Results of the...
Special General Meeting
On the 7th of March 2018, the Southern Peninsula Players committee of management and interested members met at the
Rosebud Memorial Hall, Rosebud. The Members were asked to consider and vote on two motions relating to a merger of the two theatre groups working out of Rosebud; The Southern Peninsula Players and Rosebud Astral Theatre Society.
Several questions were asked, once John Staunton presented the concept of the merger to the members present. The Following motions were then moved by Gabe Noonan and Seconded by Tony Staunton.
• Motion 1: That the Southern Peninsula Players membership supports the proposition of merging with Rosebud Astral Theatre Society.
• Motion 2 : That the Southern Peninsula Players committee of management be authorized to action and finalize a merger with Rosebud Astral Theatre Society in the event of carried Motion above.
So where to from Here ...
Both committees lead by John Staunton and Brendan Croft will start the following process. Members will be kept informed of the mergers progress and constitution via this website and emails to those that attended the special meeting.
* The CONSTITUTION
* The name
* the ASSETS
* The COMMITTEE of MANAGEMENT and sub-COMMITTEE elections.
* LODGING the merger with BUSINESS affairs
Details about the merger can be found below. This is not a completed plan for the merger, but it does cover most of the considerations, aims and ideals, with which we are approaching this issue.
Astral and SPP Merger
This document aims to explore the proposition of merging the 2 community theatre groups currently operating in Rosebud, Rosebud Astral Theatre Society and Southern Peninsula Players(SPP). As well as how such a merger could be achieved and how the two companies could maintain their name recognition. This document was written by Brendan Croft and contains personal opinion that does not necessarily represent the official Astral position.
Firstly, there would be a great financial benefit to both companies as insurance and administration costs directly related to the running of the companies (excluding show related expenses) would be essentially halved. Currently both groups have insurance policies that cover all their members and include public liability, after a merger only one policy would be required. Management (Committee) insurance assuming both companies currently have it would also be halved. Similarly, with bank accounts. Both groups have 2 accounts, four in total, and a merged group would only require 2 accounts. I am confident that there would be more financial benefits discovered as time went by, such as sharing of hall bookings.
Another reason for a merger is the, at times, shortage of people willing to step up to committee positions and assist with keeping a group running. Getting people to assist directly with a show will always be easier, than finding people willing to deal with the often mundane tasks required at an administrative level. One committee will always be easier to fill than two.
Historically SPP and Astral have had a rich history of cooperation. There has always been people who were/are members of both groups, we share our rehearsal and performance venue and we have shared assets. Even the assets that belong to one company have generally been made available to the other on a basic system of trust. This sharing of members and assets has been highlighted over the last couple of years as Astral and SPP have once again become closer, after some years of division between them. The reasons for the division does not need to be explored here, but suffice to say it did not benefit either company. The benefits of a close relationship should be evident to all involved.
With the aim to be a merger and not for one company to absorb or take over the other, the simplest way would be to execute an amalgamation as set out in incorporated associations act with a new name that is agreed upon by both parties. The name could be some type of combination of the two current names, or something entirely new. Personally I support some use of the Rosebud name in the new association name ie. Rosebud Theatre Group. For this to happen, both groups would need to hold a Special General Meeting and have their membership vote on the merger proposal.
As mentioned above, there would only be one committee required to run the new merged association, but in order to preserve the aims and ideals of each company in the shows they produce and present, it may be beneficial to have two sub committees that actually produce the shows. These committees can be filled by members of the primary committee and by general members who wish to be more involved at a production level. At times the primary committee would have increased duties with the production of multiple shows each year. However, when there are people interested in, and willing to assist with, putting on a production, the primary committee would only have the administration of the company in general to worry about. The actual productions would be taken care of by the sub- committees. With the different requirements involved with selecting and producing plays and musicals, having a dedicated sub-committee could also benefit the final product we present.
Maintaining the historic names
With Astral having operated for over 30 years and SPP for over 60, both groups have name recognition in the immediate and surrounding areas. This recognition gives an obvious marketing benefit and certainly contributes to ticket sales, but there is also an emotional factor that cannot be ignored. There are many people who have dedicated a lot of time and effort to SPP and Astral, and I am sure they would not wish to see the groups they have invested so much into, simply vanish, albeit in name only.
In a merged group, both the SPP name and the Astral name could still be used when advertising shows, SPP for plays and Astral for musicals. The name of the new association would have to be listed on advertising and licencing materials, but we could still include the old names.
Perpetuating what we do
One major risk that I can see would be if the new group became dominated by members with a singular focus on either plays or musicals, and the less favoured type of show was to be neglected. Currently Astral and SPP provide our area with both musicals and plays, and this needs to continue. SPP currently aims to put on two plays a year and Astral has their spring musical and on occasion do an additional show earlier in the year. It could easily be enshrined in the new association’s constitution, that both show types must be done each year.
Both groups have a list of life members who have contributed so much to the group that they have earned a Life Membership. As a sign of respect and recognition, these individuals could be made life members of the new association, thus maintaining at least some of the member history of both groups.