Baltimore’s Iron Crow Theatre has closed down its troubled production of Corpus Christi, according to an announcement signed by 13 members of its cast and released today.
“We, the cast of Corpus Christi, met with the production team at Iron Crow, and, as a group, decided to suspend our production,” the cast statement said.
The decision came on the heels of accusations that Iron Crow Artistic Director Sean Elias had engaged in unprofessional conduct, with some involved with the company accusing Elias of sexual harassment. The Iron Crow Board of Directors concluded, after an investigation, that Elias was not guilty of the conduct he was accused of, but that the company would have new procedures governing professional conduct.
“Our investigation is now concluded, and the results allow us to confirm our full confidence in our Artistic Director and CEO Mr. Sean Elias and the entire Iron Crow volunteer staff, ” the Board said in a message posted on Facebook March 24. “Because of our commitment to the community and to every individual with whom we are fortunate and blessed to work, the Board will nonetheless use this opportunity to take additional steps to ensure professionalism, transparency and accountability around these important issues…”
Controversy continued, however, and on March 26 the Board issued a followup statement on the company’s Facebook page. “Although our investigation did not conclude that sexual harassment had occurred, the Board found that additional steps to ensure professional behavior in our theater environment were necessary and appropriate.”
The decision of the Corpus Christi cast to suspend production was not, according to the cast announcement, a reaction to the Board’s decision but rather a determination not to go forward while the controversy continued to rage. “As a cast, we do not wish to collectively comment on the Iron Crow controversy. We are a team of individuals with unique perspectives.”
The announcement noted that “As an ensemble, we concluded that we could not proceed without unanimous agreement among ourselves, as well as the support of our artistic colleagues outside the production, and from the larger community with which we had hoped to engage … We firmly believe that queer theater is a worthy and meaningful pursuit, and we hope that after the dust settles that Baltimore will continue to celebrate queer stories like Corpus Christi.“