April 22, 2014

Victoria University of Wellington 

The Victoria University of Wellington Summer Shakespeare Trust is seeking a director for the 2015 Summer Shakespeare Production.  

Directors will be asked to choose from one of the following plays:
Henry VIII
Henry IV Part 1
Timon of Athens
Titus Andronicus
Troilus and Cressida
Love’s Labour’s Lost 

The production will take place at:
The Dell, Wellington Botanic Gardens from 13th February – 28th February 2015. 

Planning for the production will begin in June 2014, with rehearsals taking place over the summer period in Wellington.  

Please note – this a two part selection process with expressions of interest only, being sought at present. 

A short list will be determined from all expressions of interest received and shorlisted directors will then be invited to prepare a full pitch for an interview in late May 2014.  This full pitch will include: reasons for the selection of play; how they would approach working with a cast and crew drawn mainly from students and recent graduates; how they would work with the Dell and an alternative wet-weather venue; as well as a strong sense of their overall concept for the production.   Following these interviews, the director for the 2015 production will be appointed by mid June 2014.

This is a paid position with a high-level of responsibility.  Applicants not based in Wellington are responsible for travel and associated expenses. Prospective directors are expected to have some sense of the Summer Shakespeare ethos and background.

If you are interested, please email a cover letter indicating your play of choice and a CV to Sally Thorburn – sally@summershakespeare.co.nzby 5pm Friday 16th May 2014.


Position Title:  Director 
Salary:  To be negotiated
Starting date:  To be negotiated
Rehearsal dates:  Beginning of November 2014 – February 2015 (planning will begin mid 2014)
Season dates:  13th February – 28th February (Wellington) 


Summer Shakespeare in Wellington is a tradition that extends back more than two decades.  The first Summer Shakespeare was in 1983, when Adrian Kiernander’s memorable A Midsummer Night’s Dream took over the Victoria University quadrangle.  Since then, the annual Summer Shakespeare has become known for its energetic, large-cast productions and festive approach to the plays.  They have been performed a variety of locations to large and appreciative audiences, from theatres to rugby fields, Civic Square to the Dell in the Wellington Botanical Gardens.  Over the years, the Summer Shakespeare Trust has retained a commitment to celebrating Shakespeare in live performance, and to providing young people with the opportunity to experience Shakespeare, be it as audience, crew, or cast members. 

Purpose and Scope of Role 

The Director is the overall project manager for the VUW Summer Shakespeare 2015 production, and working in close liaison with the Producer, Production Manager, Stage Manager and Designers is responsible for overall quality of the production. Because of the youth-focus of Summer Shakespeare, the Director is expected to be responsible for the pastoral care of the cast and crew. 

Summer Shakespeare is a highly collaborative production requiring excellent communication and team work. 

Key responsibilities include

  • Choosing an appropriate Shakespearian play (and editing where necessary)
  • Conceiving a vision for an engaging production
  • Selecting and directing a group of volunteer actors and crew
  • Scheduling and managing rehearsals with the Stage Manager
  • Working in coordination with a team of production executives and designers
  • Providing a teaching/advising role for the cast/crew (as required)
  • Maintaining strong links with the administrative side of the production
  • Assist with drafting and working to a budget. 
  • Working as guardian of the time lines/critical paths of the key production executives. 
  • Choosing a venue – the Director should work with the Production Manager and the Trust Administrator to secure a suitable venue. 
  • Working with the Administrator/Schools’ Promotion Manager to produce a suitable schools’ package to be distributed to attending schools.
  • Public Relations – the Director has to meet his/her social-professional duties, such as the demands for speaking at schools, doing interviews etc if required.

The Director may also be required to chair the weekly production meeting and report fully on progress to date. If there should be any potential tasks or problems not identified in this job description, they should be raised at production meetings.  The solution decided on should be included in the Director’s report for the VUW Summer Shakespeare Trust for the purpose of recording this information for the future.

The Director reports to the Trust Administrator and will be required to present the aforementioned report to the VUW Summer Shakespeare Trust at the end of the production period.

Key Competencies 

  • Directing large-scale productions
  • Managing and motivating groups of volunteers
  • Theatre management and production
  • Theatre finance and administration
  • Creativity
  • A firm understanding of Shakespearean texts

Contact Information

For further information, please contact:
Sally Thorburn (Administrator, VUW Summer Shakespeare Trust)
027 432 8935

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