More than a half dozen board members have recently resigned from the Charleston Ballet Theatre’s board of directors. Former board president Charles Patrick is among those who’ve tendered their resignations in the last few weeks, and sources close to the ballet confirm that the list also includes previous board president Cece Stricklin, Mark Fava, Al Votaw, Chris Handal, and Kit Whitley. Former treasurer Patrick Wamsley also recently resigned.
Whitley, Fava, and Votaw were part of a sub-committee focused on giving dancers a chance to express their concerns and discuss ideas as to how to improve the company. The formation of the group was inspired by the October City Paper cover story about alleged mismanagement and the improper use of copyrighted material by CBT choreographers. According to an e-mail sent to some CBT dancers by the sub-committee, the three board members interviewed company members and provided some suggestions to the board, including a summary of health and safety concerns and contract and ethical issues. They also recommended the drafting of a dancer’s bill of rights to ensure everyone’s protection and to create a clear grievance procedure.
Although we spoke to some board members, none were willing to go on record about the matter. CBT CEO and resident choreographer Jill Eathorne Bahr did not respond to requests for comment.