Dallas Theater Center's Lee Trull Fired Following Misconduct Allegations
TheaterJones reports that Dallas Theater Center's Director of New Play Development, Lee Trull, has been accused of harassing a Southern Methodist University Student.
The victim told TheaterJones "He proceeded in the months following to corner me in my dressing room after a show and push himself up against my back so I would be firmly stuck between him and the dressing table," she said. "On these occasions, he would take my hand and put it on his penis when he was erect. He would hold my neck, turn my head, kiss me and jab his tongue in my mouth.
"I would feel frozen in these moments, and I would even play along just enough to not make him upset," she said. "I did not want him that close to me. I did not want to touch his penis. I did not want to kiss him. ... I was scared that if I fought him off or pushed him away, he would find a way to speak poorly of me to the rest of the artistic staff and it might affect whether or not I could continue to work at DTC."
TheaterJones reports that a number of actresses have shared similar stories with them.
The Dallas Morning News reports that DTC issued the following statement:
"Theater is a collaborative art form that requires each person to bring his or her whole self to work and participate in the creative process. Dallas Theater Center is committed to providing the type of environment necessary for the creative process to flourish. Anyone who contributes to an unsafe, unwelcome or inequitable environment not only violates DTC's policies, but also undermines DTC's fundamental goal of creating the highest quality theatrical art that deeply engages our community."
"DTC recently received a complaint about inappropriate behavior by Lee Trull. DTC promptly investigated and determined that the alleged conduct is a violation of DTC's policies. As a result, Lee's employment has been terminated today effective immediately. DTC remains dedicated to taking any action necessary to ensure a safe workplace free of harassment for all employees."
In light of the situation. Stage West has chosen to remove Trull as director on an upcoming production. The company's statement is below:
"Last week, Stage West was made aware that allegations had been made against Lee Trull for unprofessional and inappropriate conduct. The details of those allegations were not made available. Mr. Trull was slated to direct A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York City by Halley Feiffer. Learning of his release from the Dallas Theatre Center, Stage West's management made the decision to move forward with releasing Mr. Trull from the project. Today, after reading the TheaterJones article in which the allegations were spelled out in detail, we are all shaken and stunned. He has collaborated with Stage West off and on for nearly 20 years. There has never been a complaint about him during his time in our house. We regard the newly published allegations very seriously and intend to sever our ties. We will announce his replacement in the coming weeks.
The theatre is a place where trust is of the utmost importance. Mr. Trull has gravely broken the trust necessary to create art in a safe and nurturing environment. We commend the women who have come forward to share their stories and hope they find healing and closure through this process. As for Mr. Trull, there is no place for such behavior in the theatre community or in society in general.
Stage West Theatre policy on harassment is that we will not permit, tolerate or condone the harassment of any individual for any reason, including, but not limited to, harassment on the basis of race, color, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, ancestry, creed, citizenship status, national origin, status or service as a veteran, marital status, or religion. Comments, conduct, or innuendoes that might be perceived as offensive or harassing are wholly inappropriate and are to be strictly avoided. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including but not limited to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, discipline, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation, benefits, and training. Interference with the ability of employees to perform their expected job duties because of harassment is not tolerated."
Lee Trull is a director/writer/producer. He was director of new play development at the Tony Award winning Dallas Theater Center where he produced world premier works by Samuel D. Hunter, Will Power, Kim Rosenstock, Rajiv Joseph, Kirsten Childs, Douglas Carter Beane, Lewis Flynn, Regina Taylor, Boo Killebrew, Michael Friedman, Itamar Moses and many more.
He has consulted for the new musical Indian Joe at Godspeed Opera House, the National Alliance of Musical Theater Festival, the Colorado New Play Summit, and the web series Submissions Only.