Months after promising radical changes in how it treats actors and other affiliated artists, the Flea Theater has announced that it would do just that, but not in the way those artists expected. As part of plans to “embark on a new mission,” the theater, a notable Off Off Broadway company, said Thursday it would close its most prominent programs for emerging actors, directors and writers, in effect eliminating dozens of positions.
The announcement, in a letter from the Flea’s board of directors, is the latest development at the troubled company. This summer, in an open letter, resident artists there accused the Flea of “racism, sexism, gaslighting, disrespect and abuse” as well as of exploiting artists who were paid little or nothing to work there. In response, the theater vowed to begin paying all of its artists. And on Thursday it presented part of its plan.