Friday, April 29, 2011

My last Post

At he AGM of FOTA on May 17th I shall be leaving the Board. I consider my position impossible (nothing to do with FOTA) but this is the newest newsletter and I hope that it will bring you up to speed on more important matters than my going.

FOTA Newsletter 3

It is April 29th in the evening and it is clear that we sent our sunshine to London and got their rain in return. Fortunately the trip to Ronda yesterday was done in the best weather that Andalucia could offer and I have heard no complaints. By the end of my stint on the desk on Wednesday the coach had filled so we can look forward to a good report from Arthur at the Board meeting on Tuesday.

This is just as well since the previous trip only made a profit of 12 euros due to some unexpected expenses. Still in March we handed 2000 euros to SALVA and in April 1000.

Our next effort is to visit the Donkey Sanctuary in the foothills of the Alpujarras and then on to Nerja for lunch and finishing with a visit to Frigiliana, one of the most well known White Villages. The diary date is May 19th. An optional extra could be a visit to the caves at Nerja but this is the time of the year for outdoors, not too hot so perfect for seeing the village or having a coffee and letting the village see you.

The next date for your diary is our AGM. We are trying something new this year and holding it at 12.00 on May 17th. This should enable members to have the morning and /or lunchtime in Fuengirola and fit us in as well. It shouldn’t take very long. We recently welcomed Jean Mackenzie to the FOTA Board and will welcome Val Williams to the next. They will need to be confirmed. Helen Young and Norma Wilson are looking to be re elected but I have decided that my days on the Board are over, at least for the immediate future. A new Secretary will be required. I intend to continue on the desk on Wednesdays ( if they let me).

Finally in the ‘what to look forward to’ section can I PR for ‘Little Women’. The story of four sisters in the US just after the Civil War and how they cope with growing up is one of the great classics of American literature. Lots of laughs and I suspect moments when a clean hanky will be in order. It is directed by Ana Atteck and I had the pleasure of working with her on ‘The Railway Children’. Not only was she immensely impressive as a motivator of young performers, she also managed to get such good performances that there are many who think it the best thing the Salon has done. I am keeping my fingers crossed that a disruptive cough has gone by May 6th when it opens for five nights.

Having looked to the future it is time to look at the past. The crisis has affected us all but we can’t use it as an excuse because so many of my colleagues have worked so hard that our income for the year has dropped only a very small amount. Last year we were able to give the theatre 11,000 euros and this year it is 500 euros less. Hard work has been combined with trying new approaches where we can and maintaining product quality of course. We have made small improvements in marketing what we do, like better publicity material, particularly for ‘hard to sell’ trips though there is still room for improvement and changes to improve matters. One constraint we have is that most of the FOTA Board are in their seventies or close to it and physically moving trestle tables and standing around is difficult. Competition has made some activities almost pointless. As I write I am wearing a pair of designer trousers which I bought in Cudeca for 1 euro so fashion shows are now considered not a good idea. Gina no longer has her big garage for storage so Book Sales (and Fashion Shows) are impossible to organize. Younger fitter users of the theatre’s facilities have not been conspicuous in volunteering or joining FOTA.

At this point I have to embarrass two stalwarts. David Radford first. Everyone already knows how much effort he puts into his cards although the rise of e cards has affected everyone in that field. It would be nice to think that all who use the theatre buy their cards from David. If you don’t then go and look at his stock.

But more than that. David spent many evenings selling the 25th anniversary booklet and without his work the profit of 1600 euros which it made would have been an ill afforded loss. He will be too modest to mention it in his Presidents report at the AGM. Thank God I am used to being told off.
The other great fundraiser innovation is the raffles held during the longer shows. Here thanks must be given to Norma who organizes and motivates the ticket sellers.

We are always on the lookout for new ideas. Recent criticism of FOTA’s activities has been very light on the positive suggestion side but the new committee will, I am sure welcome anything that leads to improving on the 40,000 plus euros FOTA has given the theatre in the last three years or so.
 See you on May 17th at 12.00

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