To TOPLAB Friends, Colleagues, Associates:

The Brecht Forum is looking for a new Executive Director. The current Director, Liz Mestres (who was one of the original founders back in 1975), is stepping down after serving in the position for eighteen
years. Liz–and the Brecht Forum generally–has been wonderfully supportive of the Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory, and without her collaboration and the collaboration of the Brecht Forum we would never have made it to the place we are at now. TOPLAB was founded at the Brecht Forum in 1990, and we continue today, being the oldest group in the United States offering facilitation training in the techniques and methodology of the Theater of the Oppressed. Since our founding we
have had an intimate and ongoing collaboration with Augusto Boal, until his death in 2009. In the last twenty-two years TOPLAB has presented thousands of hours of workshops in New York City, all over the United States and in numerous countries of the world. Because of the Brecht Forum and our association with it our project has thrived, our work has continued, and the ideas, aesthetics and politics of the Theater of the Oppressed has become much more well known among political activists, cultural workers and community, labor, social justice and solidarity organizers.
If you think you might be right for the job please consider applying. And please do pass this message on to others. All the details are below, along with a personal note from Max Uhlenbeck, the Brecht Forum's Development Director.
We congratulate the Brecht Forum for its longevity and important role in left education, pedagogy and politics and are confident that the organization will grow and continue to flourish.

In Solidarity – The Theater of the Oppressed Laboratory (TOPLAB)


The Brecht Forum is intensifying its search for a new Executive Director (we are hoping to hire this person by the end of the year). This person would be joining myself, Max Uhlenbeck, and Kazembe
Balagun here as the three of us transition into a collective structure over the next two years and move from a traditional executive director to a co-directorship structure. Needless to say this is both an exciting and an incredibly important time for us here at the Brecht and we would love your help in forwarding this announcement out and letting us know if you can think of any candidates who might be a good fit!
Feel free to ask me any additional questions regarding salary or anything else related to the job, I will be happy to answer as best I can. I can be reached at or (212) 242-4201 ext 12.
Thank you!
Max Uhlenbeck

The Brecht Forum is seeking an Executive Director

The Brecht Forum (The New York Marxist School) is seeking applications for the position of Executive Director. The Brecht Forum is a 37-year old political education and cultural center encompassing the New York Marxist School, the Institute for Popular Education and Arts at the Brecht.  For further information, go to
Our current Executive Director, Liz Mestres, is retiring after being at the helm for 18 years. During this time the Brecht Forum has seen tremendous growth and has become a nerve center for Marxist educators, activists and cultural producers. The Brecht Forum/New York Marxist School is a very special space that serves the peoples’ movements and operates with a small staff, and many volunteers from our communities, including an active Board, teachers, working committees and interns.
The search for a new executive director is an important transition for the one of the pre-eminent left spaces in the United States. As part of the Brecht’s long-term vision, we envision the new Executive
Director working towards a more formal collective leadership structure over a two-year period.


1) Primary responsibility will be to work with the Board of Directors, as well as the entire School community, to implement the financial, organizational and programmatic goals set by the Board.
2) Provide leadership in development and implementation of program, organizational and financial plans in coordination with staff and Board of Directors.
3) Organize and supervise the staff in all areas of work and assure staff training and development. Coordinate recruitment of staff and volunteers.
4) Responsible for developing a collective process within the staff with mutual trust and support as well as individual accountability; and transitioning the Brecht to a collective team leadership.
5) Facilitate productive communication and working relations between the Board, staff and external constituencies.
6) Assume overall leadership and responsibility for oversight of finances, accounting controls and fundraising, working closely with the accountant and fundraising staff to ensure the Brecht’s financial development.
7) Maintain official documents and records and ensure compliance with local, state and federal regulations.

Minimum Qualifications:

1) The candidate for the Executive Director position must have overall agreement with the mission of the Brecht Forum along with a commitment to Marxist education and community outreach.
At least three years of organizational experience in the following areas:
1) Leadership experience in broad-based non-sectarian movement-building and in movement activism.
2) Leadership experience in building collective leadership in movement organizations.
3) Experience in institutional fundraising, donor cultivation, grant funding, and non-institutional revenue sources.
4) Excellent oral and written communication skills.

5) Mentoring experience with staff members, interns and volunteers.

Women and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply.
Remuneration is consistent with movement sector pay scales. Generous vacation, sick days and employer paid health care benefits are included.

Application Requirements:

1)    Resume
2)    Three references
3)    Cover letter including your thoughts about how you think you can help move the Brecht into the future

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Fall appointment anticipated.

Please email
the your resume, references and cover letter to Joan Gibbs (Co-Chair of the Brecht Forum Board of Directors) at  and to