1. Financial Summary
All the expenses for the Newsletter have been fully funded by the Association. Since our AGM last year in St John's, ACTR has published and distributed two issues of the Newsletter: Fall 1997 and Spring 1998. The Fall '97 Newsletter contained 48 pages and was distributed to 209 individual and institutional members, 53 of these 209 members (i.e. 25%) received their newsletter via Email. The total cost of the Fall '97 Newsletter (printing, stationary, and postage) was $707.50. The Spring 1998 Newslettercontained 52 pages and was distributed to 167 members -- to date. Its total cost was $765.90. At present, there are about $30 dollars remaining in the Newsletter account.
Complimentary copies of the Newsletter are also distributed from time to time.
Based on a hypothetical newsletter of 50 pages at an average cost of 4 cents per page, the approximate annual cost to the Association for providing each additional member (regardless of type, i.e. institutional, student, employed, honorary, etc.), with the Newsletter at the current postal rates are:
Distribution Method Cost of Newsletter
IUTS/Campus Mail $4.60
Email nil (all figures are tax inclusive)
I have had some problems this past year with the membership list and mailing labels provided to me by the membership coordinator. A large part of this is due to the fact that John is still relatively new on the job. I trust that the wrinkles will iron themselves out as time passes. The other factor of concern is timely renewal of Association memberships, particularly as it affects the spring Newsletter. I would prefer to mail all the newsletters out at one go instead of sending out individual copies at all times of the year to members who renew in the interim.
3. Delay in publication
I strongly urge all members to recognise and respect the due dates for submissions to the Newsletter. These dates are published in every issue of the Newsletter. Delay in submitting your material leads not only to a delay in publication but also affects the quality of the Newsletter (I have no time to adequately edit or proofread your submissions, as well as the Editor's work schedule and sanity, and most importantly all time sensitive material sent to the Newsletter for distribution: Association election nomination forms, calls for papers, conference notices, scholarship applications, etc. I should however thank all the presenters at this conference for so promptly sending me their presentation abstracts!
4. Status of the Newsletter "Office"
This past year, I was grateful to receive the voluntary assistance of Jessica Gardiner who shared the work of transcription, proofing, and mailing out of the Newsletter. The Graduate Drama Centre at the University of Toronto has continued to support us by providing the Newsletter with the use of office space, telephone, photocopier, and fax machine. I am happy to point out that through shear harrassment, we've managed to maintain the "Member News" and "Guest Opinion Piece" features of the Newsletterand even added such items as Glen Nichols' impressive listing of production seasons in colleges and universities across the country, the memorial piece on Donald Davis by Canadian Composer Harry Somer, and the interview with Louise Forsyth, out-going Secretary of ACTR and President- Elect of HSSFC.
5. The Electronic Media
The Newsletter is distributed to the membership in paper or email format. A large portion of each issue is also available on the Newsletter website. Recently, Richard Sutherland, our Newsletter web manager who maintained our website for two years even though he was no longer affiliated with UBC, submitted his resignation. I would like to officially acknowledge and thank Richard for his generous work on behalf of the Association. I would also invite any member with skills in converting wordprocessed files into HTML or with an interest in learning such skills to consider the position of Newsletter web manager. Email distribution results in significant cost savings and has the potential to improve the frequency at which we can distribute information to the membership. CANDRAMA, an email discussion list created by Ed Mullaly for ACTR, would be an ideal means of distributing interim information to the membership but at present only 32% of the Association subscribe to CANDRAMA. If we wish to use this email list to reach the membership, we will have to encourage more members to subscribe to it.
6. Conclusions and Recommendations
6.1 The cost of an ACTR membership is independent of the geographic location of the member while the cost of providing members with the Newsletter is dependent on the member`s geographic location due to differential postal rates. The Association might wish to consider a membership fee structure which reflects this situation.
6.2 Encourage members to renew their memberships at the end of the calendar year to reduce the work load of the Newsletter editor (and the membership coordinator).
6.3 Timely submission of copy text can greatly improve the production of the Newsletter.
6.4 The Association might consult with Ed Mullaly about the possibility of enclosing an automatic subscription to CANDRAMA as a feature of an ACTR membership (giving members the option of self-unsubscribing at will). CANDRAMA, a facet of this Association for over five years, is a feature which other associations are just beginning to establish. I suggest we make the discussion list an official part of membership to ACTR.
7. Resignation from the Editorialship
Finally, I officially inform the Association that I have respectfully submitted my resignation from the editorialship of the ACTR Newsletter to the Executive Committee. I have reached a point in my degree programme where I must focus more energy on my thesis work. Over the past two years as editor, I have learnt more than I had anticipated, received the unique creative opportunity to try out personal ideas on you all and met many wonderful people within and without the Association. I wish to thank the Executive of the past two years for their unfaltering support and timely good cheer. Finally, I would like to thank the Association for the privilege and honour of serving as its Newsletter editor.
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