a. A Constitution should be as simple and as flexible as possible to allow for developments or amendments without the need for constant alterations.
b. Any changes in the constitution can be suggested by any Member of the Dramaturgs’ Network, and it has to be discussed by the Executive Committee at their next meeting. If they approve it, the next Annual General Meeting should vote about the suggested changes.
As various theatre professionals (dramaturgs, literary managers, creative producers, script readers, artistic associates, directors, stage managers, assistant directors, festival organisers, academics etc.) can fulfil the role of a dramaturg or be involved in doing or teaching dramaturgy, hereafter the term ‘dramaturg’ will refer to all those theatre professionals, and professionals involved in education, who acknowledge this role and carry out this function at any point during the performance making process.
1.1 The Organisation shall be called the Dramaturgs’ Network, hereafter to be referred to as ’the Organisation’. It is a volunteer art organisation supporting practitioners and developing the practice and theory of dramaturgy in the UK.
1.2 The name of the Organisation, 'Dramaturgs Network', shall remain unaltered.
2. Aims and Objectives
The aims for the Organisation are:
Aim 1 - To provide a network of support, shared ideas, knowledge and resources for British theatre practitioners functioning in the roles of dramaturg, literary managers or educational professionals involved in dramaturgical practices.
Aim 2 – To explore the role, function and contributions of dramaturgs in the theatre process through practice, debate and collaborations.
Aim 3 – To cultivate, develop and disseminate current dramaturgical practices.
Aim 4 - To promote collaborative work practices involving dramaturgs by providing support and information to theatre practitioners and organisations engaging dramaturgs.
Based on these aims the objectives of the Organisation are:
o Bring together dramaturgs, literary managers, script editors, educational and teaching professionals, researchers and others with similar interests.
o Provide support and share information and experiences amongst our members and others on professional issues around our practice.
o Provide support, accessible information, resources and advice to people wanting to find out about working with, employing or training dramaturgs.
o Organise events for dramaturgs to promote Continual Professional Development.
o Continually strive to promote, cultivate and develop the role and the functions of the dramaturg in the UK.
o Arrange symposia and workshops around all aspects on the theory and practice of dramaturgy.
o Provide access to information and an interactive discussion forum on the internet.
o Act as a hub for collating relevant resources brought together by the members and other relevant professionals.
o Collaborate with teaching and educational institutions where dramaturgy is taught.
o Endeavour to support members in finding work opportunities.
3.1 Membership of the Organisation shall be open to any adult, working in performance or higher education, or studying in higher education, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation or ability, who agrees with the Organisation’s aims and objectives, in acknowledgement of this completes a membership application form, and pays the appropriate membership fee.
3.2 There shall be one type of membership available. This is:
Member: with rights to vote.
3.3 Each paid up Member shall be entitled to vote in person, or in proxy at any annual or special meeting of the Organisation, at any election or for any other purpose as expressed in this Constitution.
3.4 The annual membership fee is due for renewal up till the end of the first month of the new calendar year (31 January). Each member is required to pay by that date such annual dues as the Organisation may establish.
3.5 Any Member who fails to pay their dues by the deadline shall automatically be suspended from membership, and their membership shall not be renewed until they have satisfied all past obligations.
3.6 In addition to the reasons expressed in 3.5, a Member may be suspended from membership by majority vote of the Executive Committee; suspension carries the forfeiture of all privileges.
3.7 Any member of the Organisation shall have the right to examine all the Organisation’s books, vouchers, expenses and other financial records, but may not divulge or publish said information.
4.1 The Dramaturgs’ Network is a network; therefore to fulfil its aims it depends on its volunteer members’ active contributions. The Organisation was set up to provide a framework and support for these initiatives and is therefore dependent on its members’ time, suggestions and enthusiasm.
4.2 The running of the affairs of the Organisation is done by the Executive Committee, made up from Members. The Executive Committee members can opt to serve a one-year or a two-year term, with the exception of the President, who shall always serve a two-year term. No member of the Executive Committee shall be elected to the same office for more than two consecutive two-year terms (i.e.: four years). The Executive Committee shall be nominated and ratified by the Members (voting by person or by proxy) at an AGM.
4.3 The Executive Committee members keep their tasks and post according to their capacity to volunteer, and fulfil the tasks needed.
4.4 The Executive Committee shall be made up of at least 4 members:
A, President, whose duties shall be:
To preside at the Executive Committee Meetings.
To set the time and place of Meetings.
To co-ordinate the work of the Executive Committee.
To represent the Organisation officially in its business outside the organisation.
To endorse any disbursements submitted by, or in the absence of the Finance and Development Manager.
To oversee the PR of the Organisation.
To oversee the Organisation’s work.
To account for the Organisation’s activities to the Advisory Board.
B, Vice-President, whose duties shall be:
To help the President to co-ordinate the work of the Executive Committee.
To represent the organisation officially in its business outside the organisation.
To help oversee and organise the Organisation’s work.
To liaise with the Producer, Communications Manager and Executive Secretary in coordinating carrying on their responsibilities
C, Past President (a one-year member of the Executive Committee, immediately following the term as President), whose duties shall be:
To advise the President and the Executive Committee.
To facilitate succession.
D, Finance and Development Manager, whose duties shall be:
To collect dues.
To keep account of monies received and disbursed.
To initiate payments of bills received.
To sign cheques for all disbursements.
To lead and implement a fundraising strategy.
To provide the Executive Committee meeting (and the Advisory Board meeting) with an up-to-date copy of the operating budget of the Organisation.
To render a written year-end report at the AGM.
To account for the Organisation’s finances to the Advisory Board.
N.B.: If there is no elected Finance and Development Manager, the President and the Vice-President shall share the job and responsibility of the Finance and Development Manager, both of them are entitled to sign cheques for the Organisation and authorise payments.
E, Producer, whose duties shall be:
To plan, organise and produce all the d’n events.
To oversee, support and coordinate the various Action Groups’ work, and act as a point of contact between the Action Groups and the Executive Committee.
N.B: This post can be filled by two people.
F, Executive Secretary whose duties shall be:
To keep an up-to-date database of Members with their contact details.
To administer new memberships.
To send announcements of meetings and of other business to the Members.
To record or cause to be recorded minutes of every meeting.
To disperse copies of said minutes, after being approved by the President, to members of the Executive Committee (and Advisory Board Members).
To assist the President and the Vice-President in their work.
To assist in fundraising.
To assist in the Organisation’s PR activities.
To provide a liaison between the EC and the members.
N.B.: The Executive Committee can decide to employ a professional to cover the above duties. In that case the title is 'Administrator', and the person fulfilling the role is not part of the Executive Committee - i.e.: can be consulted but has no voting right in decisions concerning the Organisation.
G, Communications Manager, whose duties shall be:
To develop a marketing and communication strategy for the Organisation.
To help the Organisation to communicate its achievements and needs with the outside word through various forms of the media.
To oversee and organise the regular maintenance of the Organisation’s website and social media.
To organise and coordinate the PR of the Organisation.
To prepare press releases and information sheets about the Organisation’s work.
To liaise with the Press when necessary.
To support the Organisation’s fundraising campaigns through means of communication.
To inform the members about the work of the Organisation regularly.
The Executive Committee may include:
F, Educational Representative, whose duties shall be:
To provide a liaison between the Organisation and various UK universities and other educational institutions with interest in Dramaturgy.
To initiate and organise educational events and projects.
G, Early Career Dramaturgs’ Representative, whose duties shall be:
To support and represent early career dramaturgs within the Organisation.
To initiate and organise events and projects for early career dramaturgs, according to their needs.
4.5 Alternatively, once a President has been elected, the Executive Committee members can decide to share the above jobs between themselves as they wish, provided, all aspects of the work are covered.
4.6 If during his/her term an Executive Committee member needs to resign, to enable the smooth running of the Organisation, the remaining Executive Committee can ask another member of the Organisation to step in for the rest of the term and fulfil his/her role. If the Executive Committee cannot reach a unanimous decision about the replacement, the post should be advertised immediately within the Organisation and by-elections should be held within a month of the advertisement.
5. Action Groups
5.1 Certain projects delivery can be structured around ‘Action Groups’. These groups can be initiated and organised by any Member of the organisation but must be agreed by the Executive Committee, and contain at least one member of the Executive Committee. These ‘Action Groups’ direct the relevant project in order to accomplish the Organisation’s aims, and will exist only for the term of the project. Decisions on activities and operations are taken by the Action Groups based on discussions by the whole group. Each Action Group is required to account for their work at the next AGM.
6. Advisory Board
6.1 The Organisation may set up an Advisory Board – this decision is at the discretion of the Executive Committee.
6.2 The Advisory Board shall advise the Organisation and oversee its stability. They need to be highly regarded industry professionals, nominated by the Executive Committee members.
6.3 The Advisory Board shall meet as and when the activities of the Organisation require but no less than once annually.
6.4 The duties of the Advisory Board shall be:
6.4.1 To keep accurate accounts of the finances of the Organisation through the Finance and Development Manager.
6.4.2 To make decisions on the basis of a simple majority vote.
7. General Meetings
7.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be held if possible not later than the end of December. 21 clear days’ written notice shall be given to the Members of the Annual General Meeting by circulating a copy of the notice to their registered e-mail address and posting on the Organisation website.
7.2 Members must advise the President via e-mail of any business to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting at least 14 days before a meeting.
7.3 The Executive Committee shall circulate or give notice of the agenda for the meeting to Members not less than 10 days before the meeting.
7.4 The business of the Annual General Meeting shall be to:
7.4.1 Confirm the minutes of the previous Annual General Meeting and any General Meetings held since the last Annual General Meeting.
7.4.2 Receive the accounts for the year.
7.4.3 Receive the annual report of the Executive Committee.
7.4.4 Bi-annually (or whenever it is necessary): elect the Executive Committee members.
7.4.5 Review subscription rates and agree them for the forthcoming year.
7.4.6 Transact such other business received in writing (e-mail is sufficient) by the President from Members 14 days prior to the meeting and included on the agenda.
NB: The agenda could provide for ‘Any Other Business’, but Members should be encouraged to refer other items to the Executive Committee and give the required notice for important Annual General Meeting business.
7.5 Special General Meetings may be convened by the Executive Committee or on receipt by the executive Committee of a request in writing from not less than 5 Members of the Organisation. At least 21 days’ notice of the meeting shall be given.
7.6 Nomination of candidates for election of Executive Committee Members shall be made in writing to the current Executive Committee at least 14 days in advance of the Annual General Meeting date. Nominations can only be made by Members and must be seconded by another Member.
7.7 At all General Meetings, the Chair will be taken by the President or, in their absence, by a deputy appointed by the Organisation or by Members attending the meeting.
7.8 Decisions made at a General Meeting shall be by a simple majority of votes from those Members attending the meeting or absent Members by proxy (it has to be written, clearly indicating what they are voting for). In the event of equal votes, the Chairperson shall be entitled to an additional casting vote.
7.9 A quorum for a General Meeting shall be 3 Members and 2 representatives from the Executive Committee.
7.10 Each Voting Member of the Organisation shall be entitled to one vote at General Meetings.
8. Kenneth Tynan Award
8.1 In order to recognise excellence in the field of dramaturgy, the Organisation shall present the Kenneth Tynan Award.
8.2 The award shall be presented biennially to one theatre (or dance) professional residing in the United Kingdom who has made an outstanding contribution to the field of dramaturgy (regardless of his/her job title).
8.3 Nominations for the award can be made in writing and by any theatre professional. Each person can nominate one person only, except himself/herself. Nominations need to reach the Organisation before the advertised deadline.
8.4 The recipient of the Kenneth Tynan Award shall be chosen from the received, valid nominations by the Award Panel.
8.5 The Award Panel shall be constituted of the current Executive Committee members. The Executive Committee has a right to invite up to three industry professionals to the Award Panel. The Award Panel shall elect a Head.
8.6 The Award Panel needs to consider all the valid nominations, and cast a vote. The nominee who receives most of the votes shall be the winner of the Kenneth Tynan Award. In the event of equal votes, the Head shall be entitled to an additional casting vote.
8.7 The winner of the Kenneth Tynan Award shall receive a certificate signed by the Head of the Award Panel and the President of the Organisation, and a sum of minimum £250.
8.8 The Kenneth Tynan Award shall be presented at the Kenneth Tynan Award ceremony, organised by the Dramaturgs' Network.
The website of the Dramaturgs' Network (www.dramaturgy.co.uk) is an essential means of achieving the Organisation's aims, documenting its history and its previous work. Therefore, any future website development must preserve the content of the current website (especially past events and documentation of the Organisation's work), archive and document its relevant pages, and make it available for the public online through the refreshed website. The website of the Organisation shall never 'go dark' by design for any period of time, or be removed permanently.
10.1 If, at any General Meeting of the Organisation, a resolution be passed calling for the dissolution of the Organisation, the President shall immediately convene a Special General Meeting of the Organisation to be held not less than one month thereafter to discuss and vote on the resolution.
10.2 If, at that Special General Meeting, the resolution is carried by at least two-thirds of the Members present at the meeting, the Executive Committee shall thereupon, or at such date as shall have been specified in the resolution, proceed to realise the assets of the Organisation and discharge all debts and liabilities of the Organisation.
10.3 In case of dissolution, the necessary arrangements shall be made to document and archive the Organisation's website and make it available to the public permanently.
10.4 Similarly, all the relevant documents concerning the history and the work of the Organisation, including publicity material and other archived documents shall be deposited with a pubic organisation (library, museum, or higher educational institution), securing public access to it for research purposes.
10.5 After discharging all debts and liabilities of the Organisation, and arranging the documentation of the Organisation's work and its website, the remaining assets shall not be paid or distributed amongst the Members of the Organisation, but shall be given or transferred to some other voluntary organisation having objects similar to those of the Organisation.
This Constitution was made in 2008, revised and ratified by the Dramaturgs’ Network AGM in 2010, and modified and accepted by the Dramaturgs’ Network AGMs in 2011, 2012, 2015 and 2017.