Prominent artists in the theatre community continue to rally around Ken Gass, the founder and artistic director of the Factory Theatre who was fired from his job on June 20 by nine members of the Board of Directors, who cited no cause for the dismissal.
Ken Gass founded the Factory Theatre in 1970, and then, returned in 1996 to save the company from bankruptcy by putting up his own money to pay the rent and revived the theatre to the thriving home of Canadian playwrights that it is today. He remains an icon in the national theatre landscape, having fostered the careers of countless Canadian playwrights, directors, actors and designers.
In addition to over 3600 names who signed a petition calling for the Board's resignation and Mr. Gass' re-instatement (visit http://chn.ge/N29FfJ for the petition) prominent artists have further challenged the board's decision by instigating a boycott.
Internationally lauded playwright George F. Walker had previously pulled his play from Factory Theatre's 2012-13 season in reaction to the board's actions. Now acclaimed playwright Judith Thompson, whose work was also scheduled in the season, has signed the boycott demanding negotiations with the board and Ken's reinstatement.
The following is the boycott statement as of July 23, 2012:
TO THE FACTORY THEATRE BOARD OF DIRECTORS
We, the undersigned, believe that the Factory Theatre Board of Directors showed astoundingly poor judgement 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