Chicago’s Profiles Theatre has announced its permanent closure effective immediately. The non-Equity theatre was recently the subject of a story in the Chicago Reader that shed light on its history of abuse and harassment of actors and staff.
The message on the theatre’s website reads: “We are sad to announce that Profiles Theatre is closing its doors after 28 years and 81 productions. The closure is effective immediately. We want to thank all of the artists who have worked with us during the past three decades.”
“We hope this decision will further the healing process within our community,” continues the statement.
On June 8, the Reader published an in-depth story about Profiles with serious abuse allegations involving actor and artistic director Darrell W. Cox. According to the Reader, more than 30 former Profiles cast and crew members attest to Cox being physically and psychologically abusive over the years.
One actress interviewed in the story spoke of having her throat squeezed so hard during a fight scene she almost passed out; another said Cox touched her inappropriately during a grope simulation.
Last week, Cox responded to the allegations on the theatre’s Facebook page, denying any involvement. See the post below.
Many people and organizations within the Chicago theatre community have shown their solidarity and support in response to the story. Anna D. Shapiro, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, published a Facebook post last week stating the company stood “with the victims of this hideous abuse and with their brave defenders.” The Jeff Awards also took to Facebook to announce it would address the Change.org petition to revoke Cox's Jeff Award for Killer Joe. Not in Our House, the collective dedicated to making non-Equity theatres in Chicago safer, published an open letter on its website and Facebook immediately following the Reader story; you can view it here.