Fall 2018 Variety Show

I am happy to announce that the Board met last week [minutes] and voted to convene a Show Council for a Fall 2018 variety-style show! As your president, I want to explain what we envision for this show and to ask for your help in making it happen.

NOTE: if are looking for specifics like application due dates, they are at the end of the post, and in the calendar to the right. However, I hope you will read the rest of this for the background information.

What we want to do: the plan is to run a Variety Show in the coming fall term, in addition to the regular full-length show in the winter term of 2019. The show would contain a small amount of original FASS content like you would find in a traditional show – scenes, jokes, songs, dancing, possibly re-used from previous years or acting as preview for the winter show. Additionally, anyone can submit and perform a short skit or other performance – kind of like a talent show. Finally, we will invite other on-campus groups to participate and perform guest acts.

Those who participated in, or watched the 2017 show will find these ideas familiar. Just think of all the things we can do with 3 months of preparation time!

Why we want to do this: first and foremost, we are doing this because FASSies want more opportunities to do FASS! You don’t want to wait an entire year (or two, if away on co-op). This is a way to keep the momentum of our amazing 2018 show alive.

A more tactical reason is to help introduce new students, especially first-years, to the magic of FASS. Most people see a FASS show before they participate, so we could shorten the recruitment cycle by a year. It also gives us a more tangible call-to-action at Fall clubs day – come to this thing happening within a month or two, rather than next term.

Finally, it gives us a strategic opportunity to experiment with new venues, show formats, recruitment strategies, and to practice planning multiple shows in parallel. This experience will be critical in helping FASS evolve and survive as an organization.

Where and when: we don’t have all the answers yet, and we want to give the future Show Council maximum flexibility in planning and running the show. (After all, the Board will have a Winter show to plan in the Fall.) Here are some rough ideas based on informal discussions by the Board.

Timing: roughly in the second half of the fall term, possibly early November. This should give enough time to advertise, recruit, and audition, while taking advantage of events like Clubs Day and avoiding major distractions like Thanksgiving and mid-terms.

Venue: we are looking for a venue that is highly visible or at least easily accessible to the University community. We are willing to sacrifice technical sophistication for a large audience at a lower price. That means looking at the SLC, classrooms, or even residences/colleges.

We have also discussed the possibility of a travelling show visiting different residences, perhaps in addition to a main performance.

Who we are looking forthis is the part where I ask for your help to make this show happen! We are looking for people who are willing to work outside the traditional FASS model and help us figure out many of the details that are normally set in stone for a full show. While the Constitution dictates the basic makeup of the Show Council, we expect the responsibilities to be more fluid, with new roles added or traditional roles combined.

  • Chief Script Writer would be responsible for curating, creating, and otherwise procuring the content for the FASS portion. They may assist wth sourcing one-off skits and guest acts.
  • Producer would be responsible for coordinating with guest acts on marketing, venue, and show time.
  • Director, Tech Director, and Stage Manager would maintain their traditional roles for the FASS portion. The Stage Manager may work with the Producer to coordinate guest acts during the show run.
  • We may create a new position to coordinate with guest acts, depending on the applications that we get.

If you are interested in helping out, let us know if you are interested in multiple roles or a subset of some role.

What’s next: applications for the Show Council are open as of now.

  • Chief Script Writer, Producer, Directory, and Tech Director applications will close on Wednesday, July 11th.
  • Stage Manager applications will close on Sunday, July 22nd.

We will be interviewing all positions in July. See the FASS Calendar for possible interview dates. Applications should be submitted by e-mail to apply@fass.uwaterloo.ca. Include a brief summary of your relevant experience and where you see yourself having the most impact for this show.

As always, reach out to me with any questions: prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca.

— Anton Markov, President, FASS Board of 2019

Letter From The Prez

Hi FASSies!

As your recently elected President, I’ve had a busy couple of months, and I thought I should update you all as to who I am, what I’ve been doing, and what you can do to help out.

My level of involvement with Fass Theatre Company has varied since 2009. It’s been a roller-coaster of a journey to get to this point. In my first year I had a small part acting in a vignette, and also sang and danced in Closing. It was at read-through that I met my now-husband Mark Jackson-Brown, and during rehearsals when we started our courtship. That, coupled with the fun experience I had doing Fass overall, kept me coming back to do Fass for the next few years, helping out with social events, serving on committee as a rep, and taking on creative leadership roles such as Assistant Stage Manager and Head of Costumes.

After that, I spent many years not as involved. What deterred me at the time was a growing culture within the Fass leadership that was making it less about having fun, and more about doing “work.” I personally shied away from taking on leadership roles because of that culture, and also because of particular people involved in certain creative roles whom I did not see myself having fun with. I still cared, and being married to Mark meant being in proximity to a fair amount of the goings-on these last five years. I helped out in unofficial capacities, such as providing hot drinks at weekend rehearsals, or lending support to my sister Mel. I played in the band one year, and performed as one-half of a singing and dancing bridge. I’ve even run for the position of President in the past – something I’d always wanted to do, and at the time I thought it might have been my last chance for awhile.

Fass has undergone a very large series of changes in this past year, most notably a reality check in the form of mounting a hastily put-together variety show this past February, and a subsequent new governance structure. I ran for President because I care about the future of Fass and I do want to see it continue. I also think that the new governance structure (splitting up the former Committee into two groups, the Board and Show Council) will enable us to make strategic decisions for the future. We can continue to be relevant to University of Waterloo; we started as a unique opportunity for everybody on campus (Faculty, Alumni, Staff, and Students) to get together in a social setting, and put on a show. I’d like to see us have a future that includes that original vision – though there are many other social clubs on campus, none of them are explicitly open to people no matter their status on (or off) campus. Let’s get back to basics: we’re a social group open to everybody, regardless of who they are or what abilities they have. And we’re here to have fun :).

As to what I’ve been doing so far, things have been pretty busy, but in a good way. I’ve gotten in touch with Peter Carette at the UW Theatre Centre (UWTC), and we have show dates on hold for  Feb. 1, 2, 3, 2018. I’ve also chaired two Board meetings and have lined up one for 7p-9p, November 6, at the Grad House (Boardroom upstairs). The Board will likely be discussing show budget and what time to mount the performances of our mainstage Feb. 2018 show – if you feel strongly about such issues I encourage you to let us know, and you are, as always, welcome to attend the open portion of the meeting.

However, the first part of the meeting will be “closed,” for the purposes of interviewing. We are still recruiting for a Representative to join the Board, as well as (a) Director(s), Stage Manager(s), Tech Director(s), and Producer(s) for Show Council. Apply for the Board and/or Show Council to apply@fass.uwaterloo.ca by Sun. Oct. 29, and plan to attend the Board meeting to be interviewed!   If you’re interested in any of the roles I would be more than happy to sit down with you one-on-one for a drink on campus to chat about the positions.

I’ve sat down with our Chief Scriptwriter (CSW), Jessica Schmidt, and am happy to report that the script is making good progress. The writing team can always use more volunteers, though, so if you’re so creatively inclined, do feel free to join them, email csw@fass.uwaterloo.ca to get added to the team. And, most importantly, I’ve been having fun!

I currently work on campus at International News (the convenience store in the SLC, run by Feds) on weekday evenings (Mon.-Thurs. 3p-11p, Fridays 1-7p). So feel free to pop by and say hi. I’ll usually be able to have a quick chat, and if you’d like to sit down for a longer conversation I’m always happy to have a friend to chat with during my evening meal break. If you’d like to arrange something in advance, email prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca

As for what else you can do, we’ve got a couple of social events coming up. I started organizing them on my own before I even became President, just because I missed you all and wanted to hang out with people :). Come join us! FASS Goes to “What Happened In Vegas” at KWLT (we went, it was fun!), and FASS Goes to Paintball! (still looking for people to join us for our postponed date to November :D).

We’ve also got another recruitment event for Show Council (Director, Stage Manager, Tech Director, and Producer) positions in the works for the evening of Oct. 26 in the SLC, but we can’t do it without your help. If you’ve ever done (or even been in proximity to) those positions in the past, please let me (prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca), Mark (secretary@fass.uwaterloo.ca), Jessica (csw@fass.uwaterloo.ca), or Christos (cl@fass.uwaterloo.ca) know – we are hoping to put together an event where experienced Fassies can help us recruit new ones into those roles, by being around in person to pass along the information about what they entail, likely in a “job fair” kind of event setup. We’re also still looking for people who want to help organize social events for Fass – get in touch with Mark (coordinator@fass.uwaterloo.ca).

If you’ve read as far down in this post as here, thank you! It was long, and I hope to keep future ones short and sweet. But I felt that a longer post at this juncture was warranted – as an organization I feel like we’ve just gone through what was depicted in our Fass 2012 play as the “agent takeover” – but in real life, we were our own worst enemy. Too many of us had stopped having fun. Now, it’s time to adapt and rebuild. If, like me, you want to keep having fun with Fass, or you at the very least want to see other people on campus having fun with Fass, then please do get in touch :).

One last note: you may be wondering who is on the Board at this point. It’s comprised of myself as President; Stefan Verveniotis as Presidential Advisor; Mark Jackson-Brown as Company Coordinator; Jason Lynch as Treasurer; Chris Lolas as Creative Liaison (CL)and Nadia V. Ursacki, R. Brent Clements, Anton Markov as representatives. (As previously mentioned, we have a vacant Representative seat, whilst Jessica Schmidt as CSW is our sole non-CL member of Show Council).
We have all held various roles within Fass and on the UW campus over the years. We are also very fortunate to have Peter Carette as an active company member still, who is the Director of the UWTC (the “patron” of Fass). I see us as the current stewards of Fass – we are keeping it going for now, and recruiting as much as we can to get new people who want to lead Fass into the future. These are people who still want to have fun with you through Fass. Get in touch with us if you do, too.

I’ll leave you now with a link to what is still my favourite moment during Fass 2012, and what I think the heart of Fass is still all about. Thanks for reading ❤.

FASS President, Alicia Mah

Company Updates, Meetings, and Task Force!

Hello company!

As many of you know there was a committee meeting yesterday to discuss how FASS is to move forward as a company, both successfully and sustainably.  The very first thing I want to say regarding that is a big thank you to everyone who showed up!  The turnout was great, and it is amazing to see so much effort and engagement from the company at large.  The second thing I want to say, that you’ve probably figured out by now, is that I have been elected as FASS president, to serve until the 2017 AGM.  I look forward to the following months, and what we’re all going to accomplish in this short time!

Speaking of those accomplishments, there is a meeting today at 4:00pm in MC 4063 to discuss our plans for a variety show this year! There is a lot of work to be done, and we would love to see as big a turnout as possible at this meeting so that we can get this organized and running as soon as possible. Please come if you have any desire to help the production along, have any opinions about such a production, or just like FASS in general!

I want to take this time to advertise the current vacancy of the treasurer role on committee. We are all aware that there are a number of vacancies, but this one is urgent to the operation of our company, especially while we put on a show. There are a number of past treasurers available to assist someone new to the role, and a lot of supporting tools and documentation to make easy work of what may sound, at first, like an intimidating position. I urge anyone that is interested in this role to apply by responding to apply@fass.uwaterloo.ca

I would also like to take this time to inform you of two recent resignations from the committee. Many thanks to both Alison Bender and Monica Pierce for their extremely hard work over the last months, and we wish them well in their future endeavours.

The last item for this email is regarding the results of yesterday’s meeting, figuring out how to re-organize and restructure the company in a way that is both true to FASS, but also allows it to be successful and sustainable in the future.  After much discussion with a large segment of the company, we would like to move ahead with creating what we will be calling the Task Force. This group will be chosen by the company, not the committee, and will operate independently of both the committee and this year’s show.

We are looking for a of group highly skilled FASSies to make up this Task Force. The Task Force will be taking an in-depth look at all the elements of FASS and finding a good structure to carry this company into the future. This team will solicit feedback and run consultations with the company, and present some potential structures to the AGM. We are looking for people who are skilled in policy development, consultations, feedback gathering, communications, project management, organizational design, and strategic planning. Please note that this is a very wide set of skills and that no one person is expected to have all of them. We are looking for a varied, yet individually skilled group of people that are passionate about FASS.

If you are interested in joining the Task Force, please email taskforce@fass.uwaterloo.ca. Nominations are due on Tuesday January 10th at 12:01pm

We will select people to fill the Task Force at the meeting on January 14 through the process that is described in the attached document. The January 14th meeting will be chaired by Megan Redwood, who was chosen by a majority vote among all company members present at yesterday’s meeting. All company members present at the January 14th meeting will have a chance to vote on both the selection of individuals and the final team to become the Task Force.

If you have any questions or concerns about this process, yesterday’s meeting, today’s meeting, the treasurer position, or anything else FASS related, do not hesitate to contact me at prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca

Cheers,

President Stef

FASSTaskForce

New location for upcoming FASS meetings – MC 4063

Hello FASS Community!

We now have a room booked on campus for the committee meeting on Friday, January 6th at 7:00 pm. The meeting will be held in MC 4063. Once again, the agenda for this first meeting will be as follows:

  • Appoint Chairperson
  • Appoint Minutes Taker
  • Review Committee’s Role in Restructure
  • Discuss Steering/Restructuring Processes to Present to General Meeting
  • Discuss Application Process for Steering Committee
  • Discuss General Meeting Process & Agenda
  • Round Table

The committee meeting on Saturday, January 7th at 4:00 pm will also be held in MC 4063. Once again, the agenda for the second meeting will be as follows:

  • Appoint Chairperson
  • Appoint Minutes Taker
  • Review Committee’s Role in Variety Show
  • Appoint Act Organizer & Stage Manager
  • Approve Show Date(s) & Time(s)
  • Approve Ticket Prices
  • * BIO-BREAK *
  • Approve Budget
  • Discuss – Show Organization Ideas & Recommendations
  • Discuss – Variety Show Next Steps (Promotions & Parties)
  • Round Table

Once again, all FASSies are welcome to come and voice their suggestions/opinions in person or by emailing their suggestions to committee in advance through Gavin Craig at prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca.

Upcoming Committee Meetings January 6th and 7th

There are two FASS Committee meetings upcoming this week.

Agenda for Friday, January 6th at 7:00 pm
-Appoint Chairperson
-Appoint Minutes Taker
-Review Committee’s Role in Restructure
-Discuss Steering/Restructuring Processes to Present to General Meeting
-Discuss Application Process for Steering Committee
-Discuss General Meeting Process & Agenda
-Round Table

Agenda for Saturday, January 7th at 4:00 pm
-Appoint Chairperson
-Appoint Minutes Taker
-Review Committee’s Role in Variety Show
-Appoint Act Organizer & Stage Manager
-Approve Show Date(s) & Time(s)
-Approve Ticket Prices
* BIO-BREAK *
-Approve Budget
-Discuss – Show Organization Ideas & Recommendations
-Discuss – Variety Show Next Steps (Promotions & Parties)
-Round Table

The Friday meeting will be held at the Community Centre at Bread and Roses Housing Co-op, 307 Queen St South, Kitchener (5 minute walk from bus terminal). Entrance is through the old building directly on Queen Street.
The Saturday meeting location is still TBD.

We welcome all who want to participate in these discussions. If you have any conflicts, feel free to email committee in advance. Contact Gavin at prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca for any questions.

FASS 2017 Variety Show

Hello Again Fass Community,
 
There has been a lot of fantastic discussion over the past few days, and the broader FASS Community has really come together. Committee would like to thank everyone who has offered to help, raised concerns, asked questions, and supported us during this time.
 
After seeing the overwhelming support, Committee has decided to put on a FASS 2017 variety show! The details of this are yet to be determined, and we welcome volunteers, advisors, and well-wishers.  We will be holding a Committee meeting on Saturday, January 7th at 4pm to plan the variety show, and welcome all who’d like to help provide input.  
 
However, we must announce another vacancy on Committee. Emily Pass has resigned from her role of Treasurer, as the role will no longer be feasible to complete from her out-of-town residence. We thank Emily Pass for her hard work over the past several months. To this end, Committee welcomes Joscelyn Alexander as Acting Treasurer.
 
At this point, Committee thanks everyone who has previously served on Committee this year, including Elizabeth McFaul, Megan Redwood, Katherine Schill, Emily Crawford, Ray Slejska, Min Ling, Nyssa Tilford, and Emily Pass.
 
We’d also like to announce the open call for applications!
Vacant 2016-2017 committee positions include:
 
-President
-Treasurer
-Company Coordinator
-Director
-Stage Manager

Please contact our Acting President, Gavin, at prez@fass.uwaterloo.ca if you are interested in any of these positions. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact anyone on committee.

FASS 2017

Committee met yesterday to discuss the unfilled Producer role and other important issues, such as show dates and financial strategy. We also accepted the following resignations: Katherine Schill from her role as Company Coordinator, Megan Redwood from her role as Stage Manager, and Elizabeth McFaul from her role as Past Stage Manager. Amos Boratto has been removed from his role as FASS President, but will remain on the FASS Committee as a Member at Large. Since the meeting, Emily Crawford has resigned from her role as Director.

Over the course of the meeting, a number of concerns were addressed. Since the position of Producer opened in early summer, no one has stepped forward to take on the role. This is a position that is critical to the success of the show. At this time important production deadlines have passed, such as filling cameos, advertising at fall clubs day, calling for auditions, and sending posters to the FEDS poster run. The Committee discussed the feasibility of distributing the Producer’s tasks between Committee members, but Producer is a very work-intensive position and each Committee member already has a large number of responsibilities attached to their role.

Further, a number of other crucial creative and administrative roles also remain unfilled, such as Company Coordinator, Stage Manager, Director, Band Leader, and President. Currently, there are logistical issues that need to be addressed in the script before it can be considered castable, and without a Band Leader we do not have musical arrangements for the songs.

With less than three weeks to auditions, these challenges are very daunting. These unfilled roles cannot be covered by Committee alone. When most of these roles were initially filled, we received no other applicants and therefore have no leads on anyone in the company willing to step up and take on these positions. In the case of Producer, we received no leads after months of open calls and private inquiries. Despite advertising the open meeting, we did not get a large turnout of company members to help contribute to solutions and no one has volunteered their services for the production team.

The result of hours of deliberation was that we simply do not have the manpower required to put on a successful show this year. FASS has suffered from declining ticket sales and financial instability for a number of years and we do not want to bankrupt our company by pushing forward with a show that will likely be unsuccessful.
For this reason, Committee has decided to cancel the 2017 show run.

After years of financial decline, our current model for FASS is clearly not working. Our model for Committee does not work either, putting intense workloads on individuals until they burn out. Given the concerns voiced by the company at the AGM earlier this year, it is clear there are other issues with Committee and FASS’ structure that also need to be addressed.

We would like to take this year to rebuild and restructure so that FASS can continue in the 2017/2018 season stronger than ever. To this end, we will be hosting two general meetings in the new year for the company to voice questions, concerns, and ideas on how FASS should move forward to ensure its long-term success in the years to come. Once the meeting times and locations are confirmed we will let the company know.

This was not an easy decision for anyone and we appreciate your understanding as we move forward. If you have any questions, please email monica.l.pierce@live.ca or anyone else on FASS Committee.

President Nominations Open

Hi all,

Quick update coming out of the Committee Meeting last week: we discussed the merits of Committee appointing and calling a special general meeting to fill the vacant FASS President spot. Thank you to everyone who expressed their thoughts. At the end of the day, the decision to use a Committee appointed procedure was reached. If you have any other concerns or feedback, please continue to discuss them with me at pastprez@fass.uwaterlo.ca

And now (drumroll please…) FASS President nominations are officially open! Email apply@fass.uwaterloo.ca by September 1st to apply for the President position.

Your past president,
Rami

Committee Changes Update

Hello fellow FASSies!
Rami your Past President here with some important news and a request for your support.

First and foremost, I need to inform you that Elizabeth McFaul has stepped down as the current FASS President. As per normal procedure, I will temporarily assume the duties of the president as we look for a new leader for FASS 2017.

Although the Constitution seems to imply that Committee can appoint a replacement president, at the AGM we heard some concerns with appointing an elected position, concerns that we wholeheartedly understand. I would like to have an open and honest conversation about the best way to proceed, thus Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, August 9th at 7:00 PM, AL (Arts Lecture) 207, and we would like to make sure that we can hear from as many FASSies as possible on the best way to move forward.

Please attend this meeting and participate in the discussion if you are able, or send me your questions, concerns or opinions at pastprez@fass.uwaterloo.ca.
Thank you for your continued support!