Members of the Thalian Association want less business and more creativity on their board of directors, and they were willing to get rid of those currently in power to get what they want.
After a heated debate though, it looks like the current members will be sticking around.
Some members say all odds were against them in their fight to change the way the organization was run, a fight they've been struggling with since two long term employees were ousted earlier this year.
"Really this was a last chance for us to get face to face with the board and let them know that we were upset as a membership group," Troy Rudeseal, a former board member said. "I think there will be sort of a long standing rift among a lot of people because of this."
Many supporters of the association were kicked out of the annual meeting of the members Wednesday night, a gathering open to the public until this year.
Some former board members believe the choice to close the doors to guests was just another way the current board was trying to quiet the voices of the Thalian Association Members and prevent further people from becoming a part of the discussion.
"We're a community theater organization, and as such, we have an obligation to be inclusive, not exclusive, not elitist," Sally Howe, a former board member, said. "I'm not really clear on what we're doing anymore."
However, board members say this had nothing to do with politics.
A press release given to WECT said:
The board decided to separate the Thalian Awards from the annual meeting this year, as combining them compromised each event. A non-profit annual meeting is intended for members to conduct business for the organization, and the Thalian Awards is a public awards program to honor very talented actors, directors and volunteers.
The release went on to say that combining the two events compromised the board's ability to do justice to either.
"I don't know what the next step is for the Thalian Association," Rudeseal said. "I think there are a certain number of people that probably don't want to be associated with them anymore. That's unfortunate because it is a fantastic organization."
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