2016 Meeting review April AGM

Minutes of the 81st Sussex Playwrights AGM

Sussex Playwrights’ Club
81st Annual General Meeting
Sunday April 3rd 2016


1 Apologies for absence: Carole Bremson and Trevor Harvey.

2 Minutes of the 80th Annual General Meeting

Copies were circulated by e-mail by Peter Poole of the last AGM, held on Sunday 12th April 2015. Jerry Attwood proposed their adoption, seconded by Thomas Everchild.

3 Matters arising: None were raised.

4 Chairman’s report

Jerry thanked people for coming and reported that there had been 10 events during the year, including the Christmas event and the 80th anniversary celebration, which the mayor had attended. Deborah Knowles, Philippa Hammond, Margot Jobbins, Trevor Harvey and Paul Moriarty were sincerely thanked for making this a very successful event. Sadly, this year, Rex Baker, who had been Chairman for 10 years, Olive Holman and Neil McKellor had died. Jerry thanked the committee for their help during the year, Peter Poole (Secretary) who had recently resigned, Philippa, Deborah and Margot. It had been a very difficult year with very few committee members. Trevor had lodged material with The Keep. To add or access anything please contact the archivist.

5 Treasurer’s report

Jerry passed out printed copies of this year’s accounts and reported that more entrance fee money had been received than last, but more had been paid out in prizes. There had been the 80th anniversary celebration fees of £370 but we still had a reasonable capital of £6003 after expenses, between the bank and building society accounts. “Stock” referred to the 500 membership application forms, which will be written off next year, as the information on them is now outdated. Brian Marjoram proposed the accounts for adoption, seconded by Simon Jenner.

6 Motions:

1) That in recognition of the fact that there are now too few members of Sussex Playwrights’ Club willing or able to participate actively in its management, making it no longer a viable organisation, it should be honourably dissolved according to the terms and conditions stated in its Constitution.
Jerry quoted the Constitution item 12. Daphne delivered a heartfelt statement explaining why she thought the club was too weak to continue. Varying personal views were put forward.
The motion was proposed by Daphne, seconded by Giles. 4 in favour, 7 against, 2 abstained.

2) That the Sussex Playwrights’ Club fund, or part fund, a yearly production of a new play to be produced and performed at the Brighton Fringe Festival (open to Sussex Playwrights only).
It was thought costs could be astronomical. Proposed by Philip. Not seconded.

3) In order for the Sussex Playwrights’ Club to survive another 81 years: we need to have a plan of action to attract more people to our meetings.Proposed by Philip, seconded by Philippa. The motion was passed by 9:1 in favour.

7 Election of Officers:

Chairman – Philippa seconded by Thomas. Carried 12:1 in favour.
Philip wanted to stand as Chairman but was not seconded.
Vice-Chairman – Deborah seconded by Simon. Carried 12:1 in favour.
Secretary – Thomas seconded by Philippa. Carried unanimously.
Treasurer – Jerry seconded by Simon. Carried 11:1 in favour.
Committee – Simon seconded by Thomas. Carried unanimously.
Cherie seconded by Brian. Carried unanimously.

8 The future of the club. The following discussion points have been raised by Philip.

1) Philip proposed that we have an open discussion about the welcoming of new younger writers to the group and suggest that we introduce “workshops for plays”. The club needs to work with the writer more, use the internet, network and approach Hove Grown, to discuss and explore with them how to attract new, younger writers and actively involve them.

2) There is a further committee member who will take charge of casting members’ plays. For the new committee to decide.

3) The writer’s work must have a rehearsed reading by actors beforehand (preferably on the day of the reading.) It was suggested that an advertisement be put on the Brighton Actors’ Noticeboard to attract more readers.

Ideally, a play should be read through beforehand with the full cast at 4pm, before a meeting, but it is a matter of getting everyone together. Readers generally receive their script 2-3 weeks before the play is read, giving them time to individually rehearse. The Arts Council could be approached for funding so that professional readers are used. Part of the prize money could go to the actors who put on the play. An increased amount of prize money could be offered.

9 Any Other Business:

Deborah thanked Jerry for all his work in his dual roles. Thomas thanked Peter (Secretary).

Following the AGM, there was a reading of a play written by Trevor Harvey and read by Paul Moriarty, Jenny Leworthy and Anita Gilson.