Museum Theater Specialist

Position Summary

The Museum Theater Specialist possesses unique experience in various aspects of theater productions including the creation of engaging performances. Using immersive theater techniques to create engaging, hands-on learning opportunities for museum guests of all ages. The Museum Theater Specialist, alongside Public History Performers (PHPs), will participate in semi-scripted performances, semi-improvised interactive “shows” that incorporate hands-on 17th-century daily life activities, storytelling, and scripted encounters. The “show” is performed in a large outdoor “set” - a reproduction of 1620s Plymouth Colony - and is based on extensive historical research. The Museum Theater Specialist and PHPs portray actual residents of Plymouth Colony, and will be trained in all necessary historical background information.

This person understands the power of immersive storytelling as an educational tool and is excited by the opportunity to bring historical empathy to complex realities. The Museum Theater Specialist will work closely with others to write scripts and produce performances, lead training and rehearsals for Public History Performers, and envision other theatrical performances outside of the English Village.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

  • Engage guests in conversations about the history of the 17th-century Atlantic world by meeting guests where they are, and thoughtfully guiding their learning.

  • Create a hands-on learning environment by involving guests in demonstrations, activities and programs.

  • Serve as director of the museum theater experience by leading rehearsals and providing performance feedback as necessary.

  • Perform daily in a timed, semi-scripted, semi-improvised immersive experience.

  • Collaborate with other Public History Performers as part of an ensemble cast.

  • Assign tasks as necessary.

  • Portray a resident of 1620s Plymouth Colony, including wearing historical reproduction clothing, speaking in an Early Modern English dialect, and demonstrating 17th-century English lifeways.

  • Work closely with the Director of Colonial Interpretation & Training, Chief Historian, and others to create historically accurate scripts

  • Create and facilitate Public History Performer trainings and rehearsals in partnership with the Director of Colonial Interpretation & Training and English Village management team

  • Collaborate on the development of, and participate in, additional performances/shows including but not limited to one-person shows, dining experiences, and online performances for schools and other groups.

  • Memorize lines and blocking, and learn relevant historical information in a timely manner.

  • Run non-scripted, timed programs demonstrating 17th-century lifeways.

  • Provide a friendly and welcoming presence for all guests and coworkers.

  • Attend and facilitate rehearsals, training sessions, and meetings as requested.

  • Take and implement notes given by the English Village management team.

  • Properly use and care for all museum owned materials including but not limited to historical reproductions, historical clothing, training materials, voice amplification devices, and tools.

  • Assist in daily maintenance of the sites including basic gardening, woodworking, and cleaning.

  • Assist in the hiring process through applicant review and interviewing

  • Adhere to the policies of Plimoth Patuxet Museums as outlined in the Museum Employee manual and current job description.

This description is not intended to be a complete list of all responsibilities, duties, skills, requirements or working conditions associated with the job. While this is intended to be an accurate reflection of key responsibilities of the job as it is at present, management reserves the right to revise the job or to require that other or different tasks be performed as assigned. This job description may be reviewed by management at any time either to ensure that it relates to the job currently being performed, or to incorporate changes. Management reserves the right to change a job description; and if/when doing so will discuss with the employee so that any changes are understood by the employee.

Required Skills

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

  • Flexible, resilient, growth mindset

  • Have an understanding of immersive theater, improvisation, and the theatrical process as a whole.

  • Ability to read and understand a variety of historical and educational sources.

  • An interest in history and learning and performing 17th-century lifeways, music and dances.

  • An engaging and creative personality with the ability to communicate clearly and engagingly with guests and colleagues.

  • Fluency in English & ability to pick up on/learn dialects.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate skillfully with a wide range of people from different cultural and social backgrounds and diverse learning styles.

  • Ability to deliver an engaging, consistent performance multiple times a day

  • Ability to perform in an outdoor environment, in all weather

  • Great at problem-solving in the moment

  • Have a positive attitude and sense of humor

  • Reliability, dependability and punctuality

  • Courtesy and honesty

  • Ability to work independently, without direct supervision as well as part of a team

  • Skilled at using Google Suite, Zoom and other computer applications

Education and Experience

  • A high school diploma or equivalent is required; college courses or degrees in Education, History, Public History, Indigenous Studies, or theater are strongly preferred.

  • Some college or professional level training in acting or performance is preferred.

  • Experience with improv, immersive theater, and devised theater is helpful but not required

  • Experience playing an instrument, singing, and dancing is helpful

  • Experience in theater education and passion for history preferred

  • Interest and at least two years experience working with the public is essential, experience working with children in a professional educational setting is strongly preferred

Additional Requirements

The Museum is open 7 days a week March 23, 2024 through December 1, 2024. You must be available to work either Saturdays or Sundays and some holidays, including Thanksgiving Day. Thanksgiving Day is an “All-Hands On” day. Typical hours are 9:00am - 5:00pm, five days a week. Some flexibility in work hours and days off is required. Depending on the season, this position may include working additional night/weekend hours or days as needed. Schedules may change based on weather forecast, and/or low attendance for any given day.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of the job. Duties may include:

  • Working sitting, standing, bent over or kneeling;

  • May involve some lifting and moving of objects;

  • Standing for extended periods;

  • Climbing stairs, ladders, companionways, and/or gangways.

  • Must be able to lift 25 pounds.

  • PHPs wear historically accurate linen and wool costumes while working outdoors in a non-climate controlled environment.

Work Environment

The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job.

  • The workplace is not climate controlled.

  • This position requires outdoor work in a variety of conditions.

  • When outdoors, it can sometimes be in adverse weather conditions.

  • Work may be performed in dusty and smoky environments; in poorly lit areas; near open fires.

  • The noise level in the workplace varies from quiet to loud.

Core Commitments

Whether part-time or full-time, year-round or seasonal, all staff and volunteers at Plimoth Patuxet advance the Museum’s educational mission and strategic goals. They uphold the Museum’s core values and principles in their work and in all of their interactions with the public and with coworkers. This commitment helps to ensure that Plimoth Patuxet's reputation for excellence is maintained and that, as stewards of the Museum, we are helping to create a relevant and sustainable future for Plimoth Patuxet Museums. The core principles that guide us in our work are:

  • Safety and Comfort

  • Compassionate Customer Engagement

  • Professional Excellence

  • Personal Accountability

  • Advance a Culture of Philanthropy

  • Teamwork

Interested candidates are encouraged to apply by submitting a PDF file of your resume, and cover letter to apply@plimoth.org, or by submitting them by US mail to the following address:

Plimoth Patuxet Museums
Attn: Human Resources
137 Warren Avenue
Plymouth, MA 02360