Note: Michael Halberstam, the longtime artistic director for Glencoe-based Writers Theatre, was accused by a former subordinate of harassment and lewd behavior. The statement below is from the company:
As you may be aware, Writers Theatre recently learned of a sexual harassment claim via social media involving our co-founder and Artistic Director Michael Halberstam. Because some of you have previously inquired about the matter, we wanted to provide you an update.
Writers Theatre has always prided itself on creating and ensuring a safe work environment for all. That is why we took this matter seriously. The Board of Directors immediately hired an independent investigator to complete a thorough investigation, with which Mr. Halberstam fully cooperated.
The independent investigator's findings showed that Mr. Halberstam has made inappropriate and insensitive comments in the workplace. The investigation did not support a finding of other inappropriate sexual behavior.
Based on these findings, Mr. Halberstam will participate in compliance training and executive coaching sessions, to begin immediately. Mr. Halberstam has wholly agreed to these remediation steps and made the following statement to share with you:
"I understand that statements and comments I have made have caused distress and discomfort for members of our theater community. I would like to unequivocally express my sincere and deep regret. I welcome and embrace the steps that have been laid out for me by the Board as I am fully committed to addressing this behavior and to making certain that our theatre provides a safe and nurturing atmosphere for everyone."
As we remain fully committed to ensuring a respectful work environment, we also will work to determine if additional steps must be taken to reinforce and refine our harassment policy and training based on what we have learned through this process.
We want to thank all of you who have reached out and expressed concern and support during this time. We have worked as thoroughly and quickly as possible to address these concerns. We are now ready to put in the hard work required for rebuilding.
The Board of Trustees
Earler coverage at the link: www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Local-theater-official-faces-harassment-accusations-/60954.html .