On Monday, June 10, the first steps towards our next season took place with the election of the 2013-2014 Board of Directors at the General membership meeting held at the playhouse. This is the group that will oversee the production of our next five main stage productions, as well as the other “artistic” activities of the coming year.
New Board members elected for a two year term include Susie Gardiner, President –Elect, Kevin Branshaw, treasurer, and Board Members Laura Bradshaw-Tucker, and Tom Shilakes.
There were about 25 or 30 Players members in attendance at the meeting. The new Board, which includes holdovers, Helen Moultrup, Pam Dundas, Michael Gravame and Sophia Malynowskyj will hold their first meeting on Sunday, July 14 at 6 p.m. at the Playhouse. All members are invited, make that urged, to attend to help us run the club.
So what does the coming year hold? The slate of shows for the coming season was selected last fall, and directors and producers are already on board. In fact, auditions for the opening production of “Regrets Only” will be held in just a few weeks on June 24 & 25. Director Carl Jones gave us a preview of the show at the 90th Anniversary party, and it looks sure to be a smash.
During the General Membership meeting we honored some long-term members, Julie Candler and Donna Ryder with Golden Lifetime awards. Josie Thomas was presented with the ABBY Award for service above and beyond. We also named the scene shop in the late John Copeland’s name and gave him a standing ovation. During the “new business” section of the meeting, ABBY Award winner Joise Thomas asked if we could find a way for members to give a pair of tickets to someone they meet who “has never been to Village.” From a marketing standpoint, I am always amazed at the number of people I run into in Birmingham who tell me that they have driven by the building for many years, but “have never seen a show!” How do we reach those folks? I have several times just stopped by the box office, purchased a gift certificate equivalent to a pair of tickets and given it to people who just need a little encouragement to step inside our theater. Should we make this strategy part of our marketing program? We could set aside some of our marketing budget for just such an initiative. Members who would like to help us build an audience could request a gift certificate to give to interested and deserving “new” audience members. It would be nice if, as members, you also hosted those folks on their visit. Give them a tour! Introduce them to some of our fellow members. Show people the great club we have and the dynamite shows we put on!
Finally, as I was driving home after the meeting, I was thinking about what to say as your new Prez. Something inspiring like: “Ask not what your club can do for you. But what you can do for your club.” Just then, ahead of me in the sky, I noticed a beautiful rainbow… and I thought, that’s it, that’s enough… let’s take this year somewhere out, “Over the rainbow…” — Gary Mach