Setting up a Drama Group Committee
It’s a challenge—most people who are deeply interested in the theatre also tend to be artistic dreamers, not necessarily savvy in a business sense. Thus, they possess a great deal of vision, but a lack of sensible understanding how to make their aspirations of a viable amateur dramatics society a reality.
If you are involved with a fledgling troupe of thespians, singers and dancers, it’s critical to accept that simply wanting to do something won’t necessarily make it happen. Consequently, it’s highly recommended that your group gather together a committee to set in motion those events that will lead to your organisation’s recognition as a respected dramatics society.
About the CommitteeThe committee’s role will be one of guidance, but shouldn’t interfere with the inner workings of a performance unless a crisis occurs. Like a board of directors, they will be able to make decisions which are in the troupe’s best interest, but they won’t be able to say to a director, “Hey—your staging of ‘Othello’ isn’t right at all. Here… we’re taking over!”
Generally speaking, to obtain the committee atmosphere necessary to create an acceptable balance of power, members should come from various walks of life and backgrounds. Here, we’ll look at some of the important volunteers who should be a part of any well-rounded amateur dramatics society committee.
The DreamerYou’ll need at least one dreamer on your committee, simply to speak to the creative side of the amateur dramatics group. Without such an “artsy” individual, a troupe could easily turn risk-adverse, choosing to never try new plays or tackle particularly difficult ones. The Dreamer keeps innovation alive.
The RealistTo temper The Dreamer, you’ll need a realist on your team. He or she will help bring practicality to the table, but shouldn’t squelch The Dreamer. Remember—they are both needed for the benefit of the organisation.
Note: Don’t mistake a realist for a pessimist; the realist isn’t out to throw water on fires, simply to make sure the fire doesn’t burn out of control.
The Business PersonThis member’s role is to speak to the business end of your amateur dramatics society. For instance, will you be non-profit or for profit? Will your entity collect money for performances? Is a budget needed or are all directors, set designers, costumers and actors expected to spend out-of-pocket (or ask for donations)? The Business Person can help move things along, providing a decent timeline.
The SecretaryThe Secretary takes down the committee’s minutes and distributes them to all members. He or she may also serve as a “time keeper” (usually, this person is an excellent stage manager for a play or recital!) so agendas stay on task. Additionally, the Secretary should also feel free to contribute thoughts and ideas to the mix.
The MarketerThis person knows how to schmooze with the best of them and could probably sell ice to polar bears. Consequently, the Marketer is able to develop and implement marketing and sales strategies to fill seats and get your amateur dramatics group on the map!
The Web SpecialistIt’s always nice to have a web-savvy person on your amateur dramatics troupe’s board, as a web presence could be a key to your organisation’s success.
The VolunteerThis committee part can be played by almost anyone who doesn’t fit into the other categories. He or she is there to bring a “man- or woman-on-the-street” viewpoint to all discussions. After all, The Dreamer, The Realist, The Business Person, The Web Specialist and The Secretary might not be thinking in terms of audience members or the community. Therefore, The Volunteer can offer insights from other angles.
Once your committee is in place, you’ll be ready to start on a path to theatrical fulfilment.