AGM 2016: What we decided

At our annual general meeting on 14 June we decided to stop charging performers a subscription fee and raise the ticket price for our main shows to £10.

Attendance at the AGM was the best for a while, with the commitee joined by 12 members. Many of those present had taken part in our recent production, Oh what a lovely war.

We discussed shows we might produce in 2016/17, which included Ghost Train, Under Milk Wood, The Norman Conquests, Sweet Bird of Youth, All New People, Shakers/Bouncers and a pantomime. We will hold readings to test out some of these ideas.

If you are interested in directing, hosting or attending a reading, or generally being more involved, do join us or contact us.

Chair’s review of 2015/16

Stephen presented his review of the year. He drew particular attention to the success of Stepping Out and Oh what a lovely war, the significant increase in new members and participants, and our now healthy financial position.

Felicity Nelson said Stepping Out was a great production to direct. It was an excellent cast, including many new members. Laura Merrett’s contribution as choreographer was invaluable to the show’s success. She highlighted the importance of having a co-director/assistant director/producer role.

Laura Merrett spoke on behalf of herself and Shelley Brownlee and said Oh what a lovely war was a joy to produce from start to finish. The cast and crew worked hard as an excellent team. The backstage crew – including a stage manager, costume deisgner and make up artist – was invaluable.

Committee election

Our chair (Stephen Gaskell), vice chair (Ian Cooper), secretary (Felicity Nelson) and treasurer (Paul Buckenham) were re-elected unopposed. We introduced two new roles, communication and fundraising, which were filled by Dan Sumners (communications) and Marie Stanikowski (fundraising). Louise Batten and Nell Wood also returned as ordinary members.

Financial position

Our treasurer, Paul, told us we are in a healthy financial position. The past two shows were both profitable, making a net surplus of £1,519.66. Our current total balance is £5,093.98.

Subscription fee

Due to our healthy financial position – which is down to increased ticket sales and sponsorship – we decided to stop charging performers a subscription fee to take part in a production. After all, we would be nothing without our performers!

We will review the impact of the change at the 2017 AGM.

Ticket price

We agreed to raise the price of a ticket to our main shows to £10 including programme. We also agreed we would have a concessionary rate for children when producing a family orientated show.

We agreed the rise for several reasons. The price had been £8.50 for the past two years, other groups charged between £9 and £13 (not including programme), and the quality of our shows had improved markedly. We had also asked people if they would pay £10 and all had agreed it would still represent good value.

This additional income will offset the removal of subscription fees for performers. It will make sure we continue to have enough funds to deal with any unexpected costs that might arise in the future.

As with the removal of subscription fees, we will review the impact of the change at next year’s AGM.

Venue

We agreed we will explore different venues for our shows over the year. While we have no plans to stop using the church, we thought it was a good idea to be prepared for possible future changes.

In particular, the church is under increasing pressure to use its space to contribute financially to the diocese. That had led to an increase in hire fees this year. The fee was currently manageable, but it could increase further in the future.

If you have questions or comments about any of the above, please feel free to contact us.

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