Boston Children's Theatre Hires Law Firm To Investigate Claims Of Inappropriate Behavior By Former Artistic Director

The Boston Children's Theatre has hired a law firm to investigate the allegations of inappropriate behavior by Burgess Clark, the organization's former artistic director.

The theater's board of directors sent a letter to parents on Thursday addressing the allegations.

"The recent news alleging misconduct by Burgess Clark has been, and continues to be, deeply upsetting to all of us. I imagine that you have many questions at this time..." the letter said. "While the police investigate, we have little information on the allegations. No families have approached the Board or Theatre."

Jim Solomon, the interim president of the theater's board of directors, said he received an anonymous emailed complaint about Clark on Thursday, Oct. 31 — two days after Clark resigned from his position. Clark had been on a six-week medical leave before that, Solomon said. Solomon contacted police after receiving the email.

The Essex County district attorney's office confirmed its investigators were notified by Beverly police of the accusations against Clark. Some of the theater's programs take place in the North Shore city, and Clark lives there. Beverly police say the department is working with the Essex County district attorney's office to investigate.

Clark has not been charged with any crimes.

The theater has hired the law firm of Jackson Lewis to investigate the allegations. A third-party specialist, Jetta Bernier, has also been brought on to review and potentially revise the organization's current policies and procedures related to screening, hiring, and training staff, according to the Boston Children's Theatre's statement. Student supervision and teaching practices will also be reviewed.

"We remain deeply concerned, above all, that Boston Children's Theatre be a safe place where young people can discover theatre, train as budding artists and grow into confident, dedicated kids," the letter to parents said.

The theater's board of directors plans to host a town hall-style meeting to address concerns and questions from parents on Sunday, according to the letter.

This article was originally published on November 09, 2019.



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