Steppenwolf Theatre Reviews | Glassdoor

Steppenwolf Theatre Reviews

Updated July 26, 2017
16 reviews

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16 Employee Reviews

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  1. "great people!"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Recommends

    Pros

    great staff & company culture, collaborative and open, benefits, they prioritize their people, discounts at front bar!

    Cons

    as with all arts organizations, there's a degree of dysfunction to be embraced - but that's what makes it fun.


  2. Helpful (1)

    "Review of Steppenwolf"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Steppenwolf Theatre full-time

    Pros

    -Highest quality of work produced
    -Free tickets to shows
    -Excellent health coverage
    -Easy work/life balance

    Cons

    -Communication is fragmented and information is not well disseminated
    -Employees are NOT paid for their time. The salaries are embarrassing for a theatre of such high esteem. The culture from leadership seems to suggest a "suffer for your art" mentality, as if the quality of the work we produce and the pride we feel should compensate for the lack of actual compensation.
    -Not a lot of opportunity for advancement

    Advice to Management

    Be more communicative with your staff and pay people for their time. You will have a much lower turnover rate and happier employees if people feel respected and taken care of.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Development Manager"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Steppenwolf Theatre full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Steppenwolf has a fantastic mission and an stellar reputation for the theater they produce. We have a nice new office space. Really great staff. Very good insurance.

    Cons

    It is very hard to make the salary work in the city of Chicago, which leads to a fair amount of turn-over and puts a lot of stress and extra work on the employees who stay. I wish the company would invest in their top mid-level management.

    Advice to Management

    Steppenwolf is a place that many of us would like to make our professional home. We cannot commit to the future without your commitment in us. The company is an amazing one, but if you really invested in the staff, the institution would be unstoppable.


  4. Helpful (2)

    "Working at the 'Wolf"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee

    Pros

    Highest possible artistic quality. A true sense of mission. You really feel like you're part of something special, both within the Chicago theater community and in the city more broadly. When I was there the junior staff also had a nice camaraderie - likely the result of numerous opening night parties and staff events throughout the year. (holiday party, gala, summer picnic, etc).

    Cons

    Salary. A company of this size ($15M annual budget) can afford to pay its junior staff more than $27,000 a year. I was paid $730 every two weeks, which means that, even if you get a cheap apartment, you're spending at least half your monthly income on rent/bills, and trying to survive on less than $200/week for everything else. Not easy. Many junior staffers had other jobs.

    Politics. It's a very tricky place to navigate, especially when it comes to department heads. The company is extremely top-heavy, so there are layers and layers of approvals, red tape, and landmines.

    Upward mobility. It's nearly impossible to move from junior to senior staff (read: to ever make more than 27K/year, if that's where you started). Even though Steppenwolf makes every staffer feel like they're part of something important, and cultivates extreme pride in the company, they rarely reward that devotion with a change in job title, or even a small raise.

    Advice to Management

    Invest in your junior staff! That's where the passion in. Whenever you can, promote from within the company. And PAY PEOPLE MORE for crying out loud.


  5. "Apprentice"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends

    I worked at Steppenwolf Theatre part-time (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Training, hands on work, free food

    Cons

    Low pay, high stakes environment


  6. "Decent enough job, terrible atmosphere and structure"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend

    I worked at Steppenwolf Theatre full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Guaranteed 40 hour work week for salaried position.
    Paid time off
    Free tickets to shows

    Cons

    Company tries to make you believe they care, but it just a corporate giant.
    Almost all supervisors are just looking to keep their job and not stick their neck out for their employees.


  7. "Scenic Carpentry"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    I was a good opportunity, it was great to work inside of that context and get an understanding of what working in a large theatre is like.

    Cons

    Rough commute, the scene shop was in a remote part of town and I didn't have a car. Some of the carpenters were hard on me, but I was a kid so what do you expect.

    Advice to Management

    I don't really have any advice per se, maybe integrate the interns into the work better, sometimes I would just do busy work for hours on end. But that's just the nature of the place, not their fault.

  8. "Home away from home"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Chicago, IL
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Steppenwolf Theatre part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Steppenwolf gave me my first job our of undergraduate school, and I couldn't have felt more at home in a creative environment even on their Front of House Staff. I was treated with respect and given great consideration as part of the team. Everyone is so kind and great to work with!

    Cons

    No downsides that I experienced! I left the job because I was starting grad school to move up in my career, my manager understood and supported my decision.

    Advice to Management

    Keep doing what you're doing, because its working! Proud to say I was part of the organization.


  9. "Great experience, low pay"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Development Associate
    Former Employee - Development Associate
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook

    I worked at Steppenwolf Theatre full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    The company has a great reputation in the industry. Their culture is focused on collaboration and transparency, and there is a lot that can be learned if you make an effort to do so. Their benefits are above and beyond what a lot of other nonprofit theaters offer.

    Cons

    Salaries are low compared to the level of expertise and amount of work hours expected. Career advancement is not a particularly strong focus at any level of the company.


  10. "Not So bad"

    StarStarStarStarStar
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee

    I have been working at Steppenwolf Theatre part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible for artists, great networking opportunities, free tix to shows, industry ticket discounts

    Cons

    Part time workers are very separate from artistic endeavors, & MUST stay under 30 hours/week. Also, not very diverse


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