For some would-be members, the benefits of joining SDUK are tangible – insurance, discounts, offers, workshops and events, a shiny membership card and open forums for discussion about the industry.
For others, SDUK is about the more abstract (but no less compelling) concept of collegiate mentality, and forming a community of people in the often isolated and misunderstood role of Director. It’s about supporting and upholding the next generation of Directors, and ensuring our profession is as diverse and transparent as possible.
SDUK’s strength is in our membership, and with that, our shared information. The data we have amassed is powerful, persuasive, and is making change at national industry level. We’ve strength in our collaborations and professional relationships – paving the way for other industrial bodies and creative associations to strengthen their members’ roles not just within theatre and opera, but in the creative economy of the UK. This creative force for change is long overdue, and for many, a solid reason to join SDUK.
But we have more up our collective sleeves! SDUK’s staff and board have combined experience of decades in theatre and opera. There are few situations and concerns that haven’t been encountered by someone at SDUK.
WE’RE HERE. Our shoulders are for crying on, our address books are open. We broker relationships, we foster discussion, we’re discrete and anonymous where necessary. We’re a handy ‘cc’ on an email when you want an extra eye on things. We’ll unpick paper trails, contact agents, sort out your minor pickles and your significant problems. We can escalate issues to the relevant authorities, seek legal and financial support and advice. We’re mapping our board members’ skills and experience so that the SDUK BAT-PHONE can connect like-minds and help our members iron out any troubles they may be having.
In the last year alone, the SDUK office has handled queries and concerns about:
- Holiday pay
- Bursary fee levels
- Subsistence and expenses
- Non-payment of fees
- Profit share agreements
- Extensions and transfers
- VAT payments
- Revivals and remounts without the original director’s knowledge
- Signing with an Agent
- Opaque job adverts
- Commissions and dramaturgical work
- Unfair dismissal
- Court action/legal disputes
- Injury on set
- Show cancellations
- Breach of contract
- Writer/Producer disputes
- Intellectual property
- Bullying and threatening behaviour
- Self-esteem and lack of confidence
Plus the day-in-day-out questions of fees and royalties, and once, remarkably, overpayment of fees!
If in doubt, seek us out. That’s what we’re here for.
Liz Holmes, General Manager SDUK