If this theatre could have a show written about it, it would be called Cult: The Musical. Even resident actors and crew would joke about “drinking the Kool-Aid”. During my time I was over worked, under paid, physically abused, and mentally destroyed. I was doing at least 14-16 hours of work per day, with no days off- that is except for one or two days per YEAR. At the beginning of my contract I began with a paycheck of $25 a week that skyrocketed $275. They cultivated a toxic “work hard, positive attitude”that disguised itself as manipulation for increased work production. They would seduce performers and crew with the promise of steady work, boasting a resident company- when in fact we did less for more in the hopes of securing an elusive resident spot. Only to be blamed during a company meeting by the Artistic Director - that we, as artists, don’t ask for enough money. The man who signed my paycheck admitted that he had the money to pay us what we deserved, but chose not to.
The company also had a tendency to worship one of the directors at the theatre. I, like everyone else, wanted his mentorship. Over the years, he would go on to verbally tear me apart every day and throw objects at me during a public rehearsal. His boss would call me to personally apologize on his behalf, but he would not. He is still employed there.
there are other cases of abuse- such as working through illness and SA. This is a theatre in the Bible Belt and let’s just say it acts like one too. beware the kool aid.