|Hillel Theater Group Constitution
Accurate as of April 27, 2009
We, the members of the Hillel Theater Group (hereafter referred to as HTG), an auxiliary of the Brandeis University Hillel Foundation (hereafter referred to as Hillel) and the Student Senate; and a member group of the Undergraduate Theatre Collective (hereafter referred to as UTC), are devoted to the promotion and production of theater on campus through the forum of musical and non-musical productions adhering to traditional Jewish Sabbath and Holiday observance. HTG is composed of three sections: Hillel Musicals, Hillel Plays, and Special Programming. All who audition are guaranteed at least a chorus part in the Hillel Musicals.
Article I: Definitions
A. Abstention vote: A cast vote which will not factor into the voting process. A majority vote will be taken based on the number of votes for a production or no show in ratio to the total number of votes less the votes for abstention.
B. Plurality: the excess of votes received by the winner, in a vote where there are three or more choices, over those received by the next candidate
C. Simple Majority: majority is determined by the greatest number of votes out of the total number cast less votes for abstention.
D. Crew: Any member of the production working in a technical capacity (i.e. run crew, assistant stage manager, etc.). Ushers do not fall into this category.
Article II: Guidelines for Production Selections
A. Every production, musical or play, must have at least one HTG member in a required position on the proposal. All other positions must be filled by current Brandeis undergraduate students.
B. The play, unlike the musical, must contain some Jewish content, theme, or be written by a Jewish author. If the play does not contain Jewish content, the director must write a written defense to the HTG board as to why it is being proposed to HTG. The show must be presented to the board prior to the proposal deadline.
C. A pre-proposal meeting must be convened at least one week before the proposal meeting. At this meeting, the president will lay out the policies for HTG productions and proposals. The Secretary will make constitutions available for all attending members. Any questions concerning the interpretation of the HTG constitution or policies must be made by or at this meeting; a response by the HTG board will be made via e-mail to the entire HTG membership before the notification deadline. At least one member of every proposal must have attended that semesters” pre-proposal meeting.
D. A director, producer, and stage manager must be included as part of each proposal, as well as should any available rights. A musical proposal must also include a musical director and a choreographer. The proposals must also include a budget of all money anticipated to be spent on the production. HTG proposals must also conform to requirements set by the UTC that go beyond the scope of this document.
E. The producer of each proposed show must submit notification to the president and secretary/treasurer via e-mail or hardcopy of their intent to propose, at least one week before the proposal meeting. The producer must also submit via email AND hard copy the proposal three days before the proposal meeting to both the HTG secretary/treasurer and president.
F. Proposal meetings for the fall play will be held at the conclusion of the Spring UTC calendar. Proposal meetings for the spring musical will be held at the conclusion of the Fall UTC calendar and in accordance with the Common Casting meeting.
G. The production will be chosen by a simple majority vote, as collected by the president and another board member or HTG member. If no majority is reached after two votes, the show will be reached by a plurality vote.
H. Voting options for proposals are as follows: a vote for a production, an abstention, or a vote for no show.
I. If a show is not chosen at a given proposal meeting, there will be no mainstage show for that semester. However, this does not infringe upon the rights to conduct special projects (see Article II.v)
Article II.v: Guidelines for Special Projects and Programs
A. The 24-hour Musical
1. The 24-hour Musical is HTG’s annual Fall special project. This project need not uphold the proposal procedures required of other special projects as detailed in Article II.v section B.
2. It is the duty of the Vice President to request funding during the previous Spring’s Early Marathon session of F-Board, as well as to reserve a space.
3. Auditions, if held on Saturday, must also have Shabbat-friendly options available. All other rules pertaining to kosher and religious observances must be upheld as stipulated in Article VI.
4. Food, if provided, will be co-funded by Tympanium Euphorium.
B. Special Projects
1. Any HTG member may propose a special project. This proposal must first be submitted to the Executive Board for approval. Upon acceptance, a club meeting will be convened to vote according to HTG’s standard voting procedures found in Article II sections 7 and 8.
2. A proposal for a special project must include a description of the project, a proposed budget, a statement describing its applicability to HTG’s mission statement, as well as a proposed timeline and location.
a. The proposed project must also include a director, stage manager, and producer.
C. Special Programs
1. A special program is defined as an event sponsored and/or conducted by Hillel Theater Group.
2. Special programs can be conducted by any member of HTG. However, it is the VP’s responsibility to act as facilitator and liaison to members interested in special programs.
3. Special programs do not require proposal or voting procedures to occur. However, they must be approved by the Executive Board.
Article III: Executive Board
A. The executive board is composed of three members elected by the voting membership.
B. The officers will serve as the contacts, representatives, and governing bodies of HTG. It is the executive board's responsibility to best interpret the guidelines of the constitution and to shape policy accordingly. It is the duty of all the Executive Board members to assist the other officers, should they be unable to fulfill the duties of office.
C. In the event that an executive board member withdraws from leadership, the remaining board members will replace that member as stated below: If the president withdraws, the vice president assume the position of the president. The secretary/treasurer will then have the option to assume the role of VP, or to remain as secretary/treasurer. If the vice president or the secretary/treasurer withdraws, the other members of the board will request nominations from all HTG members and appoint a new executive board member unanimously; if a unanimous decision cannot be reached, the nominees names will be given to the membership for a vote.
D. The Executive Board will meet as needed to ensure smooth progress of shows, relations with the UTC, special programming, and other matters as necessary.
E. The Board shall be comprised of a President, Vice President, and Secretary/Treasurer whose duties are detailed below:
1. President Responsibilities: conducting all meetings; tallying votes; insuring adherence to the rules of the constitution; representative to the Hillel General Council; representative to the UTC board. Additionally, the President will be responsible for checking in with the show on a regular basis and keeping the rest of the board informed as to the status of the show.
2. Vice President Responsibilities: Serving as the second representative to the UTC board, facilitating special programs, serving as the liaison to the 24-hour musical, and maintaining the HTG archives. The VP will also act as the membership liaison in the capacity of dealing with concerns, suggestions, and comments from HTG membership. Finally, the VP will assume the role of president should the president step down.
3. Secretary/Treasurer Responsibilities entail coordinating and keeping track of the activities of all board members; publicizing all meetings; taking and distributing by email the minutes of all meetings; tracking attendance; submitting relevant material to the UTC webmaster; ensuring adherence to membership guidelines; sending out via email to the club all proposals at least 24 hours prior to the proposal meeting. The secretary/treasurer also deals with all monetary issues including maintaining financial records; maintaining constant contact with the Producer of the current semester's production to ensure the proper distribution of moneys; ensuring proper use of funds; appearing before the Senate Allocations Board with an additional HTG board member (traditionally the vice president); and ensuring that HTG is fully represented during Marathon Sessions. Meetings concerning constitution will be run by the secretary/treasurer.
F. Following elections, there will be an apprenticeship with the outgoing board.
G. New board members will assume their duties at the end of their term of apprenticeship.
H. If at any time a board member is not fulfilling her/his duties any member of HTG may submit a request for resignation.
1. A request for a Board Member's resignation must be made in writing to the Board.
2. The remaining board members will evaluate the legitimacy of the request.
3. If the request is deemed legitimate by the board members, the resignation request and the response of the accused will be presented and brought to a vote at a general meeting; at which proposal voting rules will apply.
Article IV: The Constitution
A. Amendments should be presented to the president at least one week in advance of the proposal meeting. If there is need, the president may call a general meeting at other times during the year to discuss issues. Amendments shall be passed with a simple majority vote of the attending members at the meeting.
B. If administrative changes are required to names or locations, they may be performed by the unanimous decision of the board. If no unanimous decision can be reached, changes will be sent to the membership for voting as outlined above.
C. This constitution will be adopted upon approval by the Brandeis Student Senate and the Hillel Executive Board.
Article V: Production Rules
A. For all Hillel Theater Group productions, the following rules regarding the rehearsal process shall be enforced by the HTG president.
1. No member of HTG shall be required to perform their duties for more than five consecutive hours without a one hour break.
2. No actor shall be required to rehearse for more than ten hours on any day.
3. All rehearsals must end by 11:00 PM except during tech week.
i. During tech week, one rehearsal may extend until 1:00 AM, while all others must end by 12:00 AM.
ii. For all other rules regarding rehearsal times, shop hours, and theater time, please refer to the UTC Constitution.
4. By unanimous and anonymous vote the cast may suspend the above rules to extend a given rehearsal if they deem it necessary.
5. The company shall be informed of these rules at or before the first rehearsal by the producer.
6. At the first full cast rehearsal, the president of the club must attend to inform the cast as to the policies of HTG as outlined in Article VI. Additionally, the production staff must be informed of these rules prior to beginning rehearsals and adhere strictly to them.
7. It is the responsibility of the stage manager and/or the producer and/or director to keep the board informed of how the show is going each week. In addition, a copy of each production staff report, as required by the UTC, must be submitted to the board. The final program for each show must also contain the HTG statement of purpose which can be obtained from the HTG website, archives, or Hillel.
8. One rotating member of the HTG board must attend each production meeting.
9. If, due to extenuating circumstances, it becomes necessary for a production staff member to play one of the parts in a show, he or she may only accept the smallest role as determined by the HTG President, or he or she may play a larger role upon approval by a unanimous vote of the HTG board.
Article VI: Policies
A. No HTG event shall occur in conflict with Jewish observance (including Shabbat).
B. No HTG member shall be required to work in conflict with Jewish observance.
C. All food for common consumption by HTG members must adhere to Kashrut and display rabbinical approval (heksher).
D. Any actor who requires special consideration must bring it to the attention of a given production’s director (ex. religious practices of modesty, discomfort with inappropriate language, etc.). Other concerns should be directed to the VP of HTG.
Article VII: Proxy Votes
A. A proxy vote is a vote whereby one member of HTG avows to represent the interest of an absent member.
B. The President must be made aware of all proxies through a letter of written consent.
C. No member may vote on behalf of more than one absent member by proxy in any vote.
D. Proxy votes may not be used in amending the constitution.
Article VIII: Voting requirements
A. There must be 10 voting members in attendance, not including proxy votes, in order for any non-constitutional vote to take place.
B. In votes on a proposal, 5 voting members must be present who are not involved in the required proposal positions, i.e., director, producer, stage manager, musical director, and choreographer (when applicable).
Article IX: Membership
A. In order to establish themselves as voting members, Brandeis undergraduate students must either participate in the production staff, cast, crew, or orchestra of an HTG mainstage production or attend at least two meetings or special programs within the last year. Participation in special projects counts as one meeting. In the latter case, they are established as voting members at the beginning of the second meeting (or special program) they attend.
B. In order to maintain voting privileges, the members must either participate in the production staff, cast, crew, or orchestra of an HTG show or attend at least one meeting, within one year of their last involvement.
C. If a member loses voting privileges after one year, in order to regain them, they must participate in the production staff, cast, crew, or orchestra of an HTG production, or attend at least two meetings or special programs. In the latter case, they are established as voting members at the beginning of the second meeting (or special programs) they attend.
D. For the purposes of retaining membership, the proposal meeting will not be counted.
E. Only current voting members may submit proxy votes.
F. Members who choose to go abroad will loose their voting privileges until they return to Brandeis. Upon arrival, they will be awarded one semester of voting privileges regardless of the state of their membership at departure.
G. Validity of membership will be decided by the HTG president in consultation with the other board members.