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Connecticut Theater Leader Accused of Sexual Misconduct

Gordon Edelstein, the artistic director of the Long Wharf Theatre in New Haven, Conn., has been accused of sexual harassment and misconduct, with the theater placing him on administrative leave while the organization conducts an investigation.

Allegations detailed in an article in the New York Times include unwanted kissing, groping, inappropriate comments and masturbation. Four women, including the playwright Halley Feiffer, spoke on the record; some of the incidents discussed, which occurred over the last 15 years, were reported to the theater at the time.

“The institution takes seriously all complaints of behavioral misconduct,” Laura Pappano, the chair of the theater’s board, said in a statement. “Some of these reports are surprising and upsetting. We know of no instance in which a complaint was filed and not acted upon. … The theater takes this new information seriously and will use it to move forward.”

Open since 1965, the Long Wharf has in previous years seen productions move to Broadway that have included “The Gin Game” in 1977 and “Love Letters” in 1989. The Steve Martin comedy “Meteor Shower” was initially co-produced at the Long Wharf (where it was directed by Edelstein) prior to landing on Broadway in a separate staging.

Edelstein has been artistic director of the Long Wharf since 2002. He has directed three productions on Broadway, most recently the Roundabout Theater Company’s 2012 revival of Athol Fugard’s “The Road to Mecca.”

Edelstein is the latest figure in the theater world to be accused of misconduct; the artistic director of Toronto’s Soulpepper faced allegations earlier this month, as did the Broadway star Ben Vereen.

 

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