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 the Board shall consider any such change at their next meeting. If approved, there shall be a vote on the adoption of the change at the next Annual General Meeting.
c. References to communication and meetings shall deem to include all digital forms unless otherwise stated.
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:
Bring together dramaturgs, literary managers, script editors, educational and teaching professionals, researchers and others with similar interests.
Provide support and share information and experiences amongst our members and others on professional issues around our practice.
Provide support, accessible information, resources and advice to people wanting to find out about working with, employing or training dramaturgs.
Organise events for dramaturgs to promote Continuing Professional Development.
Continually strive to promote, cultivate and develop the role and the functions of the dramaturg in the UK.
Arrange symposia and workshops around all aspects on the theory and practice of dramaturgy.
Provide access to information and an interactive discussion forum on the internet.
Act as a hub for collating relevant resources brought together by the members and other relevant professionals.
Collaborate with teaching and educational institutions where dramaturgy is taught.
Endeavour to support members in finding work opportunities.
Strive to improve the remuneration and terms and conditions of engagement of both freelance and employed dramaturgs.
Raise awareness and the visibility of dramaturgs and dramaturgy in the UK.
3.1 Membership of the Organisation shall be open to any adult, working or who has worked 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 Member shall be entitled to vote in person, or in proxy at any annual or specially convened 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 outstanding financial obligations.
3.6 In addition to the reasons expressed in 3.5, a Member may be suspended from membership by a majority vote of the Board; 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. Any request for such examination shall be made in writing and the Board shall have twenty-eight days to provide the member with the information requested.
3.8 Membership of the Organisation is not transferrable to another person.
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 management of the Organisation is undertaken by a Board, comprising Members who have nominated themselves for election at an Annual General Meeting. Members elected to the Board shall serve for a minimum period of one year and may offer themselves for re-election at subsequent AGMs for up to five years. To be eligible for election, Members must be supported in writing by two other Members of the Organisation and provide a CV and a letter setting out why they are seeking election submitted by 30 November each year, prior to the AGM.
The Board shall circulate a schedule of candidates seeking election with details of their supporting members, their CV and their accompanying letter with the AGM papers. The Board shall, at the same time, circulate a list of current Board members seeking re-election.
At the AGM, all members present shall vote individually on each new candidate as to whether they should be elected by majority vote.
Any member who wishes to vote but is unable to attend the AGM shall be entitled to appoint another attending member or the AGM Chair to act as their proxy to vote as they direct.
In the event that the total number of Board members would exceed ten, those candidates with the lowest number of votes shall not be elected.
In the event that the total number of Board members would exceed ten and all new candidates receive a unanimous vote from members or there are members with an equal number of majority votes, the current Board members shall, in a second round of majority voting, decide which of the new candidates shall be elected.
4.3 The Board shall comprise up to ten members and no fewer than four members. In the event that there are not four elected Board members or sufficient Board members to fulfil the roles as set out in Clause 6 below, the elected Board members may co-opt additional members specifically to fulfil any vacant role or for any other reason. A co-opted member may participate in all matters considered by the Board and shall serve until the next Annual General Meeting when they may seek election if they wish.
4.4 The newly-elected Board, directly after each AGM, shall decide whether to elect a President, from the current Board to lead and represent the Organisation or whether to work collaboratively and lead and represent the Organisation themselves.
4.5 Those Board members who retire after four or more years’ service, may join a Former Board Members Council. The Council shall have no involvement in the operational decisions of the Organisation but may offer advice and be consulted on matters relating to strategy and issues which may affect the Organisation from time to time. The Board is not accountable to this Council and the Council has no decision-making powers but may be considered to constitute the corporate memory of the Organisation. The Council may meet from time to time, but at least once a year, either digitally or in person and the Organisation will reimburse all reasonable expenses. Former Board Members may announce their departure from the Council at any AGM and may serve for up to six years if they wish.
4.6 Any grievance or dispute between members of the Organisation including Board members shall, in the first instance, be attempted to be resolved amicably and informally. If this is not possible or not successful, the Board should be informed in writing. The Board will appoint a mediator to resolve the dispute by any reasonable means including a physical or digital meeting which shall only take place with sufficient notice. If a meeting is to take place, both members may be accompanied by another member and if the dispute includes a Board member, they may be accompanied by another Board member. The mediator delegated to resolve the grievance or dispute shall have the right to call a second physical or digital meeting if necessary. Within five days of the second or final meeting, the mediator resolving the dispute shall write to both members and the Board setting out how the dispute shall be resolved.
5. Working Groups
5.1 The Board may, from time to time, delegate specific projects and resources to a working group. A Board Member need not be a member of a Working Group (WG), but all working groups should refer any major decisions relating to their project and the related resources to the Board. All working groups should provide a brief report on the progress of their project each year at the AGM including the AGM which takes place after the project is completed.
5.2 If a member or a group of members wish to commence a project or utilise resources in the name of the Dramaturgs’ Network, that member or those members should, in the first instance, seek approval from the Board, whose approval should not be unreasonably withheld. Once approved, the member(s) will comprise a Working Group which should comply with the requirements of 5.1 above.
6. The Board
6.1 The Board shall steer the Organisation and take responsibility for all strategic and operational matters..
6.2 The Board operations shall cover and take responsibility for the following matters relating to the Organisation: membership administration, communication, finance and business matters, events, the Kenneth Tynan Award, publicity and promotion, website, education and continuous professional development. This list comprises the core activities of the Organisation and other matters may be added from time to time as deemed appropriate by the Board members serving during that year.
6.3 The Board shall meet as and when the activities of the Organisation require but no less than four times annually.
6.4 The Board shall make all decisions by simple majority vote.
6.5 The Board shall seek to operate in a fair and transparent manner avoiding conflicts of interest, should they occur, and without breaching any individual member’s confidentiality.
6.6 Any member of the Board or a Working Group who perceives that they may be conflicted shall inform the other members of the Board and/or the Working Group at the earliest opportunity.
7. General Meetings
7.1 The Annual General Meeting shall be held if possible not later than the end of December each year. 14 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 by posting on the Organisation website.
7.2 Any member of the Organisation may advise the President via e-mail of any business they wish to be discussed at the Annual General Meeting. Any such request must be made at least 7 days before a meeting.
7.3 The Board shall circulate or give notice of the agenda for the meeting to Members not less than 5 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 Special Meetings held since the last Annual General Meeting.
7.4.2 Receive financial information relating to all income and expenditure for the previous twelve months.
7.4.3 Receive the annual reports of the Working Groups.
7.4.4 Oversee election of new Board members and Board members seeking a further term.
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 7 days prior to the meeting and subsequently included on the agenda.
NB: The AGM agenda may include a provision for ‘Any Other Business’, but any such business conducted under this agenda item shall relate solely to Board matters and not items requested by members after the 7-day deadline.
7.5 Special Meetings may be convened by the Board on receipt of a request in writing from not less than 5 Members of the Organisation. At least 14 days’ notice of the meeting shall be given to members via email. Notice of any Special Meeting shall also be posted on the members’ area of the Organisation’s website.
7.6 At the Annual General Meeting and any Special 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.
7.7 Decisions made at the Annual General Meeting or Special Meetings shall be by a simple majority of votes from those Members attending the meeting save in the circumstances of clause 10.2 below. In the event of equal votes, the Chairperson shall be entitled to an additional casting vote
7.8 A quorum for an Annual General Meeting and any Special Meeting shall be 4 Board Members whether elected or co-opted.
7.9 Each Voting Member of the Organisation shall be entitled to one vote at Annual General Meetings and Special 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 their 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 themselves. 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 Board members plus three industry professionals. The Award Panel shall elect a Head who shall chair discussions.
8.6 The Award Panel should consider all the valid nominations prior to moving to vote by each Panel member to create a shortlist of a maximum of three nominees.
The names of the shortlisted nominees should be announced prior to the Kenneth Tynan Award ceremony.
From the shortlisted candidates the Award Panel should choose the winner, by casting their vote on the nomination which they each consider should receive the Award. The nominee who receives most of the votes shall be declared the winner of the Kenneth Tynan Award. In the event of equal votes, the Head of the Panel shall be entitled to an additional casting vote. The Award Panel then shall write a short summary of their reasoning why the winning candidate merited the Award.
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 £500.
8.8 The Kenneth Tynan Award shall be presented at the Kenneth Tynan Award ceremony, organised by the Dramaturgs' Network.
The winner’s name and photo, a short biography and a statement from the Award Panel setting out the reasons for selecting this candidate shall also appear on the Organisation’s website after the ceremony.
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 Meeting of the Organisation, a resolution be passed calling for the dissolution of the Organisation, the President shall immediately convene a Special 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 Meeting, the resolution is carried by at least two-thirds of the Members present at the meeting, the Board 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 In the event that there is a financial deficit on dissolution, i.e. the Organisation’s liabilities are greater than its assets, no member who is not also a member of the Board shall be liable to settle any outstanding financial obligations.
10.5 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 public organisation (library, museum, or higher educational institution), securing public access to it for research purposes.
10.6 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, 2017, and 2019 (for subsequent revision).