Toronto theatre community reacts to Albert Schultz allegations: “We believe women”

Torontos theatre community has quickly responded to news about allegations against one of the countrys most powerful theatre figures.Albert Schultz,.


Torontos theatre community has quickly responded to news about allegations against one of the countrys most powerful theatre figures.

Albert Schultz, the artistic director of the Soulpepper Theatre Company, has been accused of sexual battery and harassment by four actors, the CBC reports.

Kristin Booth, Diana Bentley, Hannah Miller and Patricia Fagan filed civil lawsuits against the 54-year-old on Wednesday that detail allegations of 30 incidents between 2000 to 2013. The suits also name the theatre company, alleging Schultzs methods were facilitated by Soulpepper.

The incidents involve sexual groping and sexual remarks in the workplace, and the statements of claim include specific dates and locations.

Albert is a serial sexual predator who… had well-developed methods for targeting actresses and luring them into situations that he considered optimal for sexually harassing and assaulting them, the lawsuits state.

The actors are seeking damages totalling $4.25 million from Soulpepper and $3.6 million from Schultz.

Shortly after the news broke, actor and writer Rick Roberts, who has starred in several Soulpepper productions, most recently Waiting For Godot last fall, tweeted: I stand in solidarity with these women. Albert Schultz must be removed as Artistic Director of @soulpepper #believeher #AlbertSchultz.

Aislinn Rose, general manager of the Theatre Centre, tweeted: I believe the women.

Playwright Rob Kempson tweeted: Im sorry that a strong non-profit has been rocked by this. Im not sorry that #AlbertSchultz will be rocked by this. I support these women.

Actor Nathan Carroll tweeted: in awe of the bravery and tenacity shown by these women and sickened by their accounts.

Playwright Michael O’Brien, whose play The Barber Of Seville was produced by Soulpepper in 2013, tweeted: “Angry & sad & angry & I believe women.”

Even not-for-profit theatre company Theatre Passe Muraille tweeted from their account: We believe women.

The Globe And Mail also reports that at least five artists under contract for the companys 2018 season plan to resign if Schultz does not step down as artistic director.

Schultz and Soulpepper have not commented, and the allegations have not been proven in court.

However, two of Soulpeppers founding members, Ted Dykstra and Stuart Hughes, as well as actor Michelle Monteith, issued a statement to the CBC supporting the plaintiffs that they hope will send a message to organizations everywhere: sexual harassment in the workplace cannot be tolerated. By anyone.

Monteith, one of the most prominent members of the Soulpepper company (she went to NYC with their award-winning production of Of Human Bondage last July), also tweeted: “I stand in solidary with these women.”

A founding member of Soulpepper, Schultz is a member of the Order of Canada and an actor who starred in the CBC series Street Legal in the late 80s and early 90s.

The citys largest not-for-profit theatre company, Soulpeppers reputation has grown nationally and internationally in recent years thanks in part to the CBC TV adaptation of its production Kims Convenience, for which Schultz serves as executive producer.

Last summer, the company held a month-long, off-Broadway residence in New York City that featured 12 productions originally created and staged in Toronto and across Canada.

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