SBMT Meeting Minutes
October 17, 2021
Present: Michael Hirsch, Dan Singletary, Sara Dean, Jay Steele, Steve Sammonds, Doug Hughes, Ed Hunter, Aly Suleman, Tipu Purkayastha, Sharon Peng
Not Present: Raina Stevens, Doy Charnsupharindr
Agenda: Please refer to the slide set sent by the Chair for details.
ACTION: Organization and Reopening committees will discuss doing a survey to target people who attended and didn’t attend Shout, to find out why, so we can see how we might address increasing attendance and ticket sales.
ACTION: Organization Development committee will look at clarifying process and roles and how we make that available to staff and Board, especially in training new members.
(See the notes that were sent prior to the meeting).
- Melissa (Red) did an “instagram takeover” of Shout.
- We also had video testimonials.
- Lots of publicity, great response from the public. Social media was positive.
Could we do a video ‘replay’ of SHOUT? Can look into getting a license for that. Our license doesn’t cover it right now (only covered live streaming during the dates the production was running). We didn’t do it at the time because of concerns about poor bandwidth in streaming from Saratoga Civic, estimated we might sell 20 or 30 seats per live stream, did not seem economically worth it.
- We have to tear down sound-padding at the theater; all curtains and such must be treated for fire prevention.
- The Audience View Pro application for box office is harder to use, so will need to get more trained people. Some Board members volunteered to be trained.
Executive Director Update
See her report in slides.
- Company starts rehearsal November 15. Aly Suleman will help produce it.
- On the Town – Working on getting auditions together, probably middle of December. Janie Scott is working on reaching out to potential cast members.
- Finances – need to do a course correction, based on ticket sales reality with SHOUT and what we’re seeing at other theaters around the area. Need to update Chart of Accounts.
- eStudio – Ryan Sammonds doing a cabaret, filming the 26th.
- Workshops: January a 1970s dance workshop, coming up, more accent workshops with Kimily Conkle.
- For 2022/23, applied for two shows so far; one has been denied. Discussed additional shows to look for, criteria due to pandemic caution and budget concerns (e.g. simpler set, using projections). Looking at some interesting shows for concert productions.
SHOUT Budget Results
See slide for details
- Projected expenses were much lower, however, projected income also much lower because ticket sales lower due to pandemic caution. In short, all the variables that we could control we did well, even better than expected, but pandemic caution is affecting us.
- We are able to get a discount from MTI based on our ticket sales projections being under our original estimates
- COVID Checking
- Most audience members were prepared, almost all were positive. Many thanks from patrons for being careful.
- Ticket sales in the area have been around 30-40% across the board for some Sara talked to (PAP, LASC, Theatreworks) Local theaters have put together BayAreaArtsTogether, 100 groups from Marin to Gilroy, to do a co-advertising campaign asking people to come to the theater. They will do it in December. Doug is providing our input to the campaign.
- It’s possible that we have attracted most of the people who are willing to wear a mask in theater, but the others either don’t want to wear a mask, or they are afraid because if masks are required they think it may not be safe.
- ACTION: Organization and Reopening committees will discuss doing a survey to target people who attended and didn’t attend Shout, to find out why, so we can see how we might address increasing attendance and ticket sales.
See slide for details
- Received three grants so far for 2021. Waiting to hear about two more.
- Board notes that getting these grants has been a game changer. Many thanks to Sara for pushing these through!
- Sara notes that some of this is due to pandemic-related grants. Remember that some may not be available next year.
- Board Retreat, Michael will send out a couple more dates
- Could we use the model of COVID Checking for a patron greeting activity for our shows? People were very happy to talk with us and be greeted. Suggest committees discuss possibility. One idea: solicit testimonials after the show. Or give patron donation or subscription handouts.
- CFO succession plan, Braden Taylor will take over when current CFO retires. Jen Maggio will help with the rest of this fiscal year, Braden will do some of the tasks behind the scenes.
- Staffing updates.
- Sara is looking into getting an intimacy director for Company, because two characters will have to be in bed together on stage.
- Looking for costume designer for On the Town.
- Interviewed for assistants. Sara will follow up with both of her top two choices. Considering offering them both part time roles, rather than a single role. One could do more of the business side tasks, one could focus on eStudio program management and expanding our social media outreach.
- Will be asking Board members to help write thank you notes to our high-level donors. Barbara will contact Board members individually.
- Looking for co-chairs for all of the committees. Here are the persons who volunteered at today’s meeting:
- Community, Inclusion, Accountability: Sharon, Aly, (follow up with Doy?)
- Organizational Development: Jay, Tipu
- Development & Fundraising: Barbara, (Sara, Doug – non Board members)
- Vision & Planning: Steve, Ed
- Processes and post mortems: Discussed need to clarify processes and roles of the Board, staff, production.
- ACTION: Organizational Development committee will look at clarifying process and roles and how we make that available to staff, Board, especially training new members
Respectfully submitted October 17, 2021 – Barbara Heninger
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