1. The group shall be called The Woodhouse Players
2.The object of the group shall be to further the dramatic arts and to interest the local community in the appreciation of these arts by the performance of plays and in all such things as are conducive to these objects. Also to encourage others to partake in the said arts and objectives
3.In all its decisions, the purpose of the group will be to serve the needs and aspirations of the membership within the bounds set out in clause 2 above.
4.The funds of the group shall be devoted entirely to the stated objectives and no payments, either directly or indirectly, shall be made to any member for services to the group or for other than legitimate expenses incurred in its works.
5.No member of the group may purchase anything or enter into contract without the permission of the Chair or, if delegated, the Treasurer, or the Director or Producer of a play working within a production budget agreed by the Committee, or a member delegated to manage running expenses, working within a fixed annual budget agreed by the Committee.
6.The main account of the group may not fall below £1,000 without majority decision of a General Meeting, except in the case of dissolution.
7.Whenever the group organises events at a venue without a public performance licence, the Woodhouse Players will apply for a Temporary Events Notice from the appropriate licensing authority.
8.Annual membership fees are as set out in the Rules
9.The Committee may waive the membership fee on a discretionary basis for any member.
10. The membership year shall commence on the day after the Annual General Meeting.
11. Only members of the group may vote at a General Meeting.
12. For the purposes of any General Meeting, a person shall be considered a member if they have paid the subscription for the period leading up to the meeting
13. A member whose subscriptions fall more than four months into arrears shall be deemed no longer a member. New members joining part way through the year may pay membership for the portion of the year remaining, which will be 50% of the regular membership fee if more than six months have elapsed since an Annual General Meeting. The Treasurer may, at their discretion, allow payment by instalment or some similar arrangement for any individual.
14. The Committee may revoke the membership of any individual, subject to appeal at a general meeting (for example for behaviour contrary to the equal opportunities statement in paragraphs 26 to 29). The meeting will elect a Chairman for the duration of the appeal.
15. The general business of the group will be conducted by the Committee or by other members of the group appointed by it. This shall include:
16. The Committee shall consist of between four and eleven members, comprising:
17. The Committee shall be responsible for ensuring the following functions are fulfilled:
18. The chair will be responsible for clarifying roles when it becomes necessary. Other responsibilities may be allocated to ordinary members where appropriate or to other members of the group who will then become co-opted members of the Committee with non-voting rights until such time as the Committee sees fit, although all such co-options will conclude at the Annual General Meeting.
19. In the event of a vacancy on the Committee, the Committee may co-opt another member with full voting rights on to the Committee until the next AGM.
20. In the event of an equality of votes at a meeting, the Chair may exercise a second and casting vote in order to ensure that decisions can be made.
21. If the Chair is unable to carry out his/her duties then the remaining members of the Committee shall appoint another Committee Member as a temporary Acting Chair by majority vote without delay. Unless relinquishing the post, the Chair may return at any time when s/he is once again able to carry out his/her duties prior to the next scheduled election.
22. In the event of a vacancy for the Chair, or if the Chair is permanently unable to carry out his/her duties then the remaining members of the Committee shall appoint another Committee Member as a temporary Acting Chair by majority vote without delay. The Committee must then notify the membership of the vacancy. The Committee may then co-opt another member on to the Committee.
23. Committee meetings will be held at least six times a year, with the secretary giving a minimum of seven days notice to all members of any meeting. Meetings will have a quorum of four if the overall size of the Committee (excluding the President) is eight or less, or five if the overall size of the Committee (excluding the President) is more than eight.
24. All members of the group shall be entitled to attend and speak at Committee meetings. However, if a decision should come to a vote only the Committee may vote. The secretary should invite those with a likely interest in any issues to be discussed to meetings.
25. In the event of a General Meeting carrying a vote of no confidence in the Committee/member of the Committee, the Committee/member of the Committee will resign.
26. The group will conduct its business in a way that respects others. The group is committed to equality of opportunity, and opposes all forms of discrimination against people because of their age, race, religion, culture, disability, ethnic/national origin, gender, sexual orientation, and marital status.
27. The chair will ultimately be responsible for ensuring that group functions (including rehearsals, Committee meetings, and social events) conform to this statement. The director of any production should ensure conduct at rehearsals conforms to this statement., or seek the advice of the chair if it does not
28. Anyone wishing to make a complaint (related to equal opportunities or any other issue) should bring the complaint to the chair, or any other member of the Committee. The chair is responsible for making sure any complaint is investigated, except if he or she is implicated in which case the appellant may nominate a member to investigate.
29. Adjudication of complaints shall be by the Committee at large except for any members of the Committee directly implicated in the complaint. Before taking any action on a complaint the Committee shall inform the person who is the subject of the complaint about the complaint, and give him or her an opportunity to make representations.
30. The quorum for a general meeting shall be ten, or one third of the membership, whichever is greater. Written postal, electronic, or proxy votes from members shall count for the purposes of this quorum.
31. The constitution may only be amended by a two-thirds majority of those present at a General Meeting.
32. The Annual General Meeting shall be held in the second quarter of each year. It shall be called by the Secretary in writing or by email at least 21 days before the appointed date. Every member shall be sent a copy of the notice of the meeting.
33. The Annual General Meeting will:
34. The Annual General Meeting will also request nominations and elect a Committee. If any post is contested a secret ballot shall be held at the Annual General Meeting, for which the procedures are laid down in the rules. The quorum shall be five for the purposes of electing a Committee (in order to ensure that the group is not left without a Committee).
35. An extraordinary General Meeting may be called by the Committee, or at the instigation of not less than one third of the total membership. The secretary shall give notice of no less than 14 days.
36. The group shall not be dissolved except by resolution of any General Meeting passed by at least two thirds of the members present at such a meeting. Exceptions to this will be: The quorum of 10 will not apply if membership falls below 12 for over six months.
37. In the event of the dissolution of the group, the balance of the funds of the group shall be used for:
38. In the event of dissolution the physical assets of the group (props, lighting equipment, etc.) will first be offered to other comparable amateur drama groups in the area, on the understanding that they are used for purposes consistent with the aims of the Woodhouse Players.
Amended Constitution adopted - May 2012
Annual membership fees are as follows:
Each play should be chosen by a meeting of the membership, organised by the Committee (but this need not be a quorate general meeting), with the Committee reserving the right to intervene or amend these choices if necessary.
The director will have sole responsibility for casting a production. This should normally be through open auditions, to which all members should be invited (unless time pressures make this impractical).
The director will draw up a rehearsal schedule. They should liaise with the production co-ordinator to book rehearsal time.
Any member may stand for the Committee by submission to the group Secretary at least 48 hours prior to the commencement of any General Meeting in which an election is to be held or in which a no confidence motion may give rise to an election.
Elections shall be carried out in the following manner:
Election for single post (i.e. Chair, Treasurer, Secretary)
Election for ordinary members
This constitution was adopted in May 2004 at the Annual General Meeting, and was amended by the 2006 AGM, 2007 AGM, 2009 AGM and 2012 AGM. It was adapted from the previous constitution adopted in 2002. The Constitution is the document that makes us "official" and means that we can have a bank account etc. It also contains all the really key things that the group is about.