Minutes of the Board Meeting

Cincinnati Playwrights’ Initiative

Minutes of the Board Meeting

August 10, 2015

In attendance: Chris Lee, presiding; Dennis Blom; Tammy Brady; Phil Clayton; Elaine Eckstein Wilson; Charlie Goetz; Alan Jozwiak; Barbara Manning; Tom Manning; Joe Witham

The meeting was preceded by a tour of the new meeting venue, St. John’s United Church of Christ at 520 Fairfield Avenue in Bellevue, Kentucky 41073. The tour included several meeting rooms, the sanctuary and undercroft with stage and kitchen.

The meeting was called to order by President Chris Lee at 7:23 and began with a moment of silence for Renee Alper in tribute to her energy and commitment to CPI and many other arts organizations in the area. Chris also extended a welcome on behalf of the organization to new members, Tom and Barbara Manning.

Copies of the St. John’s building use agreement were passed around for the perusal of those present. It was noted that the fee being charged for this meeting room is $40, in comparison to the $50 minimum food purchase required at La Rosa’s. It was also pointed out that La Rosa’s has not always been ready when we arrived (even though the room had been reserved in advance) and that it only holds an audience of about 15 for staged readings. CPI may bring food to meetings at St. John’s as long as those in attendance are responsible for cleaning and taking out the trash. The room rental rates are negotiable and in some instances might be as little as $10 to $15 for the smallest rooms. Another possibility might be to get a fixed annual rate to use different areas of the building. CPI will need to get its own insurance. Chris will contact Fred Rothzeid for financial information concerning insurance since Fred has dealt with it before. CPI has enough money to cover the rental fees and insurance.

Alan asked if meeting in Kentucky would change the organization’s status when applying for grants. Chris said it would not since the legal mailing address is the residence of the president which is Chris’s home in Wyoming, Ohio. He also stated that as a resident company at the Aronoff, CPI may meet there for free but members would have to pay for parking. Center Stage Players may move to 6060 Hamilton Avenue and CPI could potentially have free meeting space with parking there although no concrete offer has been made. CPI formerly met at UC in the English Department, arranged by Norman Jencks, head of the English Department and a founder of CPI. Alan noted that there have been some issues with using UC. It was decided that the next meeting will be at St. John’s once again but that other venues will continue to be investigated.

Charlie moved that the meetings be moved to Mondays permanently because most theaters are dark on Mondays. Alan pointed out that there are some theaters that do perform on Mondays. The possibility of Tuesdays was brought up. Since readings are done on the second Tuesdays, it would have to be the third or fourth. Meeting on the second Monday would interfere with final rehearsals for staged reading on the second Tuesdays. Tom suggested that the third Monday would be a possibility and Chris added that it might be good to have a meeting at that time to recap the performance of the previous week. Therefore, it was decided to have the next meeting on the third Tuesday, September 15th which will be following the first staged reading of the season, The Shandys on September 8th. Tammy suggested that we might alternate Mondays and Tuesdays. It was also brought up that use of the church may be subject to change to accommodate funerals and other church events. Alan, Charlie, Dennis and Elaine volunteered to visit the Hamilton Avenue site.

A $50 donation has been received in memory of Renee. Chris would like to establish a memorial fund in Renee’s name. Some suggestions for the fund: making it a scholarship/special project fund; sponsoring the first production each year as a “Renee Alper Production;” teaming with the CCM Preparatory Department to support students there. Ensemble Theater is planning a memorial tribute for Renee to be done as a joint project with CPI. Charlie will meet with Lynn Meyers to discuss plans.

The need for an up-dated budget was discussed. Alan asked if the format will be the same as in the past. Chris said the line items will remain the same, just be up-dated at the present time. It is not possible to decide on having a “Best of CPI” production without having a budget in place. There needs to be comparisons of forecast vs. the actuals in previous budgets. Roger Brookfield would be willing to work on fundraising. Charlie suggested that Hwineko Walkingstick can help with grant writing.

Submission requirements were discussed. Charlie asked if the anonymity requirement can be waived. The current process is that the playwright submits a cover page with his/her name on it which is removed by the president before going to the Playwriting Committee. This is done to remove any question of bias. Roger Brookfield suggests only electronic submissions. Tammy pointed out it would be OK as long as CPI will accept hard copies from anyone without digital access. It is necessary to submit 6 copies (if submitting on paper or including discs) for each member of the committee or pay a fee to have it copied. It was suggested that the number be reduced to 3, with electronic submission strongly preferred. In either case, submissions must adhere to the formatting rules. Musicals must include sheet music and a CD.

Members’ information should be submitted to CPI for inclusion on the website. Member Chessie Vigran will appear in a two character play, Six Dance Lessons in Six Weeks at Mariemont Players, September 11th to 27th.

The Play Selection Committee has received one new submission, Notes from the Senior Chateau, a 2-act musical. Written response to submissions is within two months. There is no timeline as to when a submission has been selected or not. Lack of response does not indicate acceptance or rejection. The committee accepts scripts all year. Sometimes scripts are needed and at other times there are no openings. It was noted that many writers assume rejection when they do not hear back quickly. A rule of thumb could be that not being accepted within a year of submission would indicated little chance of the work being selected without revisions.

Alan felt we need to acknowledge that our writers are getting produced elsewhere and we should see that part of our job is facilitating that. Tammy stated that much of her recent successes are due to her experience with CPI.

The tee shirts are finished. Arnie is currently out of town. He will present them at the next meeting. Blanchard Nash paid his dues.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:08.

Respectfully submitted,

Elaine Eckstein Wilson, Secretary



Agenda for CPI Business Board Meeting

September 15, 2015 – 7 PM

Location: St. John United Church of Christ, Bellevue, KY

1. Welcome and introduction of new members and guests

2. Review and approval of August, 2015 meeting minutes

3. New Reports and Updates

a. President’s report – Status and Update

a. First staged reading of season

b. CAA Residents meeting

b. Treasurer’s report – Status & Update

a. New treasurer – working with a combo of Roger B, Fred R and Dennis B to put together a budget and help Dennis to

c. Publicity / Website report

a. Members’ News page

b. Photo gallery

c. Play Selection Committee Chair’s report

1. New plays received

2. New plays selected

e. Salon/Cold Reading Chair’s report – Status & Update

f. Playwriting Workshop status – Discuss new formats or other ideas to appeal to members

g. Other Committee Chairs’ reports – Status & Update

4. Old Business:

1. Bringing “The Best of CPI” back for the 2015-16 season –Charlie Goetz
5. New Business:

a. New CPI T-Shirts – Arnie Shayne

NEXT CPI Monthly Board Meeting October TBD, 2015 – 7 PM