A letter from the Red Stitch Ensemble regarding “Culture of Bullying” accusations

Categories: Articles,Company News

We, the Red Stitch ensemble, are deeply saddened that unsubstantiated allegations have been used in The Sunday Age article (11/6) to characterise our theatre company.

We ask you, our friends, supporters and theatre family to take a closer look, to consider the lack of clarity regarding the allegations, and the failure to detail the specifics of the complaints.

The nature of these complaints are omitted and quotes have been used out of context, painting a picture that is not representative of anything we have witnessed at Red Stitch.

We have been reticent about responding publicly because the allegations are defamatory or involve specific individuals on personal matters unrelated to Red Stitch. We have also been asked by complainants to keep names confidential.

Bullying, intimidation and harassment are never acceptable behaviours and have no place in our theatre. That we were placed in the position of having to ask an ensemble member to leave the company because of this was deeply upsetting for all of us. We all witnessed and supported the appropriate measures that have been taken to address all concerns. And we absolutely do not fire people for making a complaint.

We are not a large company, rather a small team of five staff members and eighteen ensemble actors. As individuals we remain part of the company because we feel embraced and supported. Red Stitch is a not for profit organisation. The theatre we produce provides very little financial reward and we deeply appreciate the guest actors and creatives who choose to support us by working with us. While we work hard to increase artist wages, the success of our company is pinned on the happiness and support of those involved. We believe in integrity of work and practice, in making the best work possible, and doing so in the spirit of mutual respect and care. We believe these values are integral to an inspiring and fulfilling creative environment. And we love and value our grads. We always have.

If you have a concern or complaint about your experience or time at Red Stitch, no matter how long ago, we would genuinely like to hear from you and work to resolve it, for your own closure, our future relationship with you, and to help us to improve.

We welcome and encourage constructive conversations with anyone who has questions about our theatre. Please email or call us and if you know us, reach out to us personally. 

We have a well established formal complaints process for the sort of issues raised by the weekend’s article, and we are now undertaking a further review of these processes to bring them to the highest standard.

As individuals within the theatre we make a conscious effort to make sure that new talent is nurtured, that guest artists, our graduate actors, and staff members are well supported, and that audiences can feel proud to be associated with Red Stitch. We have been a creative refuge for many hundreds of artists since 2001, and we look forward to welcoming more in the years to come.


The Red Stitch Ensemble:

Ella Caldwell
Kate Cole
Brett Cousins
Ngaire Dawn Fair
Casey Filips
Kevin Hofbauer
Justin Hosking
Darcy Kent
Caroline Lee
Olga Makeeva
Dion Mills
Christina O’Neill
Joe Petruzzi
Ben Prendergast
Clare Springett
Sarah Sutherland
David Whiteley
Harvey Zielinski