To the Editor:Today, Cottonwood executive director Jon Khoury took to Facebook to clear the air:
After six months preparation and rehearsals, the Colorado Springs Readers’ Theater Players were excited that our sixth play, Tribal Tales, was about to be presented to the community on Friday, May 1 at the David Lord Theater in the Cottonwood Center for the Arts. Our contract with Cottonwood gave us Friday night, the 1st and Sunday afternoon, the 3rd for two presentations of the play and to split the proceeds. Seven hours before curtain time, an employee of Cottonwood sent us an email stating that they had summarily cancelled our opportunity to present our play, which had been thoroughly publicized for weeks and for which we knew that people were even coming from out of state to attend. People showed up at the Center unawares and were simply told the play was cancelled with no explanation. There was no legal or moral reason for this precipitous and deeply harmful action on the part of Cottonwood management. When the director was asked why by a member of our cast, he replied that he was “under no obligation to explain his actions.” We are shocked and saddened by these events. Not only did our players put their hearts and souls into their parts during many rehearsals, people in the community were eagerly anticipating the production. The Cottonwood Center for the Arts holds itself out to be a community resource and a reputable business and should be accountable for their executive actions to their board and to this community. It seems, in this case, we cannot expect that to happen.
Bill and Genie Durland, Author and Editor of all six of the Readers’ Theater productions enjoyed by this community over the past six years.
We were given a contract … which ... has no specifics whatsoever about Cottonwood’s protocols and behaviors expected of us. Nothing about their obligations or our obligations. If Jon had concerns “weeks ago” as he said, he should have shared them. We were kept in the dark.Except for an unpaid fee to a graphic designer, there’s no money at issue, as Readers' Theater and Cottonwood planned to split ticket sales 50-50 following the show.
... We were told by Jon that we were rude and hurt staff’s feelings but nobody ever told us that so how could we correct the problem? We told Jon in a letter we wrote him, trying to make clear our position that we felt it was his responsibility as director to convey to us complaints from his staff as they happened. We would have been more than willing and able to make whatever adjustments were necessary. Adequate communication was nonexistent.