In the wake of announcing his retirement, former Alley Theatre Artistic Director Gregory Boyd is now at the center of numerous misconduct allegations made by current and former employees of the Houston regional company. A number of employees have come forward to claim that Boyd bullied them, demonstrated abusive behavior, and inappropriately touched female actors.
According to the Houston Chronicle's report, Emily Trask, an actor with the company for more than two years, quit last year, citing Boyd’s verbal harassment and inappropriate touching. The actor said that she decided to leave after reporting the incident to the theatre’s staff but continuing to feel “unsafe.”
Another female actor, who chose to remain unnamed, alleged that Boyd also touched her inappropriately and made sexual comments about her to fellow cast members. She described the environment as “very hostile” and a “very scary place to work,” and said that she too, had reported the behavior to theatre staff.
In the allegations against Boyd, employees use words including “volatile,” “toxic,“ “cruel,” and “tyrannical.” Boyd, who announced his retirement January 9 (effective January 11), has not responded to the report, nor has the theatre’s board.
Boyd has been at the theatre's helm since 1989. During his tenure, he produced over 100 new productions and directed more than 40 shows at The Alley.
The artistic director is the latest high-profile individual in the spotlight in an ever-growing network of sexual misconduct allegations sweeping the entertainment industry. Earlier this month, four women came forward with civil suits against Albert Schultz, the artistic director of Canada’s Soulpepper Theatre Company, alleging instances of sexual assault and harassment spanning 12 years.
The Alley Theatre’s 2017–2018 is slated to continue January 26 with Robert Schenkkan’s The Great Society, directed by Kevin Moriarty in the mainstage Hubbard Theatre. The staging is a co-production with Dallas Theater Center, where Moriarty serves as artistic director. That company recently addressed "inappropriate behavior" allegations of their own, leading to the termination of Director of New Play Development Lee Trull.