Board Meeting Minutes – 8/27/2011

SMCT Board Meeting

August 27, 2011 – Eddy
Building

Present:
Bob Hollis, Jayne Lear, Laura Giorgianni, Chris Brostrup-Jensen, Kaila Rubin,  Artie Robillard, Liz & Eric Dubois, Zach Farnum, Laurie Murphy, Dennis & Mary Jo Chretien, Carol Mauro, Janice Dionne, Carol Goulet, Andy Affleck, Audrey, Emily & Evelyn Dubois, Jake Farnum, Ruth, Sarah, Alice & Hazel Lear, Emily & Michelle Chretien.

Minutes of the June 2011 meeting are on-line at www.swampmeadow.org & were sent via email.

SMCT, Inc has a new Box Office phone number.   1-888-493-7110.      Dennis C. gave an over view of how the system works, as there will be some lines designated to specific people/functions & some that will change with each show.  Directors should get in touch with  Dennis for help to set up the  message for their show.    For example, during Mr. Toad, Michelle read a message as his Housekeeper.  Messages are forwarded via email to the assigned individual associated with the specific line.  May be able to use it to leave internal messages, such as ‘Rehearsals are cancelled’.
The system was explored & somewhat demonstrated during the meeting.    Chris will script a message for a cast member of Romeo & Juliet to read for the phone line.

The SMCT  Internet  calendar is available on-line & can be linked to your own browser.  May be possible to also use this to notify of rehearsal cancelations, etc.  About half the board currently has the
ability to edit the calendar.  Zach & Jayne will be the primary data contact points to get info. entered.  Eric will send an email explaining how to sign up & update it, etc.   May need someone designated from each production to take this on.

Emails are currently going to Chris when anyone sends to email hidden; JavaScript is required.  We should ask for permission before adding  anyone to our database/email lists.

Financial – Laura G.

Ann V. sent Carol info about T-bonds, but they require a 5 year lock-in & only start getting interest after one year.   We are not currently at a point where we feel this would be good for us.  The bank  also offered a very low rate with a lock-in which we are not currently ready to do.

United Way -Chris

Not really interested in adding us to their list.  Anyone can fill out their pay roll deduction card & list us, because we are a 501c3, but they would also take a cut.

SMCT Store – Carol M.

Linda Resnick is interested.  Still not linked to any inventory.  Payments through PayPal to SMCT.  Can’t hook directly to another proprietor (such as Mary Jo).    Separate Meeting needed to look into options, figure out a budget for inventory & move this along.   Should include;  Mary Jo, Linda R., Laura G., Bob H., Liz D.

Seasonal Playbill – Did get 8 annual adv’s, but we are pushing the date  up to try & get it going again for Jan.  2012.  Need to target people who usually adv anyway.  Janice D. will help get a letter written to be mailed out.  Stacey Swift, Marilyn Wilbur, Gary Picard are all interested & this group should have a meeting soon to start the process.

Discussed making a donation from SMCT to the Coventry Senior Center.   Reviewed roughly where we stood after Mr. Toad, but not all bills are paid yet, so it isn’t exact.  Motion made & seconded to donate $250 to the Senior Center.

Youth Group made approx. $107 in concessions from their Rapunzel -like production.  Goes back into their savings.

Membership – Zach

Rec’d 1 response for the Box Office Coordinator, but it didn’t pan out.  Need someone to help on an on-going basis, although, they could have different individuals designated for different shows.  Leslie Carter may have some input after they settle into their new home.

Zach sent some leads for Grants to Bob, but the timing was wrong.  They looked great & if we can catch them before the deadline, maybe we can get access at some point in the future.   The one from The National Endowment for the Arts may not be available next year.  We need to spend more time searching for these to make requests in a timely fashion.  We can resubmit to CAST for a grant in Sept or Oct 2011.  There is a Legislative website that lists a good number of possible grants.  fosteringArts.org rec’d one for approx. $1000.  Zach will check out the website.  We would use the money to reimburse local facilities for letting us use their  space at this point.

Producers Needed:  We lost Laura G. as a producer when she became our Financial Director.   We are starting to separate out the Stage Manager from the Producer & this is making it easier on the producer, but we may need to train some folks to be a ‘Project Manager’ for  future  productions.  Need to be sure the role is defined & perhaps form a team of 6-10 people to learn the requirements & work together & to be available when needed (sometimes as individuals or sometimes as teams).  Probably  easier to have an Assistant Producer or Internship.  Andy will work on coming up with an Education plan ( list of ideas for teaching this topic).

Volunteers are still being sought for many different activities.  Possible sources to contact include; RYDD (RI Youth against Dangerous Driving), High Schools (we have to register with the Guidance Dept’s).

Creative Meeting – Liz D.

Romeo & Juliet rehearsals are  in full swing, but the venue is still unknown.   This is causing headaches for the Director & production in general,  as sets are hard to plan when  the possible space could change.  Hoping to hear in 2 weeks if the school is available.  School Committee usually meets on the 4th Tuesday of the month & they haven’t handed out request forms yet.

Get Merry  location is also yet to be determined, but rehearsals should be starting soon.

Dinner Theater possibly the 1st weekend of March 2012.   Hopefully at the Fire Station, “Twain’s Tales” planned.  South Foster Fire Station is not available in Feb.  If we try for the Senior Center is  BYOB allowed?  Would we need to do performance in both spaces?   Bob H. & Dennis C. are planning a cast of 5-6, Sat/Sun.  Could be Feb. 11, 12th 2012,  if at the Senior Center.  Maybe Sat., March 3rd at the Fire Station, also.

Karaoke, mid-March?

Follies – end of March.

Canterbury Tales – end of April, early May?   Auditions are expected to be at North Foster Baptist Church on a Friday night & Sat/Sun afternoon.
Harrisville Theater uses weekend auditions.  Trying to avoid conflicts such as Alice & Fantastic’s as the money raised by one can be severely affected.

Be sure to contact Artie about any events/activities so he knows who is coordinating the Building catchment & rehearsal schedules.

Knock’em Dead – Dinner Theater for the spring/June 2012.  Bob & Dennis.

Willie Wonka – Summer 2012.  Zach F. & a Big Team.

10 Year Anniversary  should be approx. 2013.

FACILITIES – most places that charge us would mean an increase of $5/ticket to cover the costs.

Fall 2012

Oct/Nov –

Dec. – Christmas Story or It’s a Wonderful Life (25 people)

Holiday 2012 (not Get Merry…  Dinner Theater, instead)

The plan is to do one big show & one small show, or 2 smaller shows.  Trying not to create too much overlap of people.  Maybe use one set of dates for auditions.  Run 2 rooms with auditions
going on for 2 different shows at the same time.

NEXT Creative Meeting is scheduled for Oct. 1st.   New plays form created for suggestions.

Feedback for Mr. Toad was received at the Cast Party.   Worked well.

Creating a book of expectations for people’s behavior.   Hope to have it ready for Canterbury Tales.  Should be available as a PDF & on the Web.

Andy A. attended a ‘One-Forty Conference’  & suggests we look into live streaming  shows.  Social Media promotion has some financial possibilities.  Rachel  Theater near Woodstock, NY is a Regional Theater that has had 50,000 viewers  using a high speed connection via Facebook/You Tube.  Additional info needed.  1) Need rights to the show.  2) Need Cox or other Cable access with high-speed
capacity to come video-tape & donate broadband access.  3) “If you like this show send us money” vs. use PayPal to sign in & watch the show options need to be discussed.  Andy will try & test this out for Romeo & Juliet.   No worries about copyright issues.

Romeo & Juliet needs:

1) Sound person.   2) Prop (Foley) person.  3) Costume consultant; need to be sure the look is consistent & low cost.    4) BACK STAGE MANAGER needed SOON!   Lauren Capron has volunteered for lights or sound & Michelle C. has volunteered for lights.

Youth Rep’s (opening). –  Expected to gather & present youth perspective to the Board.  Keep the youth involved in SMCT.  If Youth wanted to elect a specific leader they would be able to choose one of the Youth Reps, as needed.

Emily Chretien & Audrey Dubois presented their  views on how to handle this position.  Both did an excellent job & SMCT now has 2 new Youth Rep’s.  Congratulations!

Victorian Carolers –  Time to get them started again for the season.  Kim Brayton has stated she would be willing to be Musical Director again.  Kaila R. & Laurie M. will start the process.

Publicity –

Problems with the new phone number appear to have been fixed.  Motif Magazine ad for Romeo & Juliet must be sent soon.  2 editions/month.  To get into the Nov. 3rd edition, need the ad in by Oct. 27th, or Nov. 10th for the 2nd edition of the month (too late for the show?).  Should try to get them to come to a dress rehearsal before then, & need to plan the timing on this.   Opinions on when?

Kiddoinfo is a free site for advertising for children.   Artie has tried Parent magazines in the past.

During Toad we tried using a Feedback form to see how people had heard about us.  Maybe we should add a request for their zip code to get an idea of where they came from?
#1 answer is word of mouth (friends/family).  20 answered advertisements (fairly evenly distributed between different papers).   Perhaps push more towards free ad’s (craigslist, Facebook, etc.).
Need to let people know when shows are not just for kids or if they are not appropriate, what are the limitations!!!