Open Mic Prep: Introducing Our Producing Partners

This month’s Open Mic Night, on December 13th at the Exit Theatre, is a co-production between Theater Pub and the Individual Services Committee of Theater Bay Area. Recognizing that many people might not know what the ISC is, we took a moment to interview Dale Albright, who manages the ISC for TBA, and is a director, actor and theater maker himself.

So tell us, Dale, what is the ISC? What does it do, and how does it work?

Dale Albright: The ISC (Individual Services Committee) is an advisory committee that is made up of representatives of Theatre Bay Area’s membership in order to advice TBA on our programs and services in order to best meet the needs of our individual members. The committee meets 8 times a year and its members serve for 2 year (renewable) terms. Its mission is to:

· Discover, advocate, and represent the artistic needs and professional interests of individual members to Theatre Bay Area.

· Support the work of the Director of Field Services.

· Promote Theatre Bay Area services to individuals and the field at large.

And what is the history behind it? When did it start, and why?

Dale Albright: When I came to Theatre Bay Area almost 13 years ago, there was a committee of reps from our company members that advised TBA, but no complimentary committee for the individual members, of which there were many more. Work to start the committee started in 2002 with a variety of community meetings, leading up to the formation of committee in 2003.

And how well does it live up to it’s goals?

Dale Albright: The group is very successful in its advisory capacity, as artists in the field who represent a variety of disciplines and geographic regions. While we always wish the group was even more representative in order to best serve the community, the opinions of the members of the group are valued and valuable in doing our work.

As is, what do you think are the most important contributions of the ISC?

Dale Albright: The most important contributions of the ISC lie in the vital feedback that they give in developing programs and in contributing to the programming of the Annual Conference.Additionally, the chair of the ISC serves of the board of Theatre Bay Area, and as such consistently reports to the board as to the committees activities and the importance of the work Theatre Bay Area does.

Where would you like to see the ISC go? What is your ideal version of how it works and what do you think it’s potential impact could be?

Dale Albright:First off, I would love to see the group grow to be even more representative of our entire individual membership. A group of 25 would be only 1% of our entire membership, a number that is attainable and an important goal. The roster is currently at 12. I would love to see a formal ambassador program, where members of the ISC can represent TBA at appropriate venues, in order to expand the reach well beyond what just a handful of people can do. I would love to see the ISC be a virtually self-sustaining entity, a group that researches the needs of and trends in the field independently of (but under the auspices of) TBA and then reports to staff on what they hear/learn. The important thing is to serve the field, so if empowering others to reach out allows even more people more access to the ability of being a part of shaping our field’s future, all the better. We have a very active and vibrant community here, with some very clear needs. The best way that people can be sure that their needs are acknowledge and addressed is to get involved! I would love to see the ISC provide that opportunity for anyone who wants it.

So how does one get involved in the ISC?

Dale Albright: Currently the best way is to contact Dale Albright (dale@theatrebayarea.org).

How does one support the ISC without necessarily being a part of it?

Dale Albright: Currently the best way to do that is to either drop us an email with comments/concerns for the group to address (dale@theatrebayrea.org), chat up a member of the ISC at events (such as a TBA open house, TBA Night at the Theatre, Theatre Bay Area Annual Conference or, say, Theatre Pub’s open mic). There is also a list of ISC members of the TBA web site at http://www.theatrebayarea.org/Programs/Individual-Services-Committee.cfm. They (and we!) would all love to hear from you!

Don’t forget to come out and support the Lemonade Fund (and the ISC) at the Open Mic Night, this December 13th at the Exit Theatre (156 Eddy Street, San Francisco). Tickets are donation based at the door ($10-20 encouraged!), no reservations required!

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