Atom Egoyan, Judith Thompson, Seana McKenna and George F. Walker are only some of the prominent members of the Toronto theatre community who have banded together to boycott the Factory Theatre—both as performing artists and patrons—after the abrupt firing of long-time artistic director Ken Gass last month. According to a petition to reinstate Gass (which has amassed an impressive 3,600-plus signatures and plenty of impassioned comments), the 25-year theatre vet was let go over a dispute with the board regarding how public funds would be used to develop the theatre. (The board cited the Factory’s need to move in a different direction as the reasoning behind his dismissal, while Gass’s own version of the story can be read on the boycott site). This could get interesting.
The full boycott letter:
TO THE FACTORY THEATRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We, the undersigned, believe that the Factory Theatre Board of Directors showed astoundingly poor judgement [sic] in its firing of Artistic Director Ken Gass. We urge the board to reinstate Mr. Gass immediately, and to enter into meaningful negotiation to resolve the crisis that led to his firing.
It’s our intention to boycott Factory Theatre, as artists and as patrons, until Mr. Gass is reinstated as artistic director.
Lora Senechal Carney
C. David Johnson
Lloyd & Nancy Robertson
George F. Walker
UPDATE: Things are heating up in the ongoing Ken Gass vs. Board of Factory Theatre debacle: in an interview with the National Post, Gass revealed that he plans to take legal action against the theatre’s board of directors over the sketchy circumstances surrounding his termination. As Gass told the Post, “There are issues of accountability. The irregularities in the termination process are huge”—and it seems the now 4,000+ signatures dotting the petition for his reinstatement as artistic director would agree. [National Post]