Updated: Aug 21, 2021
I don’t even know what to say or how to begin after reading some of these horrific stories, but I will share what I can. Like many other stories I read, I witnessed the verbal abuse that many students received, but that’s not all. The artistic director and his team were so manipulative in the way that they talked to their students. After enduring two musicals, I decided that I could not take anymore and spoke with the artistic director to explain why I was leaving (too much pressure with school and participation in my school district’s productions). I had to sit through an explosive yelling session where the artistic director told me that I was wasting my time and putting my priorities in the wrong place (I find it very inappropriate for an adult to be telling a high school student NOT to prioritize their studies over some extracurriculars).
The worst part about it though is that all the friends I had and all the friends I made at Stage Right were instructed not to talk to me anymore. He had them so brainwashed at the time that they believed this was the right thing to do. I lost some of my very best friends because of the artistic director at Stage Right and as a high school age kid, that can have a huge impact on your mental health. The artistic director is not fit to work with children of any age, and I place equal blame on the rest of his team for letting this go on for so long.