SMCT Board Meeting Minutes: August 2014

SMCT Meeting Minutes 23 August 2014

Members Present (Voting Members are in bold): Dennis Chretien, Leslie Carter, Andy Affleck, Artie Robillard, Laura Giorgianni, Bob Hollis, Heather Christie, Liz Dubois, Eric Dubois, Kaila Rubin, Maia Grandy, Gabrielle Dworkin, Tim Hillman, Emily Chretien

Minutes accepted (moved by Andy, seconded by Artie)


Corresponding Secretary (person who sends out letters for SMCT)

  • Motion to accept resignation – Leslie, Eric seconded
  • Tabling debate for whether we need position in order to draft blurbs and advertise
  • Leslie – letters members/personnel
  • Laura – letters donors
  • Heather – letters to everyone else
  • Heather will figure out the blurb

Trinity Episcopal Church

  • Donations for Christmas bazaar
  • Have done tickets in the past
  • Request doesn’t give dates, but will hopefully be able to do Christmas Story (unless it’s too close)
  • Dennis will pass info to David and CC to Carol Mauro and maybe M’Lynn

Financial Report: Annie

  • Show did very well – yay!
  • Some families donated large sums for Annie (thank you!)
  • Very positive reviews for summer production and experience this year
  • Call time of 1 hour makes box office set-up very difficult – need more time!
    • Cast only really needs an hour, but administrative stuff probably needs more – hour and a half? 15 minutes?
    • Artie will look to make sure this is all set for Our Town

Annie Jr.

  • Best Practices/Lessons Learned
    • David on box office worked really well – yay David!
    • Tech issues with lights getting knocked out – Dennis said we usually set benches across the front of the tech booth, but we gave those up for extra seats – someone walking past snagged a wire and it pulled out – happened twice, so we can’t really set it up that way again
    • Our Town – physical controller will be on stage with musician, so no worry about catching wires
  • Tech guidelines – if people want to be helpful, they NEED to talk to tech first instead of just helping
    • Don’t take anything from Tech booth without checking
    • Issue of taping doors – MUST use gaffer tape (expensive, but doesn’t leave gunk)
      • Whoever gets there on Friday to set up chairs, tape doors first thing with correct tape
    • Need to introduce tech director better
    • Doors, staging, etc are a part of Tech
    • Need to be better about communication on this front
    • Lock up the ducktape? Someone acts as tape-keeper? Small locked box?
  • Tech connection guide!!!
    • Dennis created a guide to help people set up cables during a show
    • Can edit for each show so people know how to hook it up
    • Can’t make downloadable template, because it’s Pages, but Dennis will look to see if an online template option is possible
    • Andy will add description of how to level-set mics before the show
  • Issues of language and disrespect
    • Maybe talk to everyone about being respectful around children at the beginning of a show
    • Make a handbook from the organization? Include in the guidelines we hand out for summer theatre?
    • Put contact info in that book
    • Kids and adults need to sign a behavior contract – no exceptions
    • 3-Strike system for everyone in the play – most will never need it, but it’d be good to have
    • Need to have consequences
      • There was concern about dropping people right before a show, but it was agreed that we can actually do that and are not afraid to have people replace them, even if they read from a script. Does it hurt the show? Yes, but that’s still the best show the cast can create on that day, even if that means the lead is someone who got the part three hours ago
      • Work in understudies or even have someone read book
      • Need revised code for Xmas story – Eric and Heather will get it from the Assets and fix up
      • Need consistency
      • We also recognize it’s difficult for teens to direct teens due to similarities in age
      • Maybe have all directors stay after rehearsal or find a way to meet to make sure they are all on the same page with behavior issues – a cast member may be breaking a rule for the fifth time, but if that’s the first time the director has seen it, they aren’t going to punish the cast member.
  • Guests of cast members CANNOT be backstage – MUST be involved if you want to be back there, and your involvement MUST be approved by the head director
    • Need a reminder about all this around Tech Week
    • Even veteran SMCT members should not be backstage unless they are involved due to lack of space and increased chaos
  • Strike and storage – strike went well – need to put up racks and shelving to organize the costumes!
  • We need supervision backstage for ALL shows
  • SMCT children’s theatre can very easily do adult-lead shows in children’s theatre – Don’t forget this!!! J
  • Doing JR version was a good decision: gave more time to focus on scenes, even if we lost parts of the story
  • 3 rehearsals/week is necessary for musicals, but also difficult


  • New design gives us the space we really wanted
  • Works best for tech
  • 15,500 sq feet
  • They have the drawing; we’re asking them to build the walls around the space, soundproof the theatre, and fix the bathroom
  • Event layout (Bob)
    • Cabaret would be scripted and paced more as a show than Follies
    • RI Idol instead of Foster Idol – might be instead or in addition to (want to do both, but we don’t really make any money with Foster Idol)
    • Troupes are any group that wants to put a show together on their own – it would be on them to figure out the production, tech, costumes, etc
    • Hopefully this would get more volunteers, and having our own space would eliminate a lot of the most taxing things for those who currently work so hard: set-up and breakdown, etc (THANK YOU to everyone who helps with all this!)
    • SMCT optional contributions – $5/month
    • Grants estimate is conservative
    • We could rent out for concerts or other theatres or dance recitals, etc
    • All of this seems reachable
    • Can apply for an alcohol license, but increases liability
    • Ask about using the outside wall space to advertise the theatre (mural, etc)
    • Lessons are not budgeted in current layout – we could, just need to coordinate and plan
  • Tim will look into seating prices
  • Building the rake – will cost a fair amount
  • Emergency exits – doors out to Job Lot down front? Need to make sure we have enough of these
  • Building committee will figure out numbers and let us know
  • Tim can help with the grid
  • Need to electrify that area – will cost more
  • Probably will need to hire a janitor part-time
  • Also need to take snow removal into account
  • What is minimum staffing we need on a per-show basis for house, ushers, closing doors, etc? Building manager? Need to define that role…
  • Also house manager…
  • We could put Our Town right in the lobby, provided we have the building

Our Town

  • First almost run-through on Wednesday, rehearsals are Monday and Wednesday, now
  • Motif is doing a feature on Tim, should go right with the show
  • Will run full show from now to production
  • Jordan is coming in this week or next for music
  • Lighting – cue heavy (70-75)
  • Limited scenery, so money will go towards lighting equipment
    • Controlled by keyboard with music – has MIDI output – as music plays, color of stage floor will constantly be changing (this is SO COOL and everyone should come see it!)
    • Working to drop that in soon
  • By the week before opening, want a tech rehearsal and doing run-throughs, hang lighting, do cue-to-cue tech the Saturday before so that when we do dress rehearsal week, actors and tech are ready
  • Working heavily on building audience outside our current community
  • Goal is to get a show that gets people into our space and inspires them to work with us, particularly for kids in grades 9 – 12 – Tim is looking at shows that have parts for that age range as well
  • Tim’s really happy with how the show is going!
  • Leslie can help with concessions if needed, Heather will talk to Chris about producing help
  • Dennis is doing playbill, Alex is doing ad/money collection
    • Dennis will check with Laura on yearly ads
  • Tim will write a letter to English teachers at every high school in Rhode Island
  • Need Facebook event (Eric will do) – can go through RIPE and advertise through them, also American Association of Community Theatres, which gives cost breaks and probably discounts at a number of places

Christmas Story

  • September 3rd rehearsal starts
  • No producer yet – if interested, talk to Artie (
  • Auditions this afternoon for Randy and possibly other roles
  • No artwork yet – sending a picture of the red rider for t-shirts if they can, then simple text
  • Playbill cover sent to Steve and Carol – the one from Dramatics with everything required per the license/agreement
    • Can probably work as a poster, too
  • Needed to advertise second auditions better – issue of lateness, so people may not know in time. Also issue of height description…

La Cage

  • Rights still processing

Sherlock Holmes

  • Working on that


  • Ready to go, but no place to do it, so haven’t applied for rights
  • Should aim towards Coventry to coincide with building
  • We NEED to get more producers as an organization – part of it might be that no one knows what a producer does – Heather will figure out where that list is and get it out
  • Need producer for this show
  • Still unsure about dinner theatre or something else
  • Coventry Senior Center? Artie and Andy will figure this out

Improv troupe

  • Tim wants to work with them! Says we could do two shows a month with improv, after about two months of rehearsals


Next Meeting: 10:00am, 27 September 2014, Benjamin Eddy Building