Last month, I wrote about an issue at a Texas community theatre where directors and board members knowingly employed a registered sex offender for shows involving children and worse yet, kept bringing Kevin Clark Sutton back even after complaints of sexual harassment from cast members.
When this news came to light and outrage arose, it resulted in the resignation of several board members. It also resulted in the theatre adopting new policies regarding hiring employees and reporting sexual misconduct.
But the issues don’t stop there.
When the news broke, remaining board members stated that they had no idea that a registered sex offender had been employed at the theatre. Current treasurer of the group, Kindra Bierly, told local news, “Had it been fully disclosed as it should have been and voted upon, we absolutely would not have let him back in, we would have stomped our feet on that one.”
However, according to multiple sources connected to the theatre, the entire board was notified of Sutton’s sex offender status during a July 2017 board meeting. I’d be interested to see what the minutes taken from the meeting look like. Despite the news, the board brought back Sutton to musically direct Meet Me in St. Louis(which had children in the cast) and The Will Rogers Follies(where Sutton allegedly asked for topless photos from a teenage male cast member). I am told that the entire board was present at that meeting.
It would seem to me, that either the remaining board members have incredibly short memories, or they are trying to escape blame for an issue they were very much involved. While I can appreciate that GLCT is trying to turn a page and instill new policies to protect their performers, it cannot come from leadership who were apparently responsible for the issue in the first place. The board’s failure to take proper action when Sutton’s status was reported to them put their performers at risk. The lack of intelligent decision making here is egregious.
So I’m calling for all remaining board members to immediately resign their positions with the theatre. If GLCT truly wants to start anew, it has to be with smarter and more responsible leaders at the helm.