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Changes Contemplated to Little Theatre Operations

The Little Theatre Group of Butler has been in continuous operation since 1941 and is proud to be one of the oldest (if not the oldest) community theatre organizations in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Acknowledging and embracing our history has always been at the core of what we attempt to do each season as we present our shows.

However, after more than eighty years of such operations, our foundational documents; the Constitution, and By-Laws of the Little Theatre Group of Butler and, most importantly, the organizational structure mandated by these documents have become outdated to the point that the Board of Directors of the Theatre is proposing revisions of these documents and modernization of our governing structure.

In order to execute this proposed revision, under the terms of our existing Constitution and By-Laws, our Membership must vote on approving this change at the upcoming Annual Meeting.   We plan to host a discussion during this meeting, and the Membership will vote on the new By-Laws. We hope you will join us for this exciting event. The Annual Meeting is scheduled for July 12, 2024, with a specific time and place to be determined.

Copies of the current Constitution and By-Laws are now posted on our website at  A copy of the proposed new By-Laws is also posted at that same site.  Members will receive printed copies of the proposed By-Laws prior to the Annual Meeting.

In addition to some cosmetic changes the main revisions contained in the new By-Laws include:

  • The elimination of “Members”
  • Ensuring the By-Laws comport with Pennsylvania laws
  • Allowing Board meetings to take place electronically
  • Allowing Board members to vote electronically
  • Creating a more realistic financial audit process
  • Eliminating prescriptive requirements that handcuff Board actions and flexibility

We have drafted some preliminary answers to frequently asked questions on this matter. We will add new questions and responses that arise between now and the Annual Meeting. If you have a question, please contact us by email at, and we will post a reply on this page. Please join the conversation and share your thoughts. Together, we can create a stronger Little Theatre Group of Butler. Please feel free to join in the conversation.

The Board of Directors

Document Downloads

Questions and Answers Regarding the Proposed New By-Laws

  1. The current operating documents of the Butler Little Theatre (BLT) include a Constitution and By-Laws. Why does the new proposal only have a “By-Laws”?

Upon a review of our founding documents and relevant Pennsylvania laws it was determined that it was not required to have a Constitution per se.  Therefore, consistent with our desire to have more modern guidance for overall governance of the organization, we felt that one document best suited our needs.  We took the best thoughts from two documents and combined such thoughts into one new document.

  1. Why will there no longer be “Members” at BLT under the new By-Laws?

The “Members” concept for shared governance of BLT was created in 1941 and served our Theatre admirably for decades as our Theatre, the community, and the Members grew and shared experiences together.  As recently as the 1990’s, for example, it was not unusual for scores of Members to attend the BLT Annual Meeting and have such Meeting covered as an “event” by the Butler Eagle. However, times and circumstances change and evolve, and the governance of the Theatre must evolve.

Today our community wants to participate through its attendance, financial support, and volunteerism in BLT activities.  For more than the past decade, for example, attendance at the Annual Meeting by Members who were not directly involved in BLT productions, never exceeded 5 or 6 folks. Given the reality of this situation, and the fiduciary responsibilities for those individuals willing to serve on our Board of Directors (BOD), the Membership anachronism, sadly, had to be replaced.

Annual Subscribers to the Theatre will maintain the benefits of their subscriptions: early reservations, seat selections etc. Additionally, as pointed out in the new By-Laws, there continue to be significant opportunities for interested patrons of BLT to participate in our oversight and functioning.  Assisting with the Nominating Committee, the Audit Team or attending and participating in Board Meetings are all examples of areas where an interested party could become involved in operations of the Theatre.

  1. Why was it felt necessary to make these changes at all?

The BOD has struggled over recent years with its duty to fulfill its obligation to ensure the ongoing successful operation of BLT and comply with the requirements of our controlling documents.  Time and time again the BOD have always chosen to do the pragmatic thing – do what they think is the very best thing in the interest of the BLT regardless of the specific language contained in the Constitution or By-Laws.  For example, the current documents say, in pertinent part, the BOD “shall” produce “five” plays each season.  Well, in 1941 the drafters never considered the impact of a global pandemic.  The current documents have many areas where such prescriptive language is utilized.  The new By-Laws will give future Boards the flexibility, within reason, to exercise their best judgement to carry out their mission: deliver the best performing arts the Butler community has come to expect.

  1. When will these By-Laws go into effect?

If approved by two thirds of the current Members in attendance at the Annual Meeting of BLT scheduled for July 12, 2024, the new By-Laws will go into effect at the beginning of the then current Fiscal Year, i.e. June 1, 2024.