This dramatics organization, known as Lower Merion Players, shall maintain its status as a community organization, providing a fun and educational environment for the theatrical world through a student-run process.
(Beyond the PLAYERS constitution, acceptable behavior is outlined by the LOWER MERION SCHOOL DISTRICT’S RULES AGAINST DRUG, ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO ACTIVITY BY PARTICIPANTS IN INTERSCHOLASTIC ATHLETICS AND OTHER PERFORMANCE ACTIVITIES)
The name of this dramatics organization shall be Lower Merion Players (hereafter referred to as Players).
Players shall strive to maintain its status as a student run organization.
Membership in Players shall be open to any student in the Lower Merion High School and they can become members by:
- Joining a crew after the first company call of each show.
- Auditioning and being selected for a performing role via an audition process conducted by the acting production design staff, with a coach.
- Being selected for a production and design staff position via an application and interview process conducted by members of the Executive Board. Coaches may or may not be present depending on the concerns and competition present in a specific interviewing process. If an applicant has a concern with the absence of a coach, they may request an interview with a coach present.
This rule excludes students with behavioral problems determined by appropriate coaches, and those students deemed ineligible by the Lower Merion High School Administration.
Students denied membership in a production and design staff position or cast role shall not be denied membership in any other crew.
The following crews shall be maintained during shows: acting, scenery & properties, costumes & makeup, lighting & sound, and publicity. During a production of a musical, a show orchestra shall also be maintained.
An active member of Players shall be defined as a member of Players who has received Transcript credit for at least one of the last three shows.
- Each year following the conclusion of the spring show, the executive board shall be elected for a one-year term in a direct election open to all active members of Players.
- Each one-year term shall run from the last day of regular (non-senior) finals following the election until the last day of finals in the following year.
- The new Executive Board shall work in conjunction with the old Executive Board to facilitate a smooth transition during the period directly following the election until the last day of finals. The new Executive Board will run Executive Board responsibilities, such as Reading Committee and Open Board Meetings with any guidance necessary from the old Executive Board.
The officers of Players shall be as follows: President, Vice President, Treasurer, Secretary, and Thespian Representative. The elected officers shall work cooperatively and collectively from a committee referred to as the Executive Board.
Duties of the Officers:
- The President shall be the chairperson of Lower Merion Players and the Executive Board and shall represent Players at all functions. The President is responsible for scheduling meetings for the Executive Board and preparing agendas for these meetings.
- The Vice President shall share the duties of the President and assume the duties of the President upon the President’s absence. The Vice President is responsible for seeing that this Constitution is adhered to, and to update and maintain this Constitution to better suit the interests of Players. If deemed necessary, the Vice President may convene a Constitutional Revision Committee, but the Vice President may make revisions to this Constitution with the unanimous approval of the Executive Board in conjunction with Article VI, Section 2 of this Constitution. The Vice President shall also be responsible for the maintenance of the Post Mortem binder in conjunction with each show’s Production Manager.
- The Treasurer shall keep accurate records of the financed and financial dealings of Players. Any financial dealings within Players must be approved by the Treasurer. Moneys shall be given to the Head Coach or deposited in the Players’ account. The Treasurer shall also maintain an open means of communication between Players and the Players’ Booster Club, an account unaffiliated with the school and generally maintained by a parent of an active member of Players.
- The Secretary shall be responsible for recording, posting, and organizing the reading of minutes of all meetings and shall be responsible for all correspondence pertaining to Players. The Secretary shall be responsible for keeping necessary files of the events of Players as well as be responsible for running Reading Committee.
- The Thespian Representative shall be responsible for the organization of Thespian Troupe 801 and shall act as a liaison between Thespians and the Executive Board. The Thespian Representative shall take charge of the awarding of points and company transcript credit and shall keep attendance records of the Players. The Thespian Representative shall organize and plan any Thespian activities, such as group trips to see theatrical productions outside of Players.
The function of the Executive Board shall be defined as follows:
- To serve as an official body representing Players.
- To execute decisions regarding the organization of the club with the advice and guidance of the Head Coach and coaches.
- To consider suggestions made by the reading committee with advisement from the Head Coach and coaches concerning the selection and presentation of plays.
- To appoint student staff positions for individual plays by means of an application and interview process.
- In the event of unforeseen circumstances, which, if left uncorrected, would cause an undue delay or cancellation of one or more Players productions, the Executive Board, in conjunction with the coaches, shall have the right to exercise its discretion to temporarily override one or more provisions of this constitution or the set of bylaws.
- The intent of this override power is for the sole and exclusive purpose of addressing the emergency situation and effectuating a necessary solution.
- Once the said situation is resolved the override powers shall terminate.
The Head Coach and Coaches shall advise the Executive Board and members of Players regarding their duties and responsibilities in regards to all aspects of the Players’ productions and the administration of Players.
Coaches shall be responsible for teaching the design and technical aspects of their specified crew(s), in order for the production design staff members of that crew to better educate the crew members.
Each active Players crew shall be supervised by a coach or the Head Coach at all times.
The Head Coach shall also serve as faculty coordinator to the Coaches as well as share responsibility for representing Players to the school administration and the community with the Executive Board.
Players shall maintain Troupe 801 of the International Thespian Society.
Membership in Troupe 801 of the International Thespian Society shall be granted upon completion of the qualifications as provided in the Players Bylaws and as approved by the Educational Theatre Alliance.
At least one induction of eligible thespians into Troupe 801 shall be held each year.
This Constitution of principles shall be accompanied by a set of procedural Bylaws. These documents are for Players and its community, and shall be made available at all times to whomsoever wishes to see them.
Amendment of the Constitution:
The constitution shall be amended by unanimous decision from the Executive Board. The Vice President is responsible for presenting any proposed amendments of the Constitution to the Executive Board.
In the event that the decision from the Executive Board is not unanimous, or the proposed amendments constitute a major change in the workings of Players, a Constitutional Revision Committee may be applied for, selected, and called to order by the Vice President.
Amendment of the Bylaws:
The Bylaws shall be amended by the approval of 3/4 of those present at any duly assembled open board meeting or constitutional revision meeting. These changes shall take effect immediately.
No constitutional changes made shall take effect until the beginning of the following show.
- Any student who has completed strike and 50 hours of work or 60% of the total possible hours of work shall receive transcript and Thespian credit for that show.
- Any student who has completed strike and 80 hours of work or 90% of the total possible hours of work shall also receive varsity credit for that show.
- Any student who is a member of the cast or the acting PDS shall receive varsity credit upon completion of strike due to the audition nature of the crew. Members of the acting PDS and the acting coach may report individuals whom they felt did not earn the varsity credit due to lack of effort or attendance to either the Production Manager or Head Coach.
- The amount of hours required for strike shall be determined by the Production Manager of each show in conjunction with the Production and Design Staff that show.
- An opportunity shall be presented each show for those who need to make up strike hours from any previous show.
- Hours shall be kept both by individual crewheads and by the Production Manager. A day from the end of school until the latest late bus, as 2:40 until 5:40pm, shall count as 2.5 hours.
Section 2 – Awards
At the conclusion of every school year, a Players Senior Award shall be given to the most worthy senior member(s) of Players. It shall be awarded via an application process and a points system based upon the number of shows participated at Players, how many varsity letters were obtained, how many Production and Design Staff positions, and so forth.
- Any student who has received Thespian credit on a show shall receive credit towards membership in Troupe 801 of the International Thespian Society.
- Every 25 hours of work completed on such a show shall count as one thespian point.
- Any student member of another Thespian Troupe in the International Thespian Society may transfer their credit to Thespian Troupe 801.
- Any student member of a Junior Thespian Troupe in the International Thespian Society may transfer one tenth of their credit to Thespian Troupe 801 up to two points.
Section 2 – Thespian Membership Eligibility
- Students must receive thespian credit for a minimum of five shows within Players, thereby acquiring a minimum of 10 thespian points.
- Within these five shows, a student must participate on a minimum of two different crews as defined as follows: Acting, Scenery, Properties, Lighting & Sound, Costumes & Makeup, Publicity, Show Orchestra, or holding the position of Production Manager.
- In lieu of one of these five shows, credit of two thespian points may be earned through participation in a theatrical production outside of Players, including credit earned in the Junior Thespian Society.
Section 1 – Board Meetings
- The Executive Board may call for meetings whenever such a meeting is desired or deemed necessary.
- The presiding Executive Board shall decide the meetings in which the sponsors shall attend.
- The Executive Board shall call a meeting open to all active members of Players periodically throughout the year. The Head Coach or at least one coach must be present at these meetings.
- Active members of Players may request an open board meeting to be held. If the Executive Board does not acquiesce to this request, the active member of Players may submit a petition of ten names of active members of Players to override this decision.
Section 2 – Board Elections
- The candidates must be active members of Players eligible for membership in Thespian Troupe 801.
- The candidates for the position of President must be current Juniors.
- Active members desiring candidacy must be nominated by ten active members of Players and may submit these names in a petition to the Board any time prior to two days before an election.
- A meeting to aid candidates in determining which position to run for will be held prior to the two-day deadline by the old Executive Board. Each Board member will detail their role on the Executive Board and the Executive Board will talk as a whole to describe the responsibilities and commitments of serving the Executive Board.
- Votes shall be tallied by the members of the Executive Board not running for office, and by the Head Coach or at least one coach.
- The victor of each race shall be the candidate with the most votes in their favor. In case of a tie, an immediate second election shall be held for the tied candidates.
Section 3 – Board Concerns
- If any active Players member has a concern about the lack of duties being fulfilled by a Board member, they may submit to the Executive Board a Petition of No Confidence signed by 40 active members of Players. A discussion then must be held between all members of the Executive Board, the Head Coach, and any other coaches who wish to attend.
- If those present at this meeting, excluding the Board member in question, agree by consensus with the concerns raised, the Board member shall give up their position. The duties of this officer will be shared among the other Board members until a new officer is elected in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the Players Bylaws.
- If those present at this meeting feel that the concerns are not grave enough to warrant a dismissal, an open board meeting shall be called and the Head Coach shall explain the reasoning behind the decision.
Section 4 – Board Vacancies
- If a vacancy should arise in any position on the Executive Board, an election to fill this position must take place within two weeks.
- This election must be executed in accordance with Article III, Section 2 of the Players Bylaws.
Section 5 – Ad Hoc Committees
The Executive Board shall have the ability to appoint an ad hoc committee and a respective Committee Head to coordinate the actions of any Executive Board plan, with any assistance necessary from the Executive Board.
Section 6 – Board Reelections
- In the event that an election is deemed invalid, a reelection must be held within two weeks with all provisions of this Constitution upheld.
- To accommodate senior members of Players who may be unable to attend said reelection due to an academic obligation to senior project, absentee ballots will be allowed to only senior members who have already heard all of the candidates’ speeches through the following procedure:
- Senior contacts a board member with a legitimate concern about voting and an inquiry about absentee voting.
- Said board member can verify seeing the senior at the first election.
- If said board member cannot, the board member contacts the other old board members with an inquiry, and if it is verified, the procedure continues. If not, an absentee ballot is not allowed.
- The senior may email in their vote to firstname.lastname@example.org. A board member will place the vote in a spreadsheet, keep a list of voted seniors, but not keep the two together and delete the initial email to ensure anonymity.
- At the end of the process, the list of seniors who voted by absentee ballot may be presented to the old board and candidates to ensure that all agree on their presence, and then the votes on the spreadsheet will be counted.
For the selection of every Players show, a reading committee shall be assembled to make a recommendation to the Executive Board.
Section 2 – Committee Membership
- This committee shall be selected by the Executive Board via an application process.
- The committee shall be comprised of students representing the various aspects and perspectives of a Players production.
- The Executive Board shall serve on this committee.
- As many sponsors as possible, but a minimum of one sponsor, shall attend all committee meetings and offer their input into the selection.
Section 3 – Selection Process
- The Executive Board shall compile a list of possible shows to consider for the next Players production.
- The Secretary shall assign each reading committee member several of these shows to read and research for the first meeting of each committee.
- At the first meeting, each committee member shall present the possible show, and the committee will decide by consensus the top three or four candidates within the possible shows.
- Every member of the committee shall read the selected shows, and then reconvene to select one of the shows as the next Players production.
For the selection of every production and design staff, the Executive Board shall conduct an application and interview process to fill each position.
Section 2 – Applications
- Applications shall be available to any interested students.
- Applications must be submitted to a Board member prior to the established deadline. Late applications will not be considered unless an extension is granted by the Executive Board.
- Failure to accurately report any requested information on an application or during an interview shall be grounds for a discussion to determine if the selected candidate should still be considered for that position.
Section 3 – Interviews
- Each student that submits an application must have an interview to be considered for the position.
- Prior to interviews, applicants must read about the position for which they are applying in the Post Mortem binder.
- Interviews shall be conducted by the Executive Board. Coaches may or may not be present depending on the concerns and competition present in a specific interviewing process. If an applicant has a concern with the absence of a coach, they may request an interview with a coach present.
- Board members reserve the right to remove themselves from interviews for specific positions if the Board member perceives that he or she will not be capable of making an unbiased decision.
- Board members must remove themselves from any interviews for a position they are also applying for and for the corresponding assistant or lead position.
Section 4 – Selection
- Selection shall be contingent upon the content of the application, the responses in the interview process, past Players experiences including number of shows, previous PDS positions, and past disciplinary actions, and the ability of the applicant to perform the responsibilities as described in Article VI of the Players Bylaws. The Board may select multiple individuals to fill positions as co-members.
- At all times throughout the selection process, coaches may be present to offer input as they choose.
- The opinions of these sponsors shall be advisory only and all decisions regarding selection shall be made by consensus of the Executive Board./
- If an applicant has concerns about the selection of a position, he or she may voice their concerns to the Head Coach.
Section 5 – Vacancies and Extensions
- A vacancy exists if no applications for a specific position are submitted prior to the established deadline. In this case, the Executive Board shall extend the deadline for that position.
- If no applications are submitted prior to the second deadline, and if the duties of that position cannot be fulfilled by another member of the production or design staff or a sponsor, the most qualified Executive Board member shall be asked to fill the vacant position.
- If it is the judgment of the Executive Board that no applicants for a specific position are qualified according to the standards as described in Article V, Section 4 of the Players Bylaws, the Executive Board may proceed as though a vacancy exists for that position as described in Article V, Section 5 of the Players Bylaws.
- If a selected member of the production or design staff is unable or unwilling to fulfill his or her duties, the Executive Board shall determine the appropriate course of action to ensure that those duties are fulfilled. This action includes but is not limited to: arranging a meeting with the member in question, removing him/her from the position, appointing another individual to assist in the completion of the duties, or having a coach fulfill the requirements in that position. The specific course of action shall be based on the specific duties of that position, the amount of time remaining in the production, and the input of the coaches.
The Production and Design Staff is required to fulfill all responsibilities pertaining to a Players production.
Section 2 – Meetings
The Production and Design Staff shall meet weekly throughout a production to discuss progress, raise questions, and ensure continuity and consistency throughout all aspects of production.
Section 3 – Jobs and Qualities
- Each member of the Production and Design staff shall be responsible for fulfilling his or her duties.
- Attached and incorporated herein by reference is a document entitled Job Descriptions for Production and Design Staff Positions which fully describes the duties and qualities of the aforementioned positions.
Acting PDS Job Descriptions
- The suggested qualities for each position as outlined shall serve as a guide to those interested in applying for each position as well as serve as a guide to the Executive Board in their selection of qualified candidates.
- A Post Mortem binder shall be maintained in which Production and Design Staff members shall complete a page of reflection and advice for future individuals holding the position. Applicants for Production and Design Staff roles shall be required to read the Post Mortem binder prior to their interviews. The Production Manager shall be in charge of maintenance of the binder during productions, and the Vice President shall be in charge of maintenance of the binder during all of yearlong term.
- The Show Orchestra, in conjunction with any musical produced by Players, shall be maintained as one of Players’ crews. However, its daily schedule and routine may differ with that of the other crews.
- By this designation, the Orchestra shall be run by the Musical Director-Sponsor and by the Student Instrumental Director/s (SID(s)) who are considered part of the production and design staff.
Section 2 – Membership
Membership in Show Orchestra shall be open to any student in Lower Merion High school. Students may gain membership in Show Orchestra through an audition process run by the Musical Sponsor and SID/s.
- Requirements for audition material shall be posted before the scheduled day.
- Admittance to the Orchestra shall be decided jointly by the Sponsor and SID(s).
Section 3 – Credit
Despite the audition nature of Show Orchestra, members shall be awarded hours based on when they are called and shall follow the Transcript and Varsity Credit hour guidelines in Article I Section 1 of these Bylaws.
Section 4 – Company Meetings
- Members of the Orchestra shall be encouraged, but not be required to attend company meetings unless specifically announced.
- At least one SID or the Musical Coach shall attend all production and design meetings.
Section 5 – Rehearsal
The Coach and SID(s) shall schedule rehearsals.
- The Orchestra shall participate in all late night rehearsals where it is requested in advance.
- The Orchestra shall participate in all tech runs and dress rehearsals deemed necessary by the production and design staff.
- When the entire Orchestra is not needed, the rehearsal pianist shall substitute for the Orchestra at rehearsals should musical accompaniment be required.
- Joint rehearsals of the orchestra and singers shall occur prior to the first full company rehearsal.
Section 6 – Additional Musicians
The Orchestra is a student operation; adult musicians, including parents, volunteers, and hired professionals, shall not be permitted to play with the group unless no capable high school students can be secured.