The Garden Theatre Board of Directors has announced the cancellation of the organization's upcoming show "A Bronx Tale."
The news, announced on social media last week, comes amid the reports of several recent resignations, including Artistic Director Joseph Walsh's, which we told you about here.
The show was scheduled for later this year.
"In recent weeks, much has been written about staff and leadership concerns within the organization," the board wrote on social media. "These concerns have prompted members of the creative and production teams to leave. Rather than try to replace what was a talented team, the board has decided to focus our energy and time on the issues raised by staff. While we may not agree with all that has been said, we acknowledge that we must take their concerns seriously, listen to them and find solutions. Our goal is to continue to work for a diverse and harmonious workplace."
The board said it will be scheduling a listening session next week between staff and several board members. The staff-only meeting will "be facilitated by an objective third-party expert to ensure that a balanced and productive conversation takes place along with developing a pathway for resolving differences," the board stated.
The board said its hope is that a respectful and honest discussion occurs where those involved can find common ground and solutions.
"Despite the rumors, this board has been listening; we take staff feelings and perceptions seriously," the announcement said. "No one at the garden should feel unsupported. As a show of our good faith effort to find common ground, some board members will be transitioning to emeritus status. They will still have the right to participate in board meetings, however, they will have no voting power."
In addition, the announcement included the news that two board members representing the Central Florida Entertainment Advocacy Forum resigned their shared seat on the board.
"The theater’s commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion remains strong and real," the Garden Theatre Board of Directors said. "This organization has demonstrated its growing commitment to diversity and inclusion through two recent, highly successful productions – both of which were directed by black women and performed by highly diverse casts, creating unprecedented performances and opportunity in our small theater. We intend for that to continue."
The board said although it takes no pleasure in hearing theater staff are hurting, change takes time, and patience is needed.
"Please know that we are committed to resolving these differences and bringing together all those who love theater and specifically Garden Theatre," the board said.
For more information on the Garden Theatre, click here.