top of page


CIO Registered Number: 117499


Latest amendment 1st April 2020



Section One: The Rules

The following topics are covered in this section:

  1. Introduction

  2. Defined terms

  3. The rules

  4. The Charity Trustees

  5. Officers of the Society

  6. Production Committee and other sub-committees

  7. Financial year

  8. Membership & subscriptions

  9. Remuneration & expenses

Section Two: Guidance & Information

The following topics are covered in this section:

  1. Our title

  2. Membership: subscriptions & entitlement

  3. Friends of the Tamaritans

  4. Gift Aid

  5. Insurance

  6. Directors

  7. Stage Managers

  8. Production Team

Annex A:     Guidance for new members

Annex B:    Casting Guidelines

Annex C:   Safeguarding Policy


1.   Introduction

This document takes effect from 1 January 2018.

This document comprises:-

a.   The formal Rules of the Tamaritans Theatre Company made pursuant to Clause 26 of the Constitution.

b.   Additional guidance and information (relating to the Society’s procedures).

This establishes a trilogy of documents for the Society:

The Constitution.   This formally recognises the Society’s status as a Charitable Incorporated Organisation (CIO).   The Constitution can only be amended with the agreement of the Charity Commission.

The Rules.   These are generally taken from the Society’s previous constitution (updated 2015) but were inappropriate to include in the new CIO Constitution.   The Rules may only be amended with the formal approval of the members at a General Meeting.

Guidance & Information.   This section may be amended at any time but only with the formal approval of the Management Committee.   This section includes an annex containing information particularly designed to provide guidance to new members.

2.   Defined Terms

  • “Chairman” means the chairman of The Tamaritans Theatre Company who chairs the Management Committee and the annual general meeting and who is elected by the members at the first annual general meeting of the Society and at every third annual general meeting thereafter.


  • “Society” means The Tamaritans Theatre Company.


  • “Management Committee” means the committee comprising the Trustees which meets to manage the Society.


  • “Production Chairman” means the chairman of the Production Committee and who is elected by the members at the second annual general meeting of the Society and at every third annual general meeting thereafter.


  • “Secretary” means the secretary of the Management Committee who maintains the records of the Society, calls meetings of the Society and the Management Committee and prepares minutes of those meetings in accordance with the Constitution and who is elected by the members at the third annual general meeting of the Society and at every third annual general meeting thereafter.

  • "Trustees" means the Charity Trustees of the Society


3.   The rules

These rules are generally taken from the Society’s previous constitution (updated 2015) but amended to reflect the new Constitution.

The rules may only be amended with the approval by resolution of the membership at a Meeting.


4.   The Trustees

The Trustees of the Society shall be :-

(a) the Trustees elected by annual general meetings of the Society from time to time, being the elected Chairman, Production Committee Chairman and the General Secretary of the Society. The Chairman and Production Chairman shall not be eligible to stand for re-election in that office for a period of one year unless no other nominations are received in respect of the office for which they are seeking re-election, or unless they have been co-opted into that office and the circumstances set out in Rule 5 apply.

(b) additional Trustees appointed by the Trustees elected by the members, from among the officers of the Society. The Treasurer, the Workshop Co-ordinator and the Premises Manager should ordinarily be appointed if  those persons are willing to serve. If they are not willing to serve, they may attend Management Committee meetings but may not vote at these meetings.

(c) two non-officer members of the Society appointed as Trustees by the Management Committee following a recommendation of the annual general meeting pursuant to Rule 5.    These Trustees can serve for up to two years but, upon the completion of two years’ service, shall not be eligible to stand for re-election in that capacity for a period of one year unless no other nominations are received in respect of the office of non-officer member.

The entire management of the Society (except as otherwise provided by the Constitution or these rules) shall be the responsibility of the Trustees.

5.   The Officers

The Officers of the Society shall be elected at annual general meetings of the Company or, in the event of the post not being filled at an annual general meeting or a vacancy occurring, they can be co-opted by the Trustees.

In the event of a vacancy arising in the posts of Chairman, Production Chairman or Secretary in between annual general meetings, the person so co-opted shall be appointed a Trustee by the Management Committee and the post shall be filled by an election at the next meeting of the Society.

The person co-opted by the Trustees in these circumstances shall remain in office without re-election until the term of office of the person whose retirement or removal created the vacancy would ordinarily have had to step down pursuant to the terms of the Constitution. The rule concerning eligibility for re-election would not apply to that Officer at the first re-election, if the person whose removal or retirement created the vacancy had been in post for less than a year.

The officers shall comprise the following (not all of whom shall necessarily become Trustees):-

  • Chairman

  • Production Chairman

  • Secretary

  • Treasurer

  • Marketing and Publicity Coordinator

  • Workshop Coordinator

  • Premises Manager

  • Membership Secretary

  • Wardrobe Co-ordinator

  • Front of House Manager

  • Social Secretary


Four members shall form a quorum.

Nominations for all officers and other members of the Management Committee shall be made in writing to the Secretary not later than seven days before the date of the annual general meeting.   Each nomination shall be duly proposed and seconded and the consent of the nominee shall have been obtained.   In the event of written nominations not being received to fill all the vacancies on the Management Committee, verbal nominations shall be received at the annual general meeting in respect only of those officers and other members of the Management Committee for whom written nominations have not been received.   Voting shall be by ballot.   In the case of two or more candidates receiving an equal number of votes, the Chairman shall have a second or casting vote.

Authority to vote

Members of the Management Committee who are NOT Trustees only have observer status at meetings of the Management Committee.

Terms of Reference

The responsibilities of each of the officers of the Society are published on the Society’s website.   They may be amended by the Trustees.


Term of Office

With the exception of the Chairman and Production Chairman the officers shall remain in office unless they resign or are removed until their successors are appointed at the annual general meeting next following their appointment.  


6.   The Production Committee and other sub-committees

The selection of the work to be performed shall be made by the Production Committee and submitted to the Management Committee for approval along with the name of the suggested Director.

The Director and Production Committee shall attend all auditions and assist the Director in allocation of parts and the creation of a production team.

The Chairman shall, ex-officio, be a member of the Production Committee.

Members of the Production Committee who are auditioning for a part in a production may not assist in casting the role(s) for which they have auditioned.   If as consequence there are fewer than 3 members of the Production Committee available to discuss each role, the Production Chairman may co-opt up to 2 other members of the Society for that discussion.

The Trustees may from time to time create other such sub-committees as they deem necessary or expedient and may depute to them such other powers and duties of the Trustees as they may determine.   The Trustees may empower any sub-committee to co-opt additional members as such sub-committee may deem necessary or expedient.

The Chairman shall, ex-officio, be a member of all sub-committees.

The Production Committee shall take account of the casting guidelines contained in the Annex B hereto

7. Financial year

The financial year of the Society shall end on the 31st day of December in each year, to which date the accounts of the Society shall be balanced.  The annual general meeting of the Company shall be held as soon as practicable after the end of the Society’s financial year and not later than two months thereafter.

8. Membership and Subscriptions

Membership of the Society shall be freely available to any interested parties subscribing to the aims of the Society and paying the appropriate subscription, due annually on the 1st of January and no later than the date of the annual general meeting.

Categories of membership.   The Society has the following classes of membership:

Category                             Purpose

Participating                      Full and unrestricted membership throughout the year, including the right to vote at General Meetings.

Subscribing                       For those who wish to support the Society but not participate.

Single Production              For those who wish to join the Society for one production only.

Temporary                         For those whose temporary assistance is deemed by the Management Committee to be necessary.

Voting.   Only Participating members shall be entitled to vote at General Meetings of the Society and shall be considered members for the purposes of the Constitution.

Single Production membership (Seasonal membership). This type of membership may only be enjoyed once by members new to the society.

Temporary membership.   The Management Committee may confer, at their discretion, temporary membership on a limited number of persons.

Subscriptions.   The subscriptions shall be as determined from time to time by the voting members in general meeting.

The Membership Secretary shall ensure thats each new Participating Member, Single Production Member and Subscribing Member is made aware of the Tamaritans 'rules & guidance' document contained within the Tamaritans website.

Paying members (whether Participating members or Single Production members) involved in a production shall attend all necessary rehearsals as agreed with the Director.   However, if attendance at rehearsals is unsatisfactory, or other actions are considered prejudicial to the production by the Director and reasons given are deemed unsatisfactory, that member shall be excluded from that production by the Management Committee on the recommendation of the Production Committee. The member shall remain liable for payment of the subscription for the current period of membership.  

9.   Remuneration and expenses

Clauses 4, 5 and 6 of the constitution set out the legal framework for the Company in relation to remuneration.   Within that formal framework, the principles to be applied are as follows:

(a)   the Trustees shall be indemnified against risk and expense out of the Society property.

(b)   no officer or member of the Society shall receive any remuneration or payment, either direct or indirect, for his/her services (except for legitimate expenses incurred in the work of the Society).  


Note: items in this section may be amended at any time but only with the formal approval of the Management Committee.

1.   Our title

We call ourselves the Tamaritans Theatre Company (known informally as the “Tams”) because we are a company of players – but we are not a registered company as such.   We are a CIO (number 1174999) and aregistered  charity (number 274244).

2.   Membership: subscriptions & entitlement

The current subscriptions are as follows:

  • Participating members: £36 per annum (students £18).

  • Subscribing members: £18 per annum.

  • Single Production members (Seasonal members): £12 per production.

  • Temporary members: free.

The subscription year starts on 1 January annually.  

The membership subscriptions for those joining part way through a year are as follows:

  • 1 January to 30 April: full subscription.

  • 1 May to 31 August: two-thirds of the annual subscription.

  • 1 September to 30 November: one-third of the annual subscription.

  • Those who join in December will be charged the annual subscription for the whole of the following year and will thus receive a month of free membership.

The Membership Secretary shall supply each new member with a membership card and a copy of ‘Guidance for new members’ (see Annex A) on payment of the first subscription.

The entitlements of the 3 main types of membership are as follows:

Participating members

Perform in any production if chosen at audition

Assist with any production

Full voting rights at AGM’s

A seat at reduced price

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events

Subscribing members

A seat at reduced price

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events

Single Production members (Seasonal members)

Perform in that production if chosen at audition

Assist with that production

A seat at reduced price for that production

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events

3.   Friends of the Tamaritans

Members of long standing who have moved away or retired and with whom we wish to maintain contact may be classified as ‘Friends of the Tamaritans’.   [These people were previously referred to as Honorary Members.]   Friends of the Tamaritans are not required to pay a subscription.

4.   Gift Aid

We are able to claim Gift Aid from the taxman for donations (including the annual subscriptions paid by members) we receive.   So, for example, for each annual subscription of £36 made by Participating Members, we claim £9 in Gift Aid from HMRC.   However, we can only make these claims in relation to members who pay UK income tax or capital gains tax.   If, for example, you are not currently paying any UK income tax, we should not claim Gift Aid in relation to the annual subscriptions of those members who do not currently pay any UK income tax.   We are required to keep proper records of this, otherwise HMRC may require us to repay our Gift Aid or even penalise us.


It is the responsibility of members to:

  • Complete a Gift Aid form on joining the Society, and pass that form to the Membership Secretary.

  • Notify the Membership Secretary of a change in their tax status: i.e. if they cease or start to pay UK income tax.

The Membership Secretary is required to retain completed Gift Aid forms for at least six years after the end of the financial year to which they relate.

5.   Insurance

The Treasurer, acting on behalf of the trustees, is responsible for arranging the insurance cover required by the Society.   Currently there are 2 separate policies, as follows:

  • Buildings, loss of rent & property owner’s liability

  • Property, public liability, employer’s liability, product liability, money, personal accident & abandonment.

Members should be aware that those aged 80 and above are not covered in either of these policies against the risk of personal accidents.   They are, therefore, advised to make their own arrangements for insurance cover.

6.   Directors

One of the tasks of the Production Committee is to select directors for forthcoming productions.   The committee’s recommendation, together with the proposed choice of play, is to be submitted to the Management Committee for approval.

The Production Committee should aim to arrange for an experienced director to provide advice to a new director who has not previously directed one of the Society’s productions.

A check-list for directors is available on the Society’s website.   This should be updated as necessary by the Production Committee after each production

7.   Stage Managers

The selection of a Stage Manager for a production is the responsibility of the director of that production with, if required, the assistance of the Production Committee.

A check-list for stage managers is available on the Society’s website.   This should be updated as necessary by the Production Committee after each production.

8.   Production team

The selection of the remainder of the team for a production is the responsibility of the director and the stage manager of that production.   The Production Committee is also to provide assistance with the selection process.

The production team typically includes some or all of the following:

  • Stage Manager

  • Deputy Stage Manager (especially for productions in the Drum Theatre)

  • Assistant Stage Managers (number to be agreed with SM)

  • Set designer

  • Lighting designer

  • Lighting operator

  • Sound designer & operator (may be 2 separate people)

  • Prompt

  • Front of House

  • Wardrobe

  • Publicity & programmes

  • Properties

  • Box Office (or ticket sales person)

If there are children involved in the production the Production Team shall adhere to the Safeguarding Policy contained in Annex C hereto


Guidance for new members

Note: this annex is designed to be used as a stand-alone document to provide some basic information to new members of the Society as part of their induction process.

The following topics are covered in this annex:

  1. Our premises

  2. The Management Committee

  3. The Production Committee

  4. Our website and social media

  5. Productions: expectations of our members

  6. Social events

  7. Play readings

  8. Induction programme

1.   Our Premises

We own our own building known as “Manor Gardens” which is located at the rear of 80/84 Union Street, Plymouth PL1 3EZ.  

We were able to purchase our building with funds left to us by a former member, Vi Sparks.   Some hardworking members ensured we received “matched funding”.   The combination of these two sources enabled us to complete the purchase of Manor Gardens.

The building comprises downstairs of a large rehearsal area which is the full height of the building, a small kitchen, a small workshop, props room, cloakroom facilities (which include facilities for the disabled) and a storage cupboard.   Sets for shows are built in the main rehearsal area which enables us to rehearse with the set we will be working with during productions. There is a team of set builders who generally work on a Tuesday during the day.   We also use this room for some social events including play readings.

We are very fortunate to have our own premises; this means we do not have to hire church halls or another space in which to conduct our rehearsals.   We also have the opportunity to rehearse in the “right size” space from the beginning of the rehearsal schedule and the set we will be working with during production.   This reduces the amount of disorientation that can be experienced when rehearsing in the theatre just before production and enables actors to focus on performance.

We are strict about the security of Manor Gardens.   There is a gate door and a main door. The gate door is always locked if there is no-one in the building.   The main door will be unlocked 20-30 minutes before the event/rehearsal/meeting and is locked within minutes of the event/rehearsal/meeting starting.   This means that if you are late for any reason it is important that you let someone know and they will be alert for the doorbell.  

The upstairs of the building is much smaller and comprises of a small committee room and “wardrobe”.   There are hundreds of costumes in wardrobe.   If we are producing a modern play sometimes actors supply their own clothing.   There are also occasions where there is nothing suitable in wardrobe and our wardrobe mistress will hire costumes as appropriate.   There is also a furniture store.

Outside the premises there is a small car park.   This does not belong to us and is managed by Plymouth City Council. In the evenings there are generally spaces available.   If this is full, members park on the narrow road, if you do this please do not park in front of any gates and as close as you can to the wall.   In the evenings it is also possible to park in Adelaide Square – a walk of less than a minute.

2.   The Management Committee

The Management Committee is elected each year at the Annual General Meeting.

The role of the Management Committee is to manage both the day to day running of the business of the society as well as making plans for the future.   The Management Committee is accountable to the membership.   The Management Committee meets approximately every two months, minutes of the last meeting are to be found on the website, whilst a hard copy is on the noticeboard at Manor Gardens in the hallway.

The activities of the Management Committee include;

  • agreeing future productions

  • agreeing activities for the year ahead which support our aims

  • ensuring appropriate maintenance and management of our physical assets

  • longer term planning and activity which will safeguard the future of the Society

The Management Committee comprises of the following officers:

Chairman: The Chairman is elected by the membership and usually holds office for a period of three years. However, has to be voted in each year. The Chairman chairs the Management Committee and the AGM 

Production Chairman: The Production Chairman is elected by the membership and usually holds the post for three years. However, has to be voted in each year. The Production Chairman chairs the Production Committee.

Treasurer: The Treasurer is re-elected each year and is responsible for the financial accounts of the society including both annual accounts and production profit/loss statements.

Secretary: Prepares agendas for the Management Committee, takes minutes of meetings including AGM and sends group e-mails to members.


Publicity & Marketing: Responsible for the publicity and marketing of productions.

Premises Manager: Responsible for organising the maintenance of Manor Gardens and appraising the Management Committee of any issues.

Workshop Coordinator: Co-ordinates work on set construction works with Production Directors to agree set design. Responsible for maintaining the workshop.

Non-officer Members:Have full voting rights on the Committee, undertake ad hoc projects and tasks.

3.   The Production Committee

The Production Committee is chaired by the Production Chairman who is also a member of the Management Committee.   The Production Chairman is in office usually for a period of three years.   Each year, following the AGM, the Production Chairman approaches 4/5 members and asks them to serve on the Production Committee for the next year.   The Chair of the Society is also a member of the Production Committee in an ex officio capacity.   The Production Committee meets approximately every two months.   Members are expected to read a selection of plays and discuss which ones might be suitable for either a play reading or a production.   The Production Committee are also responsible for organising and carrying out auditions for plays with the Production Director.   If a member of the Production Committee wishes to audition for a play then they are not expected to be part of the auditioning panel.   In situations where the auditioning panel is reduced to very small numbers, then the Production Chairman may approach members of the Management Committee to assist with the auditions.


4.   Our Website and social media

We have a website which can be found at . We can also be found on Twitter and Facebook.  

The website focuses on recent and future events although there is also a production archive dating back to the founding of the Company.   There has also been a book published about the history of the Tamaritans by one of our previous Vice Presidents, Chris Hunt, now sadly deceased.

5.   Productions: expectations of our Members

As a new member you may have come to us through a variety of routes; the website, you have a friend who is a member, attended a social function or attended a publicly advertised audition for a production.   If you audition for a part in a play, the Company will support you in being the “best that you can be” in that part.   However, it is important that, before auditioning you are confident that you are available for every performance date as we do not cast understudies.   If accepting a part, you must ensure the Director knows of any date you are unavailable for rehearsal. Planning a rehearsal schedule is a complex task and Directors work hard at ensuring you are only called for rehearsals where you are required.   Rehearsals start at 7.30pm and finish at 10.00pm and, at a convenient point mid- evening there is a tea/coffee break.   The Stage Manager collects money from all members of the Company early on in rehearsals to cover the cost of this.   There are occasions where you might be called for later than 7.30pm or allowed to leave earlier than 10pm if the Director has finished rehearsing your part for the evening.   If you are going to be late for a rehearsal or you are unable to make a rehearsal through illness it is important that you let either the Director or Stage Manager know prior to the rehearsal.

More detailed guidance is given in the Casting Guidelines – see Annex C

6.   Social Events

We try to organise a range of social events throughout the year.   If you are able to make a social event then please do, it is a good way of getting to know other members of the Society, particularly if you are not involved in the current production. It is also an opportunity to try something new e.g. T’ai Chi, theatre trips etc.


7.   Play Readings


Play readings are organised regularly and they are inexpensive evenings out which are good fun!   If you would like to read a part in a play you may do so by indicating to the person who has organised the reading.   However, if you do not wish to read then there is no pressure to do so.   We try to have a play reading of plays which are being considered for production.   So, attending a reading gives you a good idea of the plot and characters and means that you have a good understanding of the play before the auditions.


8.   Induction Programme


Each new member will undergo a short induction programme.   This consists of a tour of the building, health and safety information, introduction to other members and the allocation of a mentor.   The role of the mentor is to answer any questions you may have about the society and to keep in touch with you regularly during your first year of membership (approx once a month).   Once you have paid your membership, you will receive regular e-mails from our Secretary reminding you of upcoming events and providing details of these.




There are three types of membership that you can choose from;

Type 1: Participating Member - £36 per year (student £18); is entitled to:


Perform in any production if chosen at audition

Assist with any production

Full voting rights at AGM’s

Serve as an officer of the society.

A seat at reduced price

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events


Type 2: Subscribing Member - £18 per year; is entitled to:


A seat at reduced price

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events


Type 3: Single Production Member (Seasonal Member) - £12 per production; is entitled to:


Perform in that production if chosen at audition

Assist with that production

A seat at reduced price for that production

Regular emails and updates about Tamaritans events

Attend Tamaritans social events





The Tamaritans Theatre Company welcomes members and potential new members to its auditions for productions.


If you audition for a production, then the Director of the production, with the support and guidance of the Production Committee, may cast you in any role for which you are deemed suitable.


The Company has short rehearsal periods of approximately 7 weeks prior to performance. The company rehearses at its premises in Manor Gardens 3 nights a week, (from Monday to Thursday) from 7.30pm – 10.00pm. The week before the show there are rehearsals Monday to Friday.


Once you have auditioned, there might be a slight delay in communicating with you. This is usually because full casting decisions could not be made on the night. As soon as we are able to communicate with you, we will, and we will usually do this by telephone, if we are unable to contract you by telephone then we will e-mail you.


Once the play has been fully cast the Director will organise a “read through” of the script with the whole cast. Directors organise rehearsal schedules slightly differently. However, it is very important that when you audition for a part you:


  • Make it known any weekday nights (Monday – Thursday) you will be unavailable for rehearsal.


  • Declare any periods when you will be away on holiday.


  • Ensure that you are fully available the week before the show and for every performance. The dates of the show will always be communicated to you at the auditions and always include a Saturday matinee.


The following guidance is offered to those who are new to the Tamaritans, new to drama or both. The first two/three weeks of the rehearsal period are generally spent in “blocking” the production – this is where the actors are given their moves for the play. The period of time spent “blocking” is done with your script and you are expected to bring a pencil and make notes of your moves in the script (also bring an eraser in case moves are changed). Once the play is blocked, then the Director will expect you to work without your script i.e you will be expected to remember both your lines and moves. You will be given a date for “books down”. If you are unable to do this then please ask for help. The more experienced actors in the company will tell you that learning lines and moves always takes longer than you think. Top tips to help include;


  • Highlighting your lines in the script with a highlighter pen.

  • Recording your cue lines and lines on a recorder (one of these can be lent to you upon request)

  • Asking a family member or friend to read cue lines to which you respond

  • Finding a quiet time and going over your lines with the correct movement       

  • Asking for help from the Director, who may ask another actor to support you


If you are unable to learn your lines or the Director feels that you are not going to be able to reach an acceptable performance standard in the time left available, then you may be asked to step down from the cast on this occasion and be asked to support the Production in an alternative capacity e.g. Front of House Team etc.

If for any reason you are going to be late, or unable to attend rehearsal due to an emergency, then please contact either the Director or Stage Manager on their mobile phones in the first instance. If it is towards the commencement of the rehearsal time then please contact the landline at Manor Gardens on 257609.




Tamaritans Safeguarding Policy


The Tamaritans Theatre Company, mount three productions a year. The Tamaritans Theatre Company, occasionally (approximately once every three years) have productions which involve children (of these, the majority are older children over the age of 12 years).


When a production involving children is staged, their health and safety is paramount. The Tamaritans insurance policies will include cover for children taking part in a production.

Tamaritans productions are rehearsed in an “open” space with a variety of members present, so the risk to any member, adult or child, from another member is low.   This open space is contained within our own dedicated building which offers a safe environment because it has good security features and there is no public access.

There is a greater risk when the production moves to the theatre, where there are, through necessity, private spaces to enable members to change into costumes.

The Tamaritans will therefore ensure that:

  • A member of the production has a DBS check and is responsible for children whilst in the theatre.

  • Appropriate chaperoning arrangements are put in place for the duration of the production and that any chaperones have current DBS checks.

  • Children in a production, where possible, will be given their own private changing facilities where the only adult present will be either the chaperone or member of the production with DBS clearance.

  • That written consent is given by the parents of the child to their participation in the production and that they understand the chaperoning arrangements that have been put in place for the duration of the production.

  • A copy of this policy is given to the parent(s) of the child taking part in the production .

This Policy will be reviewed after every production involving children.

Safeguarding Policy last updated May 2017

bottom of page