Pittsfield Players

Board of Directors Meeting Minutes

July 22, 2004   7 pm

Scenic Theatre

 The meeting was called to order at 7:10 pm. Present at the meeting were TJ Rand, Meggin Dail, Maye Hart, Mo Demers, Jan Pinard and Joel Dail. Ernie Bass was absent.

  1. The Secretary’s report from the June meeting was accepted as written.
  2. After some minor questions regarding Encore income and the Old Home Days Concert, the Treasurer’s report was accepted as presented.
    1. The Board discussed the Costume Shop and locking the area. Joel mentioned that we couldn’t put our emergency exit in the back by the sewing room if we lock that area. We discussed whether to temporarily lock the entire second floor or whether to wire the area off with a locked door. It was agreed that TJ would ask Charlie Annance or Bob Charron to see if they would be interested in doing the work to wire off the area so we can get it locked. Meggin Dail also wanted to give a big thank you to all those who worked to clean up the costume shop.
    1. The Board then discussed Fire Prevention needs. It was agreed that we need to decide on a plan (stairs vs. addition) and then on a financing plan. TJ asked for each Board member’s opinion. The majority (Maye, Mo, Meggin and Ernie, by proxy) felt that we should plan for an addition, get estimates and then see if we can finance the project with a mortgage. Jan was for an addition, provided it doesn’t take too long, because we need the second floor exit now. Joel said he was all for the idea of an addition, but he was worried about the financing and the burden of a mortgage. The Board discussed the mortgage issue and agreed that we have had one before and paid it off, and that we could do it again. Joel also said that he would like to see the front doors fixed, with a foundation below the exterior lobby. It should be factored into the mortgage. We are also aware that alarms systems and sprinklers will need to be included when and if we double the size of the theater. We then talked about concerns about shutting down the theater for construction, and decided that in the worst case we might have to rent a space elsewhere for one show. We also agreed that if the addition proves to be too expensive, then the worst case is that we will just add a staircase. TJ thinks that once we have the plans and financing arranged we should have a full membership meeting to get everyone’s support.
    2. We then turned to compiling a Wish List for the addition. We agreed it should have 2 floors; slop sinks on both floors; a backstage toilet; 2 floor egress (staircase), with both an exit to backstage and outside; a set construction area; storage area; shelves and outlets; an upstairs green room with toilet; paint storage (in fire retardant shelving); leveling the stage to one level; fixing the right aisle; fixing the front entrance, including foundation and doors; heat; fire alarm and sprinkler system.
    3. It was agreed that we would contact two designs and build contractors, David Witcher and Millstone builders. A Motion was made to put out a bid to at least two bidders, hopefully the two mentioned above. The Motion carried unanimously.

(As an aside, it was mentioned that during the Encore show we had major leaks in the upstairs toilet. Jim Hart shut off the water. Joel went into check on it.)

(There was a discussion about the front façade painting project, which Maye pointed out was accomplished by just five of the members, even though many more members were at the theater that day. The Board thanked Joel, Ernie and Maye for the paint job. Maye thanked Meggin and Jan for their help.                                                            


    1. It was reported that Encore 2004 is going well at Steele Hill. It was mentioned that preparations for the Encore Old Home Days Concert seemed a bit lax, since there had been no prior discussion as to what they were using for sound. The Board discussed producer/director problems in Encore and then decided to revisit a discussion of Encore at a later date.
    2.  TJ reported that he has an almost complete cast for 1776. He has two more parts to cast and he is currently looking for those actors. There was a discussion about auditions and how they could have been more communicative during the wait. It was agreed that there were a couple of bugs in the process but TJ got good comments from those who auditioned.
    3. We then discussed Christmas 2004, and an email from Peggi McCarthy that asked if she can hold auditions on Saturday September 18 and 25. She has press releases and a poster format. She also brought up set changes and payments for directors. It was agreed that Meggin will contact her to let her know that those audition dates are available and that the fee we have is $1500. We will also ask her to send us a budget.
    1. No progress was reported with Competition 2005.
    2. No progress was reported for the Children’s Theater Workshop 2005.
    3. Mo reported that scripts had been ordered for “The Abduction”, and she reported that she has had some interest from members.
    4. No progress was reported with “Private Lives”
    5. In the Tax abatement, Mo reported that she has sent a letter to the Selectmen and has so far had no reply.
    6. In Insurance, Mo reported that she has attempted to contact the new group recommended by NHCTA and has had no reply. A motion was made to continue to use the Paige Agency, and the motion passed unanimously.


a.      The Board discussed the Production Manual and Code of Ethics final draft. There were some discussions about certain sections of the Manual and some minor changes were agreed to by the Board. It was agreed that the House Manager would be chosen by the Board. Other changes were minor, and Meggin will now go to her final, final draft.

b.      TJ reported that there is some interest in doing a summer show for the theater, most recently by Jenna Van Valen King and her proposal for “She Loves Me”, and by Dennis Bunnell. After some discussion, it was agreed that we would postpone any decision on summer shows until we know what’s happening with the addition construction.

c.      The Board discussed rental of Columbia Building space and a lease copy was presented by Meggin. We already have keys to it. The lease is for a year, at $400 per month. Meggin will make copies of the lease and we will all read it and get it signed by the end of the month. We will be moving the most valuable items from the Gray Building into the Columbia Block as soon as we can.

d.      No progress was reported on Light Inventory/hanging light bars/reorganize booth-paint.

e.      Jim Hart is getting prices on audio cable and mic purchase, and may be interested in selling some of his equipment. 

f.        TJ has a list of items for a make-up purchase which he will bring to the next meeting for approval.

g.      TJ asked if we had an Emergency first aid kit and Jan showed him where it was stored.

h.      TJ reported that Bea Pszonowsky and Angel Douglas have volunteered to clean up the mess in the attic and TJ will coordinate with them. 

    1.  We talked about a shop vacuum and Maye will ask Jim about the one in the paint room and whether he needs it for parts.
    2. Meggin reported that a man from Pittsfield Weaving came for keysto the Gray Building because they’re looking to see how much it would cost to replace the window across the street.
    3. Meggin suggested a future fundraiser with calendars that has pictures from past shows for each month. Meggin will follow-up.
    4. Maye suggested a rewards program that would give points to those Players who helped with projects and then give them a reward, such as discount tix to Boston plays. The Board agreed to table this for future discussion. We also discussed the increasing trend toward various cliques in the Players and how we could improve communication between the factions of the Players, including having a refereed encounter. TJ made the point that even though the factions existed and were worrisome, good things were happening anyway, such as the costume clean up, the painting of the façade, and the float for Old Home Days.
    5. TJ gave us a demo of the new piano that has been donated to the Players by Ted Hebert’s Music Mart.
  2. Next Meeting Date – Thursday, September 2, 2004
  3. A Motion to adjourn was passed at 9:15 pm.