Updated: Artistic Director of Soulpepper, Toronto's Largest Non-Profit Theatre Company, Accused of Sexual Misconduct
The G&M reports that actresses Patricia Fagan, Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley and Hannah Miller have filed two lawsuits, one seeking $3.5 million from Schultz and another for $4.25 million from Soulpepper.
Per the Globe's report, the actresses alleged that Schultz exposed himself backstage, at a work function, and that he groped actresses during rehearsals and on stage.
Read the full Globe and Mail report here.
Soulepper told BroadwayWorld in a statement that the company "confirms that, today, it received statements of claim from four actors regarding a number of workplace issues including allegations against the organization's Artistic Director Albert Schultz.
The Board of Directors has commenced an immediate investigation. The board has further instructed Mr. Schultz to step down from all his Soulpepper responsibilities while this investigation takes place. Executive Director Leslie Lester has also agreed to take a voluntary leave of absence for the duration of the investigation.
The Board of Directors has asked Associate Artistic Director Alan Dilworth to assume the role of Acting Artistic Director. Sarah Farrell, General Counsel and Director of HR, will oversee all human resources matters and represent management during this process, reporting to the Executive Committee directly. Tania Senewiratne, General Manager, will oversee all production-related activity at Soulpepper and Lisa Hamel, Director of Finance, will oversee all other administrative activity at Soulpepper.
As a responsible organization, Soulpepper's priority is to create a workplace where all its employees feel safe. It therefore takes all allegations of harassment very seriously. It has policies and procedures in place that prohibit harassment anywhere in its workspace, and that provide a clear process to report harassment, in a safe, private and respectful way.
In fact, Soulpepper has recently commissioned and received a report from an independent workplace policy expert, which affirms the appropriateness of Soulpepper's standards and processes.
As this is now a matter of ongoing litigation, Soulpepper will have no further comment at this time."
Schultz, a Dora Award winner for his direction of "Of Human Bondage," is the company's founding artistic director. He is a recipient of the Order of Canada.
This past summer, Soulpepper had a month-long off-Broadway residency at Pershing Square Signature Center where they presented 12 different new works (including the highly acclaimed "Spoon River"), in addition to numerous other events and cabarets.
Located in its multi-venue home the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto's Distillery Historic District, Soulpepper is Toronto's largest not-for-profit theatre company.