LGBT Theatre to Take Over Old Profiles Space

News   LGBT Theatre to Take Over Old Profiles Space
Following the controversial closure of Chicago's Profiles Theatre, an LGBT-focused organization has announced it will move in.
Profiles Theatre HR

Pride Films and Plays, a nonprofit LGBT production organization in Chicago, is set to take over the two spaces formerly operated by Profiles Theatre, according to Chicago Time Out. The non-Equity Profiles announced its permanent closure last month after a published story sparked controversy regarding a history of abuse and harassment at the theatre.

PFP was founded in 2010 with a mission of producing LGBT theatre and film. As reported in Time Out, the organization will take over the former Profiles stages in 2017. Read more about PFP here.

Prompted by community outrage, Profiles Theatre closed in June after 28 years and 81 productions. 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.

Harassment in Chicago Theatre Exposed

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. In a post that is no longer available, Cox responded to the allegations on the theatre’s Facebook page, denying any involvement.

Many people and organizations within the Chicago theatre community showed their solidarity and support in response to the story. Anna D. Shapiro, artistic director of Steppenwolf Theatre Company, published a Facebook post 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 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.

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