Fells Point Corner Theatre (FPCT) and The Collaborative Theatre Co. (TCT) would like to clarify the circumstances surrounding the cancellation of A Christmas Carol, with regard to revelations about a cast member's criminal history.
On Thursday, December 7th, 2017, both companies released a statement that informed the press and the public of the cancellation. We regret that this statement was brief, and we would like to be more thorough now to avoid confusion and potential misrepresentation of the facts.
First, and most importantly, FPCT and TCT have received zero allegations or reports of abuse or predatory behavior regarding the actor in question, Steven Shriner. FPCT and TCT take such reports very seriously and invite anyone with such a report to contact us (email@example.com) and the authorities.
Earlier this year, Steven Shriner was cast in A Christmas Carol by his late husband and our Vice President, Anthony Lane Hinkle, who also wrote the adaptation. Upon Anthony’s death, Steven inherited ownership of the performance rights for A Christmas Carol. Following Anthony’s death, FPCT, TCT, Steven, and the director worked with local playwrights to complete the adaptation (devised for 6 adults playing all of the roles,) and to move ahead with the production in honor of Anthony’s memory.
In early November, the board of The Collaborative Theatre was informed of Steven’s status as a registered sex offender. Shortly thereafter, the board accepted Steven’s resignation as board president and ended their relationship with him.
Following Steven's resignation from TCT, the FPCT board and co-production team met to discuss the future of the production already in rehearsals. Steven informed the team that he was in compliance with his Tier 3 status and registration requirements. Again, the cast of A Christmas Carol was comprised of six adult actors and involved no minors whatsoever. To the knowledge of both companies, he had faithfully adhered to the terms of his registration. Therefore, in good faith, and in memory of Anthony, the production of A Christmas Carol continued as planned, with Steven playing the role of Scrooge.
In the week prior to opening, both organizations received messages regarding Mr. Shriner’s participation in the show. The organizations also received threats of protests at the theater. We had been aware of the risk of public scrutiny, and were prepared to respond to concerns, but we were not prepared for the possibility protesters would physically enter the theater and disrupt a production.