carsey joins singer and actress becky spice in turning down their offers of work at the theatre, ostensibly saying, "i quit."
To Eric Dillner and the members of the Skylight Board of Directors:
It is with great disappointment that I withdraw from my position as Music Director of DAY IN HOLLYWOOD and AN EVENING WITH GILBERT AND SULLIVAN. The continued mismanagement and bad judgments of the last month by Eric Dillner and Board President Suzanne Hefty, culminating in the cancellation of artist contracts for perceived “threats” on a private Facebook page, have created a Skylight that I no longer recognize. I cannot support this organization with my talents or participation.
I have been a part of the Skylight for nearly twenty years. I’ve conducted over sixty productions there. I was Artistic Director for eight seasons, and I look back on my tenure with enormous pride. It was my privilege to work at an organization that honored integrity and artistic process. A trusting, cooperative atmosphere was fostered, and the line between management, staff and artists was fluid and flexible.
The Dillner/Hefty Skylight has thrown that by the wayside. They have publicly mishandled every aspect of this re-organization. The artistic department, which last season was the only aspect of the company that exceeded its financial goals, has been unceremoniously gutted. The remaining staff is disheartened. Public outcry has been greeted with stony silence. Events have been cancelled. Promised “public forums” are nowhere to be seen. From the humiliating dismissal of Bill Theisen and other staff members, to Jamie Johns’ firing for speaking out and caring too much, to the half-hearted board effort for a reversal, this whole episode is a fiasco.
While these decisions have been defended in terms of budgetary challenges (which are very real and distressing), no thought has been given to the Skylight’s artistic standing. Positions have been eliminated without regard for the product, loyalties have been ignored, and the good faith of the organization is in tatters. This latest move to intimidate the artist “employees” to fall in line is petty and short-sighted. To do this under the signature of Suzanne Hefty rather than your new artistic leader is even more cowardly and ridiculous. I am not leaving these productions because of this one action. I am leaving because I have no faith in the leadership of the Skylight any more.
The Skylight has long been regarded nationally as a model artistic home. It’s now both a laughing-stock and a cautionary tale. I have received calls from all over the country expressing disbelief at the amateurish way in which this crisis has been handled. I’ve run out of excuses to try to defend these decisions and their execution.
The Skylight is being destroyed by Eric and Suzanne’s leadership. I can’t support this, even by working on productions—that would imply my approval. I passionately ask you to reverse this course of events. You have the means to change leaders and repair severed relationships. I can’t imagine what you are waiting for.