Houston’s Alley theater navigates allegations surrounding “sudden” retirement of artistic director

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After he announced his retirement, employees of the Alley theater company came forward with allegations of misconduct against former Artistic Director Gregory Boyd:

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As of January 11, over 12 people are speaking out against what they described as a “toxic” and “bullying” atmosphere under Boyd’s reign as creative director, according to a report by the Houston Chronicle.

Boyd reportedly focused his alleged verbal abuse on female employees under his direction.

During an interview with the Chronicle, former employee Emily Trask said Boyd repeatedly screamed at her, calling her a “stupid c—” on one occasion and touching her buttocks inappropriately:

“I felt I had no choice but to leave what was my dream job,” she said further.

Allegations of abuse dating back to 1996 are reportedly coming out against Boyd.

An internal email sent after accusations surfaced cautioned employees not to give any information to members of the media, reading as follows in part:

“If a post on social media warrants a response or contains confidential information, legal issues, financial information, personal patron information or offensive/negative content or commentary about the Alley Theatre, please inform Rachel Applegate immediately.”

“Please do not offer information to media — even if you know the answer.” an email, sent from the Alley’s Director of Marketing and Communications, according to the Houston Press, read further.

Some say the question now becomes how will the theater move forward?

So far, Boyd is reportedly remaining silent on the subject of his accusations, with some saying they believe the Alley will ultimately be forced to consider the unresolved matters when officials find another director to fill his seat.

So far, the theater board released a statement providing how it will form a committee to investigate the Alley’s workplace environment; the statement reportedly omitted any mention of the accusations against Boyd.

Joy Yvonne Jones, a former employee of the Alley, said she thinks the company should put the past behind them and focus on creating a better environment going forward:

“He’s gone, that’s it. The next thing is to make sure it doesn’t happen again,” Jones said in an interview with the Press. “If we’re going to keep the Alley as the city’s cornerstone theater, it’s about moving forward. I don’t need other people to go down.”

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