Long Wharf Cans Edelstein

The show will go on at Long Wharf Theatre without disgraced Artistic Director Gordon Edelstein.

The regional theater’s board voted Tuesday night to fire Edelstein one day after The New York Times published this extensive expose about Edelstein’s alleged sexual misconduct over many years with numerous employees.

The theater is consolidating the positions of artistic director and managing director. Joshua Borensetin, who held the latter position, will now hold both, the artistic post on an interim basis.

Board Chair Laura Pappano also announced that Long Wharf will hire “a third party” to review the organization’s procedures for dealing with misconduct with aim of “ensuring that nothing like this happens again.”

(Click here to read a previous Independent article about the local fallout from the Times piece.)

It was a rapid, tawdry exit for a leading light of Connecticut’s theater world. Edelstein has not responded to requests for comment.

Following is the full text of a statement Pappano issued Tuesday night:

Long Wharf Theatre’s Board of Trustees voted this evening to terminate Gordon Edelstein as the theatre’s Artistic Director, effective immediately.

The board voted to consolidate artistic and administrative leadership under Managing Director Joshua Borenstein.

The board also voted to engage a third party to conduct an independent internal review of staff and board policies and procedures for reporting instances of misconduct. We must ensure that nothing like this happens again.  We’ll announce in the coming weeks who has been retained to perform this review, and the timeframe in which it will be completed.

The board and management of Long Wharf Theatre take seriously the need to ensure a fair, equitable, open and supportive theatre workplace. This is a time that demands sober self-reflection and openness. We must do more to create the kind of working environment that our talented and committed staff deserve. Long Wharf Theatre has long been a place where great things started. We need to make that true on stage—and off.

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posted by: Noteworthy on January 23, 2018  11:21pm

Gobblygoop Notes:

1. This is a cover your ass move. The allegations by the main accuser are some 15 years old - lesser amounts of time for the lesser but boorish behavior.

2. While the main accuser paints a salacious story - notes from the time of her exit interview were less.

3. In any event, the board and the management of Long Wharf have long known of Edelstein’s behavior.

4. The outing of these episodes is what sealed his fate. Now the theater is in cover your ass mode.

5. The entire board should resign. Third party review? Oh please. Just use common sense and treat people right. It’s not difficult - spending money on a third party to create the theater of HR harmony and all that other gobblygoop is a waste of time and money. If you people don’t know what to do by now as adults, there is no hope.

posted by: robn on January 24, 2018  12:36pm

The NYT expose wasn’t just about Edelstein, it was about the Board’s ineffective action.