departmental administrator, as well as Tisch administration, the director of Theatrical Production and the Chair of the Grad Acting Dept. The Chair coordinates the hiring of full-time and adjunct faculty and oversees full-time faculty assignments both in class and in production advisement. The Chair is expected to teach within the department; take a leading role in fundraising and development activities; support and cultivate our thriving alumni community; and collaborate with peer programs and university offices, reporting to the Associate Dean of the Institute of Performing Arts and the Dean of the Tisch School of the Arts.

Other qualifications include the ability to articulate the program’s values; a proven commitment to inclusion, diversity, equity, belonging and accessibility in the composition of the student body, the faculty, the curriculum, and in the department’s public identity within Tisch, NYU, and the greater theater and film communities. The Chair should enthusiastically support NYU’s commitment to the academic success of all students, including students of color, students with disabilities, students with diverse socio-economic backgrounds, and students of diverse sexual orientations and gender expressions. The individual should have established relationships with forward-looking, working professionals in a variety of disciplines. The Chair will be expected to continue professional activity.

The Design Department’s primary production relationships have historically been with Grad Acting and the Department of Dance. Our relationship with Grad Acting, particularly, involves shared production and staff resources, and a full production season that serves both departments equally. Therefore, the Candidate must be committed to ensuring shared values and equity in the production experience for the graduate students in both Design and Acting. Additionally, dedicated new theatre spaces to be shared by both departments are being finished at 181 Mercer Street, a major new NYU initiative opening in the fall of 2022. We welcome applications from candidates with experience in planning for and initiating the use of these new facilities.

The Chair will be expected to continue to develop and strengthen the relationships with Grad Film, and departments that are part of the Institute of Emerging Media. We are in an extremely dynamic period of change within both live performance and film. Coming out of the pandemic, the boundaries between performance, film, games, television, and other emerging platforms are developing exponentially. We are committed to being a part of this expansion, and continuing to lead in all aspects of the field.

BA/BFA or MA/MFA or professional equivalent, prior teaching experience in a college or university, and 10 years or more professional design experience. Experience working within the administrative structure of an arts institution or training program is preferred. The preferred candidate will also possess a willingness to work in a collaborative spirit amongst a team of teachers with varied approaches.

Application requirements
Candidates should provide a CV, a one-page (500 word) personal statement, and a diversity statement, including a description of a situation involving equity, inclusion, and diversity in an academic or professional setting and your response to it. What did you learn from the experience? Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled. Visit the application portal for more information and to apply.

About NYU Tisch School of the Arts
The founding of the Tisch School of the Arts (Tisch) was heralded as a “daring adventure.” Tisch today is one of the world’s preeminent centers of arts education for artists, scholars and creative entrepreneurs in performance, cinematic and emerging media arts. Tisch has evolved into the largest private arts school in the country with both academic and reputational top rankings across sixteen departments, with several degree programs that were the first to be established in the nation. Drawing on the vast resources of New York City and the outstanding global network opportunities of NYU, the proximity of outstanding professional artists and scholars to one another, who define their work as a blend between “theory and practice,” makes Tisch a unique and renowned institution. Tisch undergraduate students study in a creative risk-taking environment that combines the professional training of a conservatory with the liberal arts education of a major research university. Graduate students work intensively as colleagues-in-training with faculty who are professional artists and scholars in small, highly focused and renowned departments. New York’s fertile cultural community yields countless opportunities for research, internships and lasting professional relationships. Tisch alumni are leaders and change agents who excel in a range of fields spanning the globe. These elements provide an extraordinary creative laboratory to nurture the next generation of artists and scholars who are engaged with the stories and critical issues of our world. Their collective force provides the leadership and innovation to shape the future.

Our current students, alumni and faculty have won virtually every major award in the arts around the globe, including the Pulitzer Prize. They are leading their fields, and bringing groundbreaking diversity as evidenced by numerous Guggenheim, Bessie, Tony, Grammy, Emmy, Golden Globe, Independent Film and Academy awards and nominations. We have the largest presence on and off Broadway, and in film, music, games and tech festivals around the world. Cutting-edge research in emerging media is at the top of the country. We leverage this breadth of excellence in collaborations across the School, and across the University, and with our wide national and international alumni network.

NYU is an Equal Opportunity Employer and is committed to a policy of equal treatment and opportunity in every aspect of its recruitment and hiring process without regard to age, alienage, caregiver status, childbirth, citizenship status, color, creed, disability, domestic violence victim status, ethnicity, familial status, gender and/or gender identity or expression, marital status, military status, national origin, parental status, partnership status, predisposing genetic characteristics, pregnancy, race, religion, reproductive health decision making, sex, sexual orientation, unemployment status, veteran status, or any other legally protected basis. Women, racial and ethnic minorities, persons of minority sexual orientation or gender identity, individuals with disabilities, and veterans are encouraged to apply for vacant positions at all levels.

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