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Job Details

Philadelphia, PA


About ESPHS:

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site is a museum interpreting the legacy of American criminal justice reform from the site of the world’s first penitentiary. The facility pioneered the large-scale use of solitary confinement in the early 19th century and housed approximately 85,000 people during its 142 years of operation. The building itself was an architectural wonder: it had running water and central heat before the White House, and its revolutionary wagon-wheel design has been copied by more than 300 prisons around the globe. Although the prison now stands in ruin, its story remains relevant today.

Today, Eastern State Penitentiary attracts hundreds of thousands of guests from around the world each year to explore the site’s fascinating past and contemplate some of the most critical issues facing our nation. Its innovative public history program draws connections to contemporary justice reform through an approach that values multiple perspectives, amplifies marginalized voices, and respects a broad range of visitors’ interests and learning styles.

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) Nonprofit Corporation that operates the penitentiary, a National Historic Landmark, as an historic site and museum.

About Halloween Nights: 

Halloween Nights is the Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site's annual Halloween-themed fundraiser event providing safe, fun, high-quality entertainment that raises funds used to help fulfill the mission of ESPHS, Inc. All proceeds from the event are used to support the preservation and interpretation of this National Historic Landmark. 

Job Summary:

Halloween Nights Actor/Performers will play a pivotal role in creating an immersive and unforgettable experience for our guests during Halloween-themed events. They will be responsible for captivating audiences, delivering thrilling performances, and ensuring the overall success of our Halloween Nights. This role will direct and support an environment of diversity and inclusion where staff of varying backgrounds can thrive, and assist other employees in the performance of their job duties as described below:


Duties & Responsibilities:

  • Arrive at designated call time each night

  • Communicate according to the handbook if there is any change in schedule (lateness, calling out)

  • Assume various character roles with energy and creativity, embodying the spirit of Halloween Nights and captivating guests with engaging performances.

  • Maintain character consistency throughout each event.

  • Follow the given script and character sheets, and be open to feedback and changes from managers

  • Ensure the safety of guests and fellow actors

  • Foster a positive and collaborative environment among the Halloween Nights team, promoting teamwork and camaraderie.

  • Stay in character at all times while engaging with guests, maintaining a captivating and immersive atmosphere.

  • Stay until the end of each shift - no leaving early


Education/Certifications, Licenses, Credentials:

  • High school diploma or GED

Required Skills/Abilities:

  • High level of personal sensitivity related to others related to diverse teams of various identities including but not limited to: age, race, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, etc.

  • Uphold the organizations anti-discrimination and anti-harassment (sexual and otherwise) policies

  • Proven record of reliability

  • Ability to communicate effectively with the public

  • Must follow safety rules and regulations and show a sense of concern to those parameters

  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail.

  • Excellent time management skills with a proven ability to meet deadlines.

  • Able to provide exceptional customer service in a fast-paced environment  

  • Committed to team process and fostering a collaborative work environment 

  • Must be willing to work outdoors in all types of weather

  • Ability to thrive in operational roles on any given night

  • Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate them when appropriate.

  • Ability to function well in a high-paced and stressful environment.


Physical Requirements: 

  • Ability to stand for prolonged periods of time. 

  • Ability to walk all aspects of the 10 acre site each night for the duration of the show. 

  • Must be comfortable working in dark, loud and theatrical spaces. 

  • Ability to work in space where temperatures may vary to cold and hot  

  • Ability to climb, stoop, crawl and maneuver in tight spaces can be required depending on the department. 

  • Ability to Lift up to 25 pounds  

Commitment to Diversity:

We strongly believe in the power of diversity, equity, and inclusion. We recognize that a diverse workforce brings together unique perspectives, experiences, and talents, leading to increased creativity, innovation, and better decision-making. As such, we actively seek out and value job applicants from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientation, ages, or disability. Our commitment to DEI extends throughout our hiring process, ensuring equal opportunities and fair treatment for all candidates. We firmly believe that by fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace, we can create a stronger, more vibrant, and more successful organization.

Equal Opportunity Employer Statement: 

Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site, Inc. is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate on the basis of actual or perceived race, creed, color, religion, alienage or national origin, ancestry, citizenship status, age, disability or handicap, sex, marital status, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, arrest record or any other characteristic protected by applicable federal, state or local laws. Our management team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities and general treatment during employment.

ESPHS strongly believes in second chances and, as such, is committed to providing appropriate employment opportunities to those who have been incarcerated. As a condition of employment, all individuals who accept an employment offer must complete a criminal background check. Eastern State will review any criminal record and make appropriate employment decisions in accordance with applicable law and its policies.