5. From a former student and staff member
Updated: Aug 10, 2021
“As a former student 2007-2012 and former staff member 2016-2021 I had my fair share of wonderful experiences within the walls of Stage Right. However, the negative experiences far outweighed the good. Harassment, bullying, screaming profanities in front of children, violent outbursts, name calling, calling a female student a “slut” in front of a cast full of her peers, and sexually explicit comments like, “did you see the rack on that one” were all part of the stage right experience as well.
This behavior was fueled by the Artistic Director, and permitted to happen by the rest of his staff of cronies that were only placed in their positions of power because of his ability to control them.
When I came to the board to seek help due to his attempts to intimidate and bully me as a staff member, I was told that “we aren’t only dealing with an artistic director but also a founder” by chair of personnel. She went on to ask me if I had considered how the Artistic Director felt throughout this whole ordeal. In what ethical business environment does a board member ask an abused employee if they understand the side of their abuser? Later on in this meeting, I was removed from my summer teaching position that was, in the current Board President's words, “the best decision for all involved”. This was after General Manager, and School Coordinator removed me from my teaching position in the Master Auditions Class due to me stepping forward about how I was spoken to in front of a classroom full of students by the Artistic Director.
The board of directors and other members of staff have a long history of protecting the behaviors of the Artistic Director, other staff members, and the cronies that they have gained over the years.
After coming forward and talking to other individuals that had been a part of the stage right community, I knew stories like mine were the majority. People that were hiring for almost a decade shared their stories of abuse with me some more heinous than others but all deeply hurtful.
Once more, when given the opportunity to protect future generations of students, every member of the stage right board has shown that they would rather protect the abusive behavior of their staff than to hear and rectify the experiences of the more than 50 former students, parents, volunteers, staff, and board members that have brought serious accusations and lay them at their feet.
If you have been harassed and abused by these people the way we all have, let us know. You are not alone. You are the members of the majority in this situation.”