Project: Theatre Constitution
Last revised January 2013
We are Project: Theatre, abbreviated P:T.
Article I: Mission
- P:T aims to empower student creativity and collaboration through the production of plays and other theatrical endeavors, and to provide a safe haven for artistic expression at Mount Holyoke College. Our goal is to involve as many students as possible and reach out to those who would not otherwise participate in theatre by building a strong and inclusive community of students who are looking for an opportunity to experience theatre on their own terms. P:T strives to make involvement in and attendance at our productions accessible and welcoming to the MHC community, the Five College community, and beyond.
- In order to promote inclusivity, P:T will not charge admission for shows or events, unless required by the rights agreement for a given production. Entry to productions is free; however, donations are encouraged.
- P:T is an independent student organization, but will strive to foster and maintain a relationship with the MHC Department of Theatre Arts by encouraging positive contact between students and the Theatre Arts faculty and staff.
- At the discretion of a show’s production team, P:T will also reach out to the Five College community and beyond.
- All activities and functions of the organization as scheduled through the Locations Coordinator must be legal under college, local, state, and federal laws.Article II: Organization of Membership
- To be a member of P:T is to be on the P:T mailing list, which is an open list maintained by the P:T Secretary. Membership is open to any Five College Student who is interested in supporting, putting on, or participating in student-produced theatre on the Mount Holyoke College campus.
- Any current Five College Student, regardless of membership, may participate in a P:T show in any capacity, but only current Five College and Mount Holyoke students in the membership can propose a show or run for a board position. Only the membership may vote on show proposals and board elections.
- P:T does not discriminate based on age, racial or ethnic identity, socioeconomic class, sexual orientation, gender presentation, ability, sex, or class year.
- Hazing will not be used as a condition of membership in this organization, and the P:T board will sign the Mount Holyoke College Non-Hazing Agreement on behalf of its members at the beginning of every school year. All members of a production will sign a contract that includes recognition of the Non-Hazing Agreement.
Article III: Organization of Board
- The P:T Board is responsible for facilitating and coordinating the efforts of P:T productions and events and for making sure P:T productions and events follow all relevant rules and policies set down in the P:T constitution and by Mount Holyoke College. The P:T board actively works to attract new members and to foster cooperation with MHC’s academic departments and support staff. The board collectively liaises with staff members on behalf of productions for locations, communication, and public relations, and it is responsible for promoting P:T’s continuance as an organization by running elections for the board each year and elections for mainstage show proposals each semester. The board also decides which events to produce as they are proposed.
- Positions on the board are as follows:a. Chair: Runs meetings and creates the weekly and long-term agendas for the board, and makes sure that the rest of the board stays on track with this agenda. Acts as the board’s taskmaster. Is the public face of P:T, and can have meetings with faculty and staff on the board’s behalf. While serving, is strongly discouraged from acting as producer, director, stage manager, or technical liaison for any P:T production and before doing so, will be subject to the Petition Policy (see Article III 3g). Must take into account the input and opinions of the other P:T board members during discussion. Distinguishes between decisions that can be made by simple assent, and those that must be brought to a formal vote. Pays close attention to all of P:T’s workings, but does not have artistic or individual control over P:T events and productions. Mediates access to P:T storage and is responsible for holding onto the key. Ensures that responsible parties maintain cleanliness and organization within the space. Organizes large clean-outs of the space when necessary. The Chair also acts as supervisor to the Big 4 Mentors.
- Secretary: Takes notes at meetings and communicates with the P:T membership via email. Updates the mailing list and checks P:T’s email address (firstname.lastname@example.org) for general inquiries, and as such is responsible for outgoing communication in response to messages that come through that address. Keeps P:T documents, forms, and contracts up to date as per board discussions regarding their content, and disseminates information and distributes online forms to the membership. Also in charge of voting procedures and counting for mainstage show proposals and board elections.c. Treasurer: Applies for funding from the SGA in accordance with SGA funding procedures. The annual budget contains an estimation of the next year’s budget. Attends all necessary SGA trainings and checks in with the SGA during the season of audits. Oversees individual show budgets and receives receipts in order to reimburse people for P:T-related spending. Maintains the P:T ledger and advises the board on how many additional events P:T can support based on the budget. Must check in with the Public Relations Coordinator regarding each show’s attendance and revenue.
d. Public Relations: Publicizes P:T events such as meetings and workshops. Proofreads and approves all publicity done by individual shows and events according to the publicity guidelines. Also helps shows and events to find additional means of advertising, such as with the MHNews, Newsflush, the radio, and through departmental outreach. In collaboration with the Media Coordinator, creates and maintains a method for taking and responding to online reservations for shows and events. In charge of front-of-house staff for each show or event, which may involve selling concessions and t-shirts, recording show/event attendance and revenues per performance and overall in an official spreadsheet on the Project: Theatre’s Folder on Google Drive. May also be responsible for creating and maintaining P:T’s social media accounts. Collects past production materials (programs, etc.) and stores in a location for posterity.
- Ombudsperson: Is responsible for mediation and impartial investigation of complaints within the P:T community in order to bring about a fair settlement. Manages board and show contracts and the strike system discreetly and settles conflicts within shows. Will attend one full cast and crew meeting for the distribution and signing of contracts and to introduce the Ombudsperson to the cast and crew. The Ombudsperson is invited to drop by rehearsals and meetings for shows and events to check in throughout the process. Additionally, the ombudsperson will contact the Stage Manager for each show to schedule and hold mid- and post-show talkbacks with each cast and production team in a timely fashion to discuss what went well and what could have been better, as well as to address any issues that arose during the production. Must petition the board in accordance with the Petition Policy in order to participate in any shows. Keeps original copies of board and production contracts. Confirms voting results after they have been counted by the Secretary.f. Theatre Department Liaison Acts as the liaison between P:T and the Theatre Arts Department by serving as a go-between for information. Updates Department weekly on P:T events, and updates P:T on Department events. Mediates any conflicts that may arise between P:T and the Department, and ensures cooperation and respect between P:T and the Department. Maintains P:T bulletin board in Rooke Theatre. Facilitates borrowing agreements between P:T shows or events and the Department. Will communicate with the Student Representatives of the Theatre Arts Department and inform P:T of any student projects occurring in the Department. Will coordinate shop hours with the Department’s Technical Director on a semester by semester basis.
g. Locations Coordinator: Liaises with faculty, staff and P:T productions to find locations for all rehearsals, performances, talkbacks, and production meetings, and completes a Campus Space Request reservation form, or other relevant paperwork, dependant on the space being requested. Provides productions with relevant information regarding the limitations and benefits of different campus spaces for P:T shows. Coordinates with Student Programs regarding the use of non-traditional spaces. Also reserves space for general meetings, workshops and any other events P:T may have throughout the year. Responsible for liaising with Student Programs about mainstage shows, events, and fundraising as they are decided upon by the membership and the board by sharing relevant information and providing them with contacts for each show.
h. Senator: Attends senate meetings and P:T board meetings. Represents P:T at Senate and brings relevant news from Senate back to the board.
- Media Coordinator: Keeps the website up-to-date with news and information about upcoming productions and opportunities, as well as all organizational paperwork, contracts (blank versions), photos, and videos. Also acts as the P:T historian by collecting past photos, video, etc., and archiving them in a location available for posterity. Takes pictures of shows during the rehearsal process, takes production photos in full dress and on set, and films at least one performance of each show for archival purposes only. When unavailable, permitted to engage outside sources to photograph and record shows and to update the website so long as the Media Coordinator is responsible for making sure these things are done in a timely and appropriate fashion.
- Board policies and procedures are as follows:
- Term of Office: Board members will be elected by the membership to serve a term of one year, from May to May, and may be re-elected indefinitely until graduation. Should board members be elected or appointed outside of the traditional time frame, their term ends in May as well.
- Limitations: A board member may not hold multiple positions at one time on the P:T board; however, a single position may be shared by two individuals, either concurrently or split across two semesters, and any P:T member can run for any board position. Only two board members may serve on the same Big Four of a given show or event.
- Contracts: Every P:T board member must sign a contract stipulating their responsibilities, as above. These signed contracts will remain with the Ombudsperson and will be made available in their unsigned form for anyone to review.
- Impeachment and Removal: If a board member does not comply with the terms of their contract, they are eligible for removal from office. If a board member feels that impeachment of a fellow board member is necessary, concerns should be brought privately to the Ombudsperson. The impeachment process will involve the mediation of the Ombudsperson and the informed knowledge of the P:T board. To remove someone from office will require the unanimous consent of the P:T board, minus the board member in question. If impeached, the person who has been removed from office will be subject to the strike system, jumping immediately to strike two. If the Ombudsperson is the one in question, the Chair acts as the Ombudsperson in this situation.
- Officer Vacancies: Any vacancy in the middle of an academic year due to going abroad, removal of a board member by impeachment, illness, withdrawal, or other unforeseen circumstances that prevent a P:T board member from fulfilling the responsibilities of the position will be filled by board appointment. The P:T board may also decide to redistribute the duties of the missing member amongst current P:T board members until a regular election is held. If the original board member shows an interest in returning to her individual position within the academic year and is able to do so, the Board may vote to reinstate her.
- Committees: Committees can be formed at any time at the discretion of the P:T board. The power and responsibilities of these committees will be determined at the time of their forming. The P:T board reserves the right to dismantle the committee should it be determined they are no longer on track to fulfilling their originally stated goal in a timely fashion. Once a committee has completed its assigned task or function, the P:T board may dismantle the committee.
- Petition Policy: Both the Ombudsperson and the Chair of P:T must petition the board in order to participate in P:T shows or events as is stipulated in the descriptions of board positions above. This petition must be given in a timely fashion, well before auditions, acceptances of crew positions, and proposal deadlines. The board will then discuss the acceptability of the proposal while the petitioning member is not in the room. Each position may only petition to take part in one show or event per semester.
- In the event that the petition is accepted for an Ombudsperson, an Acting Ombudsperson must be chosen from among other board members to act as Ombudsperson for the show or event in which the Ombudsperson is participating. If an Acting Ombudsperson cannot be found, the petition will be rejected. Only once the petition has been accepted can the P:T Ombudsperson audition, propose, or accept positions working on a P:T show. Should the Ombudsperson fail to be cast, have a proposal accepted, or secure a crew position, the petition will be disregarded and the Acting Ombudsperson will no longer be necessary.
- In the event that both the Ombudsperson and the Chair of P:T petition the board to participate in a show in any capacity, the first petition will be the only one to be considered. If the first petition is denied, then the second may be considered. If both petitions are made at the same time, neither petition will be considered or one petition must be dropped.
- Elections: Procedures for electing board members can be found in the P:T Bylaws.
Article IV: Meetings
P:T will hold a general meeting and/or networking meeting for all members of P:T at least once each semester.
- At least once per week, the P:T board will convene to discuss P:T business and have check-ins with representatives from ongoing P:T shows. Board meetings are run by the Chair, with the Secretary keeping minutes that will then be shared in full with the board, and in summary for the membership via e-mail. Check-ins must be made by a show representative who is not an active board member.
- Board decisions are made by majority vote. Anyone sitting in a P:T meeting who is not a member of the P:T board may express thoughts and opinions, but may not vote. Any member of the P:T board can call for a vote.
- Specific procedures and guidelines for meetings may be found in the P:T Bylaws.
Article V: Productions and Events
- Each year, P:T will support:
- A maximum of three mainstage productions per semester
- As many events as can be reasonably sustained as determined by the P:T board and available funds, with the input of Student Programs.
- No more than one musical production per year as the budgeted musical, which receives a larger budget. (If proposed and accepted, this musical will be counted as one of the mainstage productions. More musicals can be produced, but they must be done on mainstage or event budgets.)
- If P:T is called upon to collaborate with a department, the board will vote upon P:T’s involvement, including monetarily, as the board sees fit.
- The procedures for proposing and voting on shows and events can be found in Article IX.
Article VI. Liabilities, Contracts, & Strikes
- Every person on the P:T board and every person (regardless of membership) involved with any P:T show or event must sign a contract with the Ombudsperson. These contracts specify the job requirements for each position and include recognition of the Mount Holyoke College Anti-Hazing Policy and the Project: Theatre Strike System. If a contract is not available for a specific position, the general contract will be used.
- The Strike System: Anyone who violates their contract is subject to a strike, as is any. The individual in question will be given the opportunity to discuss the issue with the Ombudsperson. If the individual in questions neglects to meet with the Ombudsperson, they accept an automatic strike. The Ombudsperson will bring the case to the P:T board, who will discuss the matter and reach a decision on the individual’s strike status. No one can receive a strike without due process, and the strike system will only be used in extreme cases. The penalties of each strike level will be as described below:
- Strike 1: Formal written apology to director, production team and P:T board with a specific deadline. If the individual is working on another show, P:T reserves the right to inform the director of that person’s strike status.
- Strike 2: Suspension of a certain period based on the infraction. Suspensions and penalties are given on a case-by-case basis determined by the P:T board. This will happen in addition to all penalties from strike one.
- Strike 3: The P:T board will give the individual’s name to potential shows as a high risk individual whom they should avoid including in the production. The Ombudsperson will be in charge of relaying this information when they see fit. This will happen in addition to all penalties from strikes one and two.
- Additional Strike System Policies
- Rules for Good Behavior: For every P:T show an individual with strikes is able to successfully participate in, the P:T board will bring that person down a strike level. If that person has ever been at strike three, the individual’s name will always be given to the relevant contact (as decided by the Ombudsperson) on potential productions as a risk.
- Rules for Bad Behavior: Failure to comply with strike penalties will result in being moved up to the next strike level.
- Records: The P:T Ombudsperson will keep and maintain the strike record and will use discretion as to whom it is made available and when.
Article VII: Finances
- P:T is funded mainly by the SGA of Mount Holyoke College, and in part by fundraisers and donations at the door of productions. P:T must apply for funding as required by the SGA. The Treasurer develops the budget and presents it to the P:T board. The budget includes allocations for all anticipated shows, events, and other expenses.
- Per SGA requirements, P:T must fundraise a specified portion (20% of what SGA allocates to our org) of its proposed budget each academic year.
- Budget for individual shows is allocated as stated in the P:T Bylaws.
- P:T does not charge for tickets, unless required by the rights agreement of a given production. However, we do require that every production request donations (typically $3-5, as of 2014) at the door.Article VIII: Amendments
- Any member may propose an amendment to this constitution. The P:T board then may or may not decide to take up the proposed amendments for discussion, revision and ratification. The P:T board will then send the amendment out to the membership, who can ratify the amendment by a simple majority vote. In the event of an amendment to the constitution, the board shall, at time of sending the amendment to the membership for ratification, specify when the amendment will go into effect. Any time an amendment is proposed and sent to the membership, a copy of the existing constitution shall go along with it.