Pittsfield Players' Annual Meeting
The meeting was called to order at 5:50 p.m. by President T.J. Rand. Since there was no Secretary's Report from last year's annual meeting, that agenda item was waived. Treasurer Mo Demers was introduced by T.J. Rand, and she handed out profit and loss statements for fiscal year 2003, as well as copies of the last two monthly Treasurer's Reports from April and May. She reported that the Player's accounting system was now computerized on Quickbooks. She also reported that all of the Player's shows for the last year made money.
There was no Old Business to discuss.
In New Business, T.J. Rand read the section of the Player's by-laws that deal with elections, and then he reported that the two outgoing members of the Board, Ernie Bass and Jan Pinard, had expressed their desires to the Board to run for another term. Nominations were then open to the membership, and two additional members, Michael Chagnon and Irene Hall, were nominated and those nominations were seconded. We then went to a ballot vote, and ballots were distributed by Treasurer Mo Demers. Each nominee made a brief appearance before the assemblage, and then the votes were collected and tallied by Maye Hart and Meggin Dail.
While the votes were tallied, T.J. Rand gave his President's Report as follows:
First I want to welcome you and thank you for attending the Annual Meeting of the Pittsfield Players. It is an important time for all of our organization. One might also characterize this time as crucial in our efforts to continue to evolve as a major player in the community theatre scene in New Hampshire.
I would like to thank the Board of Directors. There were many times when we could have met for many more hours than we did but instead put things behind us and looked ahead.
Shortly after I became President, a major rainstorm hit town, and the stairs leading up to the second floor had water flowing down them faster than the falls below Main Street. By the time 12 Angry Men was in rehearsal, there were leaks even here in the theatre. We now have a new roof over our heads, and besides keeping us dry, I hope it is also symbolic.
Our first foray into NH Theatre competition got us an honorable mention (show award), though our scheduling shows for adjudication for this year was a mini-nightmare. We had a calendar added to the website as an "official" use of the theatre schedule. With our first entry in competition, the children's show and the winter show, I didn't think I would make it to see March 1st.
All our shows made a profit and had reasonable audiences. We got a new roof. We won an award. The second floor structural problem was addressed and is being corrected. We have the beginnings of a plan to make the theatre safer in the event of a fire. Our Production Manual is a meeting away of being once again a reality. The Children's Theatre Workshop continues to thrive. We can pay our bills.
On the other hand, the costume area upstairs is a disaster. We still need to debate whether an additional heater is needed in the theater. The building across the street is a major concern. Vandalism remains a problem. So, there is much still to be done.
The Pittsfield Players has always touted itself as "family" and Families stick together, thick or thin.
There is a growing threat we need to meet. Community theatre is growing rapidly in New Hampshire, and we need to be competitive to survive. We need to strengthen our organization. We need to attract new members. We sometimes fail to remember that we were all new members once, and we need to once again revisit that feeling of being new - what is it a new person sees at auditions; what do they experience in their first show, what is the impression they leave with, and more importantly, just what do they tell others about our organization.
We need a fresh start, a new beginning, a new look, a new commitment to quality, growth and improvement. We just flat out need to be better. We need to treat our theatre building with more respect. We need to take much better care of our equipment, our props, and our costumes.
If you have the time and the talent to make something work for the good of the organization, volunteer more, but if you don't, please don't spread yourself so thin that you're not enjoying it anymore.
Pick those jobs you can do and make it your project, get others involved and if you can't, talk about it and make a change. Don't just complain, DO! If you know how to improve membership or audience numbers or know how to sew or paint or direct, come to the board meetings, the auditions, the rehearsals, the set calls and offer your help. We need your help and more importantly, we want your help.
When you audition, treat your audition like it's your first. This is your theatre group, doesn't it deserve your best effort? We can do better.
If you have aspirations to present a show, do the homework. Present something with a budget and crew - something written, and well documented. Prepare a good oral presentation. We can do better.
If you are in a show, lead by example. Be the best you can be. We can do better.
The ability to move a slider up and down on a light board does not make you a light person. Learn more about the technical side so you can better take care of the equipment, and be able to have knowledge to troubleshoot problems. We can do better.
If you take a prop from the third floor, use it and then return it to the second floor, well, that isn't good enough. We can do better.
To be a great organization you have to have members who are accountable. I hopefully like you, are here and a member of the Pittsfield Players because it is something you enjoy. The fact is that you get something from it and in return, give something to it. It has to be a two way street.
The Board over the past year has wrestled with many problems. In the end though, they cannot make a family of their membership with rules and regulations. Only the membership itself can do that. They do it with equal respect to each other, and a true commitment to the organization. We can do this.
I also know that it is impossible to please all the people all the time. The selecting of shows and directors isn't always easy. We are mounting some great plays and they are doing well.
Renewal, a new beginning - I want to help make us the best we can be. I want all of you to join in a single cause, wipe all slates clean, have a new beginning that will allow us to grow and prosper, experience new things and entertain. To enjoy the fruits of our labors. To make a common goal to put the theatre, our home, first. To welcome new members and grow our talent pool. To share what we have to increase the knowledge of others. To get back our true sense of family, reuniting all our members, those of years past and those of tomorrow. To simply do better.
Our calendar includes some important things of some of which need your help. First is Rotary, this coming Wednesday and the changing of the guard the last Wednesday in June. The there is painting the front part of the theatre, set for June 26 and 27th, a Saturday and Sunday. We provide the refreshments and you the labor to keep our front facade looking good. Encore opens at Steele Hill Tuesday June 29, and they look forward to your support. July 10th and 11th are the rain dates for painting the Scenic. The week of July 4th will include work on the costume shop - see Tracy Remington for specific times. Encore returns to the theatre July 16th, and on Saturday the 17th is the Old Home Day Parade and Float. To join the committee, see Bea. 1776 auditions are Sunday the 18th and Monday evening the 19th, with set construction starting that week. If you can help, see any Board member or the people I mentioned.
In closing, I don't know who will be your next President, but I do know they have the opportunity, together with all of you, to have a wonderful experience.
T.J. Rand then called for the tally of the voting and announced that Jan Pinard and Ernie Bass were elected to three year terms on the Board.
Voting for Board Members was as follows:
T.J. Rand adjourned the meeting at 6:10 p.m.
The new Board then met in Executive Session and selected the following
officers for the year: