LaChiusa Issues Apology and Thanks
As concern continued to mount over revelations regarding the unlicensed American Repertory Theatre of WNY production of the Jason Robert Brown / Alfred Uhry musical Parade, executive director Matthew LaChiusa found himself scrambling to repair the group's tarnished reputation. He quickly endeavored to right the ship by obtaining a legal contract to do the show from Music Theatre International, and paying the royalty. He will need to obtain rights for other titles he has announced, including Bat Boy and Merrily We Roll Along. In the meantime, LaChiusa has issued a statement, thanking the theater community for its continued support; expressing regret for past business practices; and apologizing to artists for all stress caused. The statement, which was released by email and social media, is reprinted below in its entirety. A.C.
To The Buffalo theater community,
As many are aware, events have taken place that have called into question ARTs integrity and legitimacy. We would like to address your concerns and thank the community for their support during this tumultuous time in ART’s 13 year history. First and foremost we apologize for causing any artist who has worked with us to worry over their participation in our shows. We understand that a trust may have been broken and to that, we are deeply regretful. You deserve better, and we are going to do better.
Moving forward, we offer our complete respect and transparency to the community in regards to rights of the shows we produce. This past season has brought to light many issues in our business structure and management and we again, thank you for bringing these to the surface so they can be addressed accordingly and can be learned from. We are working on a season model that will be more manageable and realistic for us while still fulfilling ART’s mission:
"American Repertory Theater of WNY mission statement is twofold. First, the mandate of the company is to produce both classic and contemporary theatrical works and support a new generation of playwrights. These productions are purposefully created through the innovative exploration of these selected works, thereby enhancing the cultural and intellectual experience of the theatergoer. Second, the company will serve as a catalyst for community dialogue and action that will result in sustained economic growth and increase the collaboration within all sectors of our community."
We hope you will stand behind us as we transition to a better ART.
Sincerely Matthew LaChiusa Executive Director