Eagerly Seeking Three Contract-Based Guest Artists to Direct Workers’ Opera Video Series

DEADLINE  OCT 1, 9am Central
Call for Applications for the Workers’ Opera Guest Artist Position

Saint Louis, Missouri – Fall 2021, Contract-based

About Bread & Roses and the Workers’ Opera

Bread & Roses Missouri is a nonprofit organization that uses an arts lens to examine social and economic justice issues in all our programming. We believe that cultural and creative expression are a means to effect deep and lasting social change. Bread and Roses Missouri is a celebration of the arts in the lives of working people and their families. As the labor hymn for which the organization is named reminds us, “Hearts starve as well as bodies…give us bread and give us roses.”

One of our major programs is the Workers’ Opera. The Workers’ Opera is an annual play consisting of a series of collectively written vignettes. Through the program, workers across industries assemble become advocates for social change through community art. The ensemble meets with the Guest Artist to discuss racism and intensifying poverty in St. Louis and other social and economic justice issues that affect the workers directly: raising the minimum wage, anti-gerrymandering ballot initiatives, expanding Medicaid, and immigration reform. These conversations become the content of the Workers’ Opera performances.

For the first time in 2020, the Workers’ Opera shifted to video production as live performances were impossible due to the pandemic. Scripts have been developed which highlight the impact of Bread & Roses on ensemble members, present the history of labor rights in the US, and provide a satirical take on corporations and voting rights.


As the Workers’ Opera Guest Artist, you will:
Direct one of the following short-form performances for the Workers’ Opera

  • Video: Artist Statement (impact of Bread & Roses on ensemble members)
  • Video: Bread & Roses Strike (the historical event that is our namesake)
  • Audio: Capitalist Pig (satirical take on corporations and voting rights)
  • Consider the experiences of workers, who comprise both our ensemble and our audiences, and their families in all components of the performance
  • Design a collective creative vision for the performance
  • Plan and follow a production timeline for the performance
  • Lead discussions with the ensemble on issues important to them and their communities to better inform the creative process
  • Interpret the script and provide suggestions as necessary, in partnership with the scriptwriter(s)
  • Recruit and audition additional ensemble members if needed or available
  • Audition and cast ensemble members for roles that fit their talents and interests
  • Conduct rehearsals virtually or in-person
  • If recording video, willingness and ability to do so in-person
  • If recording audio, ability to do so in-person or virtually is flexible
  • Collaborate with the ensemble, Technical Producer and the Bread & Roses Executive Director on additional needs, such as costumes, props, sets, sound effects, or music
  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Technical Producer on technical concerns for video and audio streaming (quality, editing, format, length, etc.)
  • Maintain active communication with the ensemble and Executive Director on all components of the performance


While Bread & Roses Missouri will consider any applicant who can successfully fulfill the responsibilities above, the following would be beneficial for an applicant to showcase:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree from a 4-year college or university, with emphasis on stage production, video direction, or theatrical management experience, OR
  • At least 2 years of similar experience, OR
  • Significant involvement in theatrical productions over more than 2 years.
  • Experience directing productions intended for video or audio only.
  • Success working with community members and people without acting experience.

Given our mission, Bread & Roses expects all applicants to have a deep commitment to social justice, community engagement, and representing the stories of working families.

We are committed to increasing diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility in our work and our staff. Applicants who can speak to personal experience with these issues should emphasize this in their application. Reasonable accommodations will be made for applicants with disabilities.

Expected Time Commitment

The Guest Artist will, over the course of one month, cast and record one of the three A/V performances described above
The Guest Artist will need to be flexible in terms of meeting times, as our ensemble members have full time jobs outside of their Workers’ Opera commitments. This will include afternoons, evenings, and/or weekends


Bread & Roses is committed to making creative expression and participation in the performing arts accessible and affordable for all community members by removing financial and time barriers.
The Guest Artist will be paid $800
This is a contract position for which we are unable to offer benefits

Requirements for Application

DEADLINE: Applications are due Friday, October 1st at 9:00 AM.
Please email Elyse Mack, Executive Director at breadandroses.mo@gmail.com with the following materials as one PDF:
CV (no page number requirement)
Cover letter expressing your interest in the position (1-page)
Links to samples (videos or audio clips) of previous performances, if available