Formalising the Traditional Drama Research Group
Article type: Features
Hitherto, the TDRG has been very loosely organised. Individuals have taken the initiative to lead activities such as the Traditional Drama Conference 2002 and the www.folkplay.infowebsite, along with valuable contributions from other members.
The Need for Change
In general, this informal approach seems to have been successful. However, the publication of Folk Drama Studies Today has necessitated the opening of a new TDRG bank account, which in turn has required the introduction of some formality. The banks and English financial regulations requires us to have formal officers and rules, and of course for our own sakes we need to set up some financial monitoring.
As the editors of the book, the onus fell on Eddie Cass and Peter Millington set things rolling, helped by Duncan Broomhead. As a first step, we decided to email about thirty people with an interest in folk drama (most of whom appear in our List of Researchers). to explain the need for change and to initiate a discussion.
Unfortunately, email has proved not to be an effective medium for discussion. However, we needed to press forward on a provisional basis because we had cheques on hand that could go out of date. We therefore formulated a set of Draft Rules that would satisfy the bank's requirements and appointed ourselves as acting officers, as follows:
|Acting Chairman:||Eddie Cass|
|Acting Secretary:||Duncan Broomhead|
|Acting Treasurer:||Peter Millington|
We are also the initial signatories for the new TDRG account at the Co-operative Bank. As acting officers, we only mean to fill the gap before an inaugural meeting, when officers should be formally elected. We may or may not decide to stand for office.
The full text of the Draft Rules can be viewed at www.folkplay.info/TDRG_Rules.htm. They have been based on a model commonly used by English societies and charities. We also drew on the Group's existing mission statement (www.folkplay.info/TDRG.htm), and parts of this website’s policies page (www.folkplay.info/Policies.htm).
The Group's stated aims are "to encourage research into all aspects of traditional drama".
The other point worthy of note is the proposal to have two types of membership - Research Members and Ordinary Members. Everyone will receive Traditional Drama Forum and other email news such as website announcements. Research Members will additionally be invited to paricipate more actively in the Group's business meetings, events and activities.
The above formalities may seem tedious, but they have their advantages. Apart from satisfying the needs of the bankers, such arrangements would also put us in a good position to apply for funding for future projects and events.
A business meeting to discuss and approve the new formalities will be held at the next Traditional Drama Conference, or at an earlier suitable conference. No date has yet been set for the next conference.