Seabright Morris and Sword

Organizational Structure

(or lack thereof)

This is a list of things we seem to have to do to keep Seabright going. It was first prepared during spring of 1995--a time when Seabright was establishing a self-identity such as it had never had before. This season saw the creation of the longswords, the hobby fish, and the evolution of a fool and fool's kit.

This list is not authoritative, and it contains some wishful thinking. It owes a debt to the other Bay Area teams as role models and to Tony Barrand and Jocelyn Reynolds for their works of scholarship. There has been no particular time when the team actually worked exactly like this, and it is permanently out of date. This list includes various tasks of importance ranging from vital to trivial. The relative importance of each of these roles is a matter of interpretation. Some important things have probably been omitted, and likewise some people who are doing these important tasks. Some of the task distinctions are unclear, some are just ludicrous. Some things we haven't done enough to be sure what they are all about or who can do them best.

This should not be taken as absolute truth or any kind of necessary tradition. We will doubtless continue to rearrange what we do, who does what, and what's most important. Some of the folks doing various things would welcome more help. The actual roles and roleplayers will vary, mingle, and blur depending on the motivations of various team members. But it does give some ideas of how we seem to understand what gets done.

Despite all the details on this list, the dance is what is really important.

Cotswold Fore (long term) edn MacDomhnaill
Makes final decisions about style points, show dances, and other artistic concerns as relate to the actual performance of the dance.
Sword Fore (long term) Julia Schult
As above, makes final decisions regarding sword dances
Music Foreman (long term) Paul Turner
As above, makes final decisions about musical issues.
Mumming Fore (mumming season) Julia Schult
You get the idea...
Kit Ogre (long term + one intense day) Kathleen Roberts and Colette Aspen
Makes final decisions about the garments we wear while performing. Coordinate with bag to lay out funds to acquire bolts of forest green twill as needed. Keeps the pattern(s) and spare material for the vests. Should really know how to sew, and should have a sewing machine and access to one or two more. Figures out when the annual sewing party will be.
Bagman (long term) Tracey Sconyers
Gets people to pay monthly dues. Holds the money. Interacts with bank account. Ensures that rooms are rented for an interval extending at least 2 months into the future. Looks for possible new or cheaper practice sites, and maintains list of previously known practice sites. Interacts with other teams who are hosting ales. Reports on cash flow stability or crises. Respects privacy of those who pay either more or less than average. Worries about lack of insurance and non-profit status.
Squire (long term) Ruth Temple
Serves as contact with the external world for all paying gigs. Sets prices and terms for such performances. Keeps official calendar for all performances so tours don't get scheduled too often or on the same day. Publishes the how-to lists and checklist of things that must be done by anyone who is setting up a tour. Works closely with Tour Managers and Public Relations. May delegate some of these tasks to others.

In short, the squire is the business manager who protects the name and reputation of the team and who makes sure that all the other things that need to be done get done by somebody. This requires a pretty good understanding of the strengths of everybody on the team, and a readiness to pick up the pieces if a delegated task does not get done.

Secretary (long term) Contact = Ruth; List Publisher = Steve
Maintains contact with all other members of team for purposes of collecting and dispersing information about scheduled and non-scheduled activity. Reports to Fore about who will and will not be present at a practice. Insures that a mailing/phone list of team members is kept up to date and published as needed. Keeps attendance.
Public Relations (one season?) Karen, Steve, etc.
Composes and disperses one-page releases of information to the news media which describe upcoming events. Sends off detailed information at least 10 days in advance of an event. (For publications such quarterly calendars the press release for May 1 sunrise will need to go out months in advance.) Maintains a list of various publications and community calendars in which we list ourselves. Works closely with Tour Managers, Squire and Graphicsmith.
Tour managers (~3 weeks + one intense day) anyone who will
Produce tours. Coordinate all communication with any other teams. Scout for new locations and verifies suitability of old locations. Contact owners of any private dance sites to procure permission. Insure that adequate numbers of musicians and dancers are committed to attend. Verify that adequate parking is available. Finalize schedule at least 10 days in advance so that 1) PR is possible and 2) participants know where to be when. Make maps so that folks from foreign teams can find places. Warn pub stops and restaurants that we're coming. (If we are a part of somebody else's show this is a relatively easy job, if we're setting up the show this job gets pretty involved.) Tour managers who have a life should try not to plan two tours less than 3 weeks apart.
Ale managers (>~ 1 year with intense weeks) omigawd, we're hosting the 1997 California Ale
Like tour managers but definitely plural and much less sane. Requires expertise in many things we have never faced: Finding a camp willing to host dozens to hundreds of morris dancers. Coordinating transportation of said dancers. Persuading said camp that the consumption of beer is an important part of the ritual. Cooperating with dozens of other teams. Managing of kilobuck sums of money. Getting permits from civic authorities. Getting insurance.
Everybody (always) this means you
At end of any event make sure nobody is too drunk to drive.
Medical Kit Maintainer (long term) volunteers?
Insures that the Seabright medical kit has adequate stocks of emergency supplies and that it is nearby during practices and tours. Bag provides funds for purchase of supplies.
Stick/Sword Maven (weekly) whoever
Keeps the sticks/swords safe between practices and insures that they are present at performances. Notifies team of need to purchase or construct new ones to replace old ones. Coordinates with bag as needed for funding.
Graphicsmith (long term) Kathleen Roberts Design
Maintains consistency of the visual image presented in brochures, gig flyers, letterhead, business cards, etc. Insures that we have recognizeable visual trademarks.
Swordsmith (as needed) Loren Washburn
Forges the swords.
Artists (as inspired) too many to list
Produce all the various and sundry nifty images and artifacts which become trademarks of the team; e.g., the Seabright logo, the Seabright hobby fish, the Seabright umbrella.
Teachers (long term) several of us
Stand up and show somebody else how to dance. Make occasional hardcopy handouts with style points. Defer to foreman. Probably will have acquired know how thru years of experience and/or attending various workshops at dance camps.
Archivist Karen Hellgren and Ruth Temple
Maintains copies of the paper trail left by Seabright. E.g.; tour posters, newspaper clippings, meeting minutes, instructional sheets on how-to-dance, etc.
Photo Archivist Megan Lewis
Maintains spare copies of photographs taken during various performances--possibly in a photo scrap book.
Moderator (one meeting) Paul Turner
Keeps team meetings safe and sane.
Scribe (one meeting) whoever
Takes notes on meetings and decisions made therein.
Pub Bag (one evening) somebody
Figures out the bill at the end of the night. Make sure we leave a tip. Remember who leaves without paying and embarass them later.
Dancers and Musicians (at every performance) all of us
Make possible the performance of the magic of the morris. Smile at the audience; you're having fun!
Steve Allen <sla@alumni.caltech.edu>