31. 8/11 From an Anonymous Former Hempfield Musical Student 2014-2018
I was in stage crew for three years and was a stage manager my senior year. the last three years we had stage right as our musical direction team. the legend himself, constantly showed up in pajama pants with his shirt unbuttoned far too low; very unprofessional for a guy hanging around minors.
when a few students had panic attacks due to stage fright, etc., he would roll his eyes and basically ignore them if not scream at them. his kids got good roles in our shows, when they didn’t go to our school. as a stage manager, I was often by his side during rehearsals. one night he waved me over and demanded I go get him a diet coke from the soda machine, like I was a f*cking servant. I had to walk the entire length of the school to get his drink from the vending machine. mind you, I have a connective tissue disorder and had braces on both knees. in his eyes, the stage crew was literally a group of servants who could do whatever the f*ck he wanted us to do. crowd control, attendance, file organization, etc.
I understand that stage managers normally have a hefty role, but these were high school shows. we had a professional workload, meanwhile we were students with homework, tests, jobs, mental health to take care of, etc. we were literal children and he was expecting us to have adult responsibilities, while he treated us like preschoolers. he and the education coordinator constantly misgendered a trans student, calling him “the girl who likes to dress like a boy”. he also just f*cking screamed at people all the time. many students considered musical their safe space, but this man ruined that.
OH YEAH, he didn’t even let stage crew paint the sets. he only let us do plain color coats. all designs were done by a dude he hired, meanwhile we had talented artists in the school who could’ve done a better job. may I add, we had wet paint on set pieces for opening night because he likes to do everything at the last possible second. he yelled at stage crew because we couldn’t “properly” move a bulky terribly-built wagon prop piece. during the last performance, he decided to help us because we “weren’t doing a good enough job”. he broke it, like the wheel literally fell off. he’s just not a great guy. my family used to work with him in the theatre business and he’s a shady at dude, his past isn’t great, definitely not good to be working around kids.