Old Creamery Theatre Wipes Out Staff
Only one person is still employed at Old Creamery Theatre and the reasons why are still unclear.
According to KCRG, 11 employees were abruptly terminated after being told the theatre had shut down. They had been putting on virtual shows, drive-in events, and more to keep the theatre running during the Coronavirus pandemic. The terminated employees thought they'd be back, so according to one, who thinks it was in relation to some of the employees' Black Lives Matter support, they were surprised.
"If we knew we were going to close the theater, give people a week heads up, the theatre is a disaster right now. There is stuff left up everywhere. We would have used that week to tie up loose ends.” Those were the words of Katie Colletta, former interim artistic director.
Colletta talked about a social media post she had been forced to take down. She and others who chimed in on the post were the ones terminated. It was in response to BLM and her call to action for the theater to be more proactive in hiring more black staff.
For his part, board director Peter Teahen said the terminations were a financial decision, but at any rate, the posts in question did not help as the individuals did not seek approval. Another board member who has since resigned denied these claims saying, "there was not a larger conversation to come together of how to reorganize the structure of theatre to maybe at least get us through the summer so we could be an entertainment structure for families".
The theatre will reopen in 2021, according to Teahen, with hopefully all or most of the fired staff returning, as Colletta continues to urge the board to make a public statement on their plans of action regarding Black Lives Matter and a more inclusive hiring process.