Dallas — The Dallas Theater Center has fired Lee Trull, Director of New Play Development and the director of the current production of A Christmas Carol, for "inappropriate behavior." The statement follows:
Theater is a collaborative art form that requires each person to bring his or her whole self to work and participate in the creative process. Dallas Theater Center is committed to providing the type of environment necessary for the creative process to flourish. Anyone who contributes to an unsafe, unwelcome, or inequitable environment not only violates DTC’s policies, but also undermines DTC’s fundamental goal of creating the highest quality theatrical art that deeply engages our community.
DTC recently received a complaint about inappropriate behavior by Lee Trull. DTC promptly investigated and determined that the alleged conduct is a violation of DTC’s policies. As a result, Lee's employment has been terminated today, effective immediately. DTC remains dedicated to taking any action necessary to ensure a safe workplace, free of harassment, for all employees.
Trull has been involved with Dallas Theater Center for a decade, first as one of the original members of the Hal and Diane Brierley Resident Acting Ensemble and a local casting agent. In 2013, he left the acting company and became the Director of New Play Development, a position that has made him an important player in the arena of new plays and musicals. He has also served as a producer of several shows. His upcoming producing projects include DTC productions of Fade, Frankenstein, and the world premiere of Jonathan Norton's Penny Candy in 2018. He is also working on a musical adaptation of Jules Verne's 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea with local composer Shawn Magill (On the Eve) and nationally known playwright Kate Hamill, whose adaptation of Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice was recently seen at WaterTower Theatre.
In September it was announced that he would be leaving the theater at the end of the 2017-18 season, to "further his artistic work, both locally and nationally, as a playwright, actor, director and dramaturg."
Trull's plays in recent years include Wilde/Earnest at Kitchen Dog Theater, where he was a longtime company member; and he co-wrote Deferred Action with David Lozano for a DTC co-production with Cara Mía Theatre Company, which premiered in 2016. Cara Mía recently toured that play to Denton, Houston, and Los Angeles.
Trull frequently works with Second Thought Theatre and Stage West. He was to direct Lucas Hnath's Hillary and Clinton for Second Thought in January; STT Artistic Director Alex Organ has informed TheaterJones that Trull will be replaced. He was also to direct Halley Feiffer's A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Gynecologic Oncology Unit at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center of New York City at Stage West in March; Executive Producer Dana Schultes tells TheaterJones he has been pulled from that project.
Second Thought Theatre has also released a statement:
Late last week, Second Thought Theatre learned of allegations of misconduct by Lee Trull. Due to the nature of those allegations, our leadership decided we could no longer entrust Mr. Trull with a position of authority, and this past Sunday we rescinded his offer to direct in our 2018 season.
Second Thought Theatre is committed to providing a safe and supportive environment where artists feel comfortable and confident creating alongside one another. We have a zero-tolerance policy for discrimination or harassment of any kind. It takes action by each of us as individuals and as a unified community to hold each other accountable, to have difficult conversations with each other, and to look inward at our own organizations so that we can make each other better and hold each other to higher standards. It's a conversation we as a community should have begun before the #metoo and #notinthishouse movements became necessary. While we are distraught that this conversation has to take place, we will not shy away from doing what is right. This is our community, and we want to do our part to make it better.
Our first priority is to ensure our artists feel secure and protected while working at Second Thought. In addition to removing Mr. Trull from our season, our staff and Board of Directors have already begun revisiting our harassment policy to re-confirm its efficacy, and we are working to improve procedures for better articulating the policy to company members at the beginning of every production process.
TheaterJones has been investigating allegations against Trull for more than a year, and has more aggressively pursued it in the past month after seeking stories of inappropriate behavior and sexual misconduct for our series The Whisper Network.
Read the full repot on TheaterJones, here.