Israel Horovitz ResignationStatement from the Board of Directors - Nov 30, 2017
We come to our theater to explore and reveal the deepest and most intimate aspects of human behavior. This is a very special way of sharing our experience and should ennoble us.
When we recently learned that our founding artistic director, Israel Horovitz, has been accused of sexually assaulting a young actor in NYC – repeating conduct he allegedly engaged in, here at GSC, decades ago – we were appalled. Israel denied the allegations and asked to meet with the full Board. After he was unable to attend the meeting, he resigned and is no longer an ex-officio member of the board of directors.
It is of the utmost importance that our theater home be a safe space for everyone: our actors, artistic and production teams, staff, volunteers, apprentices and patrons. It is deeply troubling that the person whose work, for decades, has been most central to GSC’s mission and brand would so egregiously violate that space and put at risk the safety and welfare of those in his charge.
The New York Times has made us aware that they will shortly publish an article about Israel, and have nine women on the record making accusations about his sexual harassment and assaults. Managing Director Jeff Zinn and I have responded to the reporter’s questions, but I want you to hear about these recent events directly from us.
Our hearts go out to the many women who are, once again, reliving the harassment and assaults they endured. We recognize that in the past their reports were grossly mishandled. The board is united and committed to ensuring that such behavior does not take place at Gloucester Stage and we will take any reports seriously.
As our season drew to a close, and while reading the appalling news about Harvey Weinstein and so many others, we began thinking of how Gloucester Stage could help change the culture in the theater business through our actions and example, so that as our apprentices move through their careers they will be empowered to speak up, for themselves and for others. We will redouble our efforts to fulfilling our mission to “provide a nurturing work environment,” in deeds, not just words.
Liz Neumeier, Board President