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Minutes of ATG Member Org Reps Meeting - October 2012

Minutes of the Member Organization Liaisons Meeting

Vortex Theatre
October 20, 2012

Approved by the Board November 3, 2012


Jan Caron—Rio Grande Players
Jason Deuter—Southwest Rural Theatre Project
Marty Epstein—Vortex Theatre
Kay Grant—Theatre Lovers Community
Stephanie Hainsfurther—NM Mags
Bob Johnson—Sandia Performing Arts Company
Reeve Love—National Hispanic Cultural Center
Linda López McAlister—Camino Real Productions
Cathryn McGill—Rainbow Studio Theater
Joel Miller—East Mountain Centre for Theatre
Tom Schuch—Mother Road Theatre Company
Denise Schulz—Blackout Theatre
Valerie Scott—ATG Board
Vicki Singer—Musical Theatre Southwest
Rachel Thompson—Encore! Theatre
Beth Welt—Explora Theater
Hugh Witemeyer—Adobe Theater

1. Welcome

Hugh Witemeyer welcomed those in attendance and thanked Marty Epstein and the Vortex Theatre for hosting the meeting.

2. Symposium on Preserving New Mexico’s Theatrical Heritage

On Saturday, October 27, an ATG-sponsored interactive symposium entitled “Recognizing New Mexico’s Theatrical Past, Present, and Future” will take place at the National Hispanic Cultural Center from 10:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Linda McAlister gave an overview of the genesis and purpose of the project. Brian Herrera of Princeton University will give the keynote address, after which Ken Cerniglia and Susan Brady of the American Theatre Archive Project will lead interactive sessions on the theory and practice of theatre archiving. Symposium participants will include representatives from theatres throughout New Mexico as well as members of the general public. The event has been publicized by a press release that was picked up by the Albuquerque Journal and Local IQ, and announcements that were posted on Facebook and Twitter and sent to e-mail address lists.

3. A Different Way of Producing Playbills

Stephanie Hainsfurther, owner of NM Mags and publisher of Abq Arts and Entertainment, described a plan by which ATG member theatres could produce their playbills in a new way. Under this plan, participating theatres will supply NM Mags, by a given deadline, with four pages of text and graphics for each of their shows. For a fee as yet to be determined, NM Mags would print this material on glossy paper within a “shell” containing advertisements. (Ads sold separately by theatres themselves may be included in their 4-page programs.) A new issue of the publication containing the programs of at least four ATG shows would appear every month, and the cover and contents of the “shell” would change every three months. Design, printing, and delivery would be handled by NM Mags.

Liaisons of ATG member organizations are encouraged to confer with their colleagues as soon as possible to ascertain whether they are interested in this option. In order to set a fee structure, NM Mags would like to know (1) how many copies of a given playbill would your theatre need for the entire run of a typical production, and (2) what would you consider a reasonable price to pay for that number of copies?

For further information, please contact Stephanie Hainsfurther directly at 298-2155 or .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Although ATG will help to work out the general framework of a partnership with NM Mags, each member theatre will be responsible for negotiating the particulars of its own agreement

4. Season Preview Fair

Kay Grant presented a proposal for an event co-sponsored by the ATG and the TLC, at which member theatres will present information about, and previews of, their upcoming seasons to the general public in a fair-like atmosphere. The event would take place in the late summer/early autumn of 2013 to showcase Fall Season productions. The venue will depend in part on the number of participating organizations, but those present at the meeting spoke strongly in favor of integrating our fair into the New Mexico State Fair. That possibility will be explored. Exact dates, venue, and expenses remain to be determined, but the aim is to minimize the cost to participating organizations and fair-goers.

5. Free Night of Theatre

Linda Lopez McAlister reported that the FNOT lottery was open from September 1 to September 30. Twelve ATG theatre companies offered 123 pairs of free tickets to 44 performances of 15 productions. 1,089 people entered the lotteries for these tickets. After theatres had the opportunity to view the entrant lists to eliminate people they knew to be previous customers, the drawing took place on October 2 and all entrants were informed automatically by email whether or not they had won tickets. The participating theatres were sent the lists of their winners so they could have the tickets in will-call at the performances won. Each participating theatre can access the complete list of entrants which they can add to their mailing lists and market to in the future. 

We found that the FNOT website was not as user-friendly as it might have been and we have made suggestions to the LA Theatre Alliance which administers it for ways to improve it. Some changes they made immediately and others may be implemented later. One benefit to the ATG Buzz Committee was being able to learn which of our publicity/outreach efforts were most effective because entrants had to indicate how they heard about FNOT. They were, in order of the number of people who cited them: Email, Friend/Family; Abq on the Cheap; Facebook ; Newspaper; ATG Website; Billboard; Flyers; Google+; Theatre teacher; Twitter. 

We need to seek information from the participating theatres to see if they think the event was worthwhile for them and whether they want us to continue with the program next year.

6. High School Preview Nights

Valerie Scott encouraged member theatres to take part in the ATG High School Preview Nights program. Feedback from participating students, teachers, and parents has been highly positive, and participating theatres have an unparalleled opportunity to introduce themselves to the audiences of the future. Productions chosen for this program must be age-appropriate, as do those selected for the “Taste of Theatre” series.

7. A Taste of Theatre

Valerie Scott announced the final participants in the 2012 series of preview performances at the St. Clair Winery and Bistro. On October 23, excerpts from Annie, Jr. will be presented by New Mexico Young Actors. On October 30, scenes from Jesus Christ, Superstar will be performed by Musical Theatre Southwest. The program will resume in Spring 2013.

8. Member-Generated Projects

The result of the selection process will be announced on or before November 1.

Respectfully submitted,
Cathryn McGill and Hugh Witemeyer

This project is supported in part by New Mexico Arts, a division of the
Department of Cultural Affairs, and by the National Endowment for the Arts

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