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TaPRA Constitution

TaPRA (Theatre and Performance Research Association)

Draft as discussed and amended by Executive Committee Nov 2009 and approved at annual conference September 2010


The Theatre and Performance Research Association (hereafter TaPRA) exists in order to facilitate research through and into theatre and performance. It is based on collegiality with a formal structure that intends to advance informal, productive and dynamic research networks.

Although membership is largely British and Irish, TaPRA welcomes international members and seeks to engage with research across a wide range of cultures, disciplines and geographies.

TaPRA does not express a political affiliation and is not a lobbying body though the Chair is empowered to respond to representations made by outside bodies with respect to research issues in the subject domain in the constituent countries with the agreement of two thirds of the members of the Executive Committee.


To create, facilitate and sustain research networks concerned with theatre and performance.

To foster research that:

• Enables links between practitioners and scholars within our disciplines and across cognate fields
• Liaises with specialist organisations and groupings
• Encouraging early-career researchers
• Develops and sustains international links


Membership is on an individual basis. TaPRA does not feature group or institutional memberships.

Membership is normally open to any individual on payment of the appropriate fee. In exceptional cases the Executive Committee may refuse an application for membership or renewal of membership.

Honorary life membership may be granted to individuals who have given distinguished service to the organisation. Such memberships will be confirmed at the Annual General Meeting.

Currently Honorary Life Members are:
Professor David Bradby, Professor Emeritus, Royal Holloway, The University of London
Professor Baz Kershaw, The University of Warwick
All members have a right to attend and vote at the Annual General Meeting.


Subscription is on an annual basis and runs from conference to conference or from the point of joining to the next scheduled conference.

A concessionary rate is available where eligibility can be demonstrated.

Annual subscriptions are as follows:

Waged £30.00
Unwaged £10.00

Organisational structure

Executive Committee

TaPRA is managed by an Executive Committee comprising nine offices, any of which, if appropriate, may be staffed by more than one member, each of whom is a full member of the Executive Committee.

The posts are as follows:
o Chair
o General Secretary
o Conference Secretary
o Treasurer
o Membership Secretary
o Website/IT Manager
o International/External Liaison
o Working Groups Coordinator
o Postgraduate Representative

Members of the Executive Committee will normally serve for a period of four years with the fourth year as a hand-over year, subject to the terms outlined under ‘Election of postholders’ below.

The Executive Committee is responsible for the affairs of the Association. The committee will reach decisions, where necessary, by a majority vote of those present or in electronic communication within a 48-hour period, subject to the participation of at least two thirds of the Committee. Where a vote is tied, the Chair will have the casting vote.

The Chair will oversee the business of the Executive Committee.

The Chair will be required to call a meeting of the Executive Committee at the request of any three members of the Committee.

The Executive Committee will normally meet as a group in advance of the Annual General Meeting.
The Executive Committee and the AGM will endeavour to ensure that the members of the Executive Committee provide broad representation.

If the election of postholders by membership, and confirmed at the AGM, does not result in broad representation, then the Executive Committee is empowered to co-opt appropriate representation from within the membership.

Working Groups

The Association facilitates a series of working groups, each managed by one or two coordinators. The activities of the working groups are central to the Association’s purpose. The groups are described more fully under ‘Operation’, below.

Election of postholders

The officers of the Executive Committee shall be elected, where possible, during the AGM. If not, nominations will be called for during the annual conference, confirmed at the AGM and a ballot date fixed. Successful candidates will be informed by email and invited to the next meeting of the Executive Committee. Membership will be notified of the successful candidate via email and the postholder confirmed at the next AGM.
Officers will be members of the Association and are elected on receiving the largest share of the votes cast.
Officers will normally serve for a four year period without re-election. Officers may not serve for a period of longer than five years and may not stand for re-election to the same role after serving for five years in the role in question.
Individuals who have served on the Executive Committee as officers in a particular role may stand for election to the Committee in a different role.
The Executive Committee will endeavour to ensure that not all of its members are replaced at any one time.
Unforeseen vacancies can be filled on a short-term basis until the next AGM by decision of the Executive Committee.
Candidates may propose themselves for job-sharing in any of the positions on the Executive Committee.
To be eligible for nomination and election, any Postgraduate Representatives must be enrolled in a Masters or Doctoral research degree (full or part-time), and will normally serve for a maximum period of four years, or the period of his/her postgraduate candidature, whichever is the shorter.

TaPRA operates by way of the schedule of meetings and activities described below.


TaPRA convenes an international conference, normally in September and on an annual basis. The conference is likely to feature a mix of activities reflecting the research concerns and issues of the membership. It provides:

  • A forum for exchange with leading international practitioners and scholars
  • A forum for the activities of working groups
  • An opportunity for researchers to engage with the work of other practitioners and/or scholars
  • A gathering and dissemination of practices, findings and outcomes within groups and for the conference as a whole

Annual General Meeting

The Association holds an Annual General Meeting. This normally takes place during the conference. All members are invited to attend.
Standing items for this Annual general Meeting are:
• Confirmation of minutes from previous AGM
• Matters Arising
• Chair’s Report
• Officers’ reports
• Agenda Items for discussion
The AGM is quorate when at least 15% of the membership at the time of the AGM are present.

Executive Committee Meeting

The Executive Committee will normally meet up to four times a year, which includes a scheduled meeting at the annual conference.
Reasonable expenses for formal meetings of the Executive Committee are reimbursed.
The Chair of TaPRA chairs meetings of the Executive Committee.

Working Groups

– Represent the Working Group within TaPRA as an organization
– Liaise between the TaPRA executive committee and conference organizers and the WG members
– In relation to the Annual Conference:
o Liaise with Conference Organizers and/or TaPRA Working Group Co-ordinators and meet all deadlines for information related to Calls for Papers, technical requirements, participants, abstracts/biographies, etc.
o Choose/identify the Working Group’s ‘theme’ for the conference, related to the ongoing/developing concerns of the group and finding ways to productively bring the research interests of individual members together .
o Write a descriptor/call for papers/submissions/presentations and send to TaPRA conference organizers for website; then disseminate call using personal and professional networks (e.g. SCUDD email list).
o Gather proposals. Discuss. Select those to go forward, making?suggestions for where we suggest authors might ‘enhance’ their?paper/presentation if appropriate.
o Liaise with other WG conveners to explore collaborative initiatives/shared sessions
o Programme speakers and themes within timetable available
o Compile abstracts and biographical statements
o Make any additional arrangements/decisions about how the WG can enhance its meetings at the conference.
o Communicate with all Working Group participants pre-conference regarding timetables, tech requirements, etc.
o Ensure the smooth running of the working group sessions at the conference by briefing chairs, etc.
o Introduce speakers and chair discussion sessions
– Run a WG business meeting (normally but not necessarily at the annual conference), including gathering ideas for the next event; electing new convenors (and other officers if appropriate to the WG) as required by the constitution and circumstance, and ensuring the published aims of the Working Group are supported by the membership
– Facilitate networking and communication within the Working Group and feedback after events and activities
– In relation to Interim Events:
o arrange interim events and activities so that the conference does not remain an annual one-off in the schedule
o write and submit proposal to TaPRA executve
o process claims for funding to TaPRA and other sources.
– Write a brief annual report on WG activity
– Provide website information on WG and its activities
– Maintain up to date lists/contact details for WG members
– Ensure smooth transition between outgoing and incoming WG Convenors

What Working Group Convenors additionally could/should do:

– Keep the WG pages on the TaPRA website up-to-date (where access and editing rights to specific working group pages/sections on the TaPRA website are available)
– In relation to the Annual Conference:
o Meet with other Convenors at some point between the call for papers and the deadline for submissions to develop joint sessions and other collaborations, to share proposals that could be more appropriate for another group, to minimize clashes, and to collectively plan sessions;
o Help to plan structure of conference, choosing invited speakers, workshops, etc.;
o Request additional/supporting funds from TaPRA for delegates/participants not able to secure funding from an institution or elsewhere to attend.
– Represent the WG (and, with it, TaPRA) at other events, including internationally
– Work more closely with the membership secretary in order to hold/access up-to-date contact details for current and past WG members.

Compiled by Roberta Mock, November 2009, with input from:

Peter Boenisch, Sally Mackey, Nick Moran, Simon Parry, David Shirley, Jenny Hughes, Jennifer Parker-Starbuck on behalf of their working groups.


Two members of the Executive Committee will be signatories to payments, and any cheque must be signed by both signatories.

The Treasurer will have oversight of the Association’s bank account, cheque book and credit/debit cards.

The Treasurer will present to the Executive Committee an independently examined account of the Association’s financial transactions on an annual basis.

Amendments to the constitution

The Association’s Annual General Meeting may amend the Constitution subject to a majority of two thirds of the members present and voting, provided that a quorum of at least 15% of the membership at the time of the AGM be present and that written notice of the amendment proposed has been circulated to all members not less than four weeks before the Annual General Meeting. The membership list will be available on request from the Treasurer/Membership Secretary.


The Association may be dissolved by the agreement of not less than three quarters of those members present at an Annual General Meeting or a General Meeting specifically summoned for the purpose by the Executive Committee, giving all members at least one month’s notice of the date of the meeting and the reasons for the proposed dissolution.
In the event of dissolution, any funds existing after the payment of all liabilities will be transferred to one or more organisations having similar objectives to the Association. Such organisations being determined by the Executive Committee and ratified by the AGM.

Working Groups

Working Groups

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