Just as an example, I give you this evening, less than one week prior to our latest show's opening. My husband and I are both glued to our laptops. He's working on work stuff (a house exploded, scary stuff). I'm working on the program. (More often than not, though, Dave's working on theater stuff since he's the president; I'm merely the secretary. We both agree that the role of treasurer is, arguably, the most work-intensive and thankless of all duties...I said arguably.) Here's a glimpse:
"Programs" isn't something that the secretary is necessarily "supposed" to do. (Yes, we have by-laws, although they don't necessarily lay out everything that we each have to do. It's just kind of "known". Things tend to evolve that way when you've been going strong for nearly 90 years.) But, being the sick person that I am, I enjoy design and fonts and a general consistency, so at some point I had a lapse in sanity and offered to do programs for every show of the season. It's okay, though, generally. After the first show of the season I can generally just plug in the new show info and players, keeping all of the ads (which Dave and I solicit) in place. The first one of the year is kind of a pain, though, and this just happens to be that kind. Joy!
I think I may be a control freak. The programs used to be quite different from one show to the next, and oftentimes included photocopied ads. While I sometimes get the occasional pixelation (I think I made a word), having everything as a computer file is so much simpler and easier to work with than the "old way". Plus, audiences can expect consistency from one program to the next...if they even care....
We're finally learning how to cut back on expenses and order only what we need for the first weekend; if we need more, I order them the Monday before the final weekend performance. Oh, another thing this reminds me about! We get them through Staples now. Sounds basic, right? We do the same for membership cards, newsletters, and a million other things. The best thing about doing the Staples thing, though? Stapling. Collating. Folding. We used to do all, all, ALL of that at the theater. I can't count how many times I'd arrive with my hair in curlers only to pitch in in the lobby sorting and stapling pages of the program. Yeah, this really is a special sort of place. :-)
I do get a strange enjoyment out of using dafont.com to download fun fonts (duh...hence the name) to give an appropriate feel to the program, such as with the title of "Arsenic and Old Lace" above. Frilly, appropriately creepy - it just sets the mood. Here's another way that I like to sneak a little Meg personalization...
Can you make it out? "Help us go green and cut costs"? Yep, that's all me. I experienced it at a stage in (where else) Ithaca, NY and had to implement it. It's probably one of the only green things about the place (aside from our new furnace and A/C, which is Energy Star rated), but I try. ;-)
So that's one thing other than maintaining minutes, doing correspondence, creating newsletters (wow, there's really SO much more than is in our job descriptions!), and acting that I do at the theater. Like I said, lots of people do lots more - where do you think the toilet paper and comes from? And who gets called when we have an attempted break-in or vandalism? Yep.
If you're ever in the Mohawk Valley, double-check our web site and see if there's a show going on. It'll definitely make for an entertaining night, and no visitor to our little theater ever forgets the experience. Now I'm off to enjoy some mindless magazine-reading. Dave and I agree that any heavy reading (y'know...the kind that makes you learn or gives you suggestions on how to live a better life) has to wait until a show's over. Those lines don't allow room for much else in the ol' noggin.