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South Shore Theatre Works Executive Director 'Disappears' After Stealing From the Theater

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Richard Bento has a history of stealing money from the theaters he had previously worked at.

South Shore Theatre Works Executive Director 'Disappears' After Stealing From the Theater

WBUR has reported that the executive director and president of South Shore Theatre Works, Richard Bento, has 'disappeared' after stealing money from the theatre.

Read the full story HERE.

It recently came to light that South Shore Theatre works never received the rights to their upcoming productions, as the money provided by the people paying to take part in the shows was instead being pocketed by Bento.

A statement on the theatre's website read:

"To the families, children, and friends of South Shore Theatre Works,

Thank you for your patience and the opportunity to obtain information regarding the allegations brought to the attention of the former board of SSTW.

We have since been informed that SSTW never received rights for Legally Blonde and Newsies. No former members of the board or production teams partcipated in or had knowledge of the acquisition of show rights. That was left to the sole discretion of the Executive Director. When the former board members received this information, several members attempted to contact a representative from MTI for clarification on the rights matter. Upon receipt of an email from the legal representative of MTI, some former board members reached out to speak to that individual from MTI to clarify how, if possible, to proceed regarding the rights issues with these productions. We were informed that SSTW did not have rights to Newsies or to Legally Blonde, and as a result, per their instructions, removed all promotional materials for both productions from our website and social media. Some of the members have been working to find a way to continue these productions for the sake of the children in the casts, however this is not possible under SSTW. Despite our efforts, we will not be able to ensure that these productions can continue.

At this time, all members of the board have resigned.

We appreciate the theater community bringing this important issue to our attention. We would like to apologize to those who have been impacted and wish there was more we could do to resolve the situation favorably for all."

Richard Bento has a long history of stealing money from theaters he had previously worked at, then leaving town and beginning the process somewhere new.

In 2012, Bento became the artistic director of the Bristol Theatre Company in Rhode Island. Marie Knapman, who runs the theater, said that two years later, she found out Bento taken almost $15,000 from the theater company.

Read the full story HERE.

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