Open Letter to the Chicago Theatre Community
We are writing to you from a myriad of backgrounds in the Chicago theatre community as part of the Not in Our House Chicago Theatre Community movement. We have worked in the theatre from one year to fifty years. We are Stage Managers, Artistic Directors, Lighting Designers, Stage Crew, Set Designers, Sound Designers, Actors, Directors, Playwrights, Educators, Citizens, Mothers, Fathers, Box Office, Marketing, Casting, Audience Members, Artistic Associates, Producers and Dramaturgs.
There will be many responses to the Reader article entitled At Profiles Theatre the Drama and Abuse is Real that was published on June 9, 2016. The alleged conduct of Profiles Theatre and Darrell Cox highlighted in this article is unacceptable. We as a community may be feeling the shockwaves for many years to come. So many conversations that were quietly whispered are now revealed in a public forum. The words of this article are in plain sight, out in the open and for all to see. The statements made in the article were truly shocking and painful for us to read and may leave many of us frightened or filled with guilt.
We agree that the acts chronicled in this article do not represent the Chicago Theatre community or its artists and represents an environment that is unsafe and we will not be satisfied until Profiles Theatre has taken decisive action to redress the behavior and actions of Darrell Cox and Joe Jahraus.
We as members of the Chicago theatre Community are committed to a safe theatre community and we are angry and deeply saddened about the conduct described in the Reader. As we work towards building a better way in Chicago, we anticipate that those around you will need your support as we absorb the information presented to us. Let this give us hope and strength that light was shed on an existing problem, and that we can face the challenges that are brought to us, together, as a cohesive unit. We no longer have to hide in the shadows amid stories and rumors, but rather build solutions together to ensure that this does not happen in our community again.
We aim to prevent future abuses of power in the theatre community and provide a source of support for people who have been abused. We can work together for change and positive action so that we as artists can embrace the freedom of creativity safely, respectfully and with open arms. We are working to build a support network, change existing language concerning discrimination, violence, intimidation and sexual harassment, ensure accessibility to proper complaint paths, and create the Chicago Code of Conduct that we as the Chicago Theatre Community will be proud to call our own.
With much love and respect,
Not in Our House Chicago Theatre Community