After years of allegations from Kansas City artists, Actors’ Equity Association, the union for theatrical actors and stage managers, has placed Kansas City’s Metropolitan Ensemble Theatre on the “do not work” list.
The list, which is put in place to alert union members of a theater’s loss of union status, is broken up into regions, with Kansas City falling under the central region. Currently, MET is the only theater on the list.
But why? In a Pitch article last fall, former MET employees detailed workplace safety and harassment allegations mainly focused on MET founders, Bob and Karen Paisley. In the time since actors have been working closely with their union to try and get resolutions.
Shortly after The Pitch’s article PerformInk KC reported that Bob Paisley had stepped down as Board President. A statement from the company read: “The board of directors is deeply troubled by the complaints raised by former staff, actors, technicians, and associates of Actors Equity…The Board is taking this matter seriously, and working urgently to formulate a strategic plan.”
Several attempts were made by PerformInk KC regarding the outcome of the meeting and the future of the company. Those request went unanswered.
Abigail Trabue Managing Editor
Abigail is the managing editor of both PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City. She is also the founder of the RV Miles Network and travels full-time with her husband and kids producing three weekly podcasts and a travel blog - RVMiles.com. Abigail holds a degree in Musical Theater from Columbia College Chicago and has worked as an actor/director for 15 years. She is married to PerformInk publisher Jason Epperson and has three amazing boys. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue