WNPR

Long Wharf Artistic Director Accused Of Sexual Harassment

Jan 22, 2018

The artistic director of New Haven's Long Wharf Theatre has been placed on administrative leave after a New York Times story detailed a pattern of sexual misconduct going back years.

The allegations against Gordon Edelstein include multiple instances of sexual misconduct, from sexually explicit language in the workplace, to at least four women who reported unwanted sexual contact by Edelstein.

Kim Rubinstein was a college friend of Edelstein's who joined Long Wharf in 2003. She told the New York Times that Edelstein engaged in a pattern of sexual harassment that continued for years, and included forced kissing and groping. Rubinstein said sometimes Edelstein would masturbate in front of her. She complained to management in 2006. 

Laura Pappano, Chair of Long Wharf's Board of Trustees told WNPR she and the rest of the board took Rubinstein's complaint seriously.

"There was mandatory counseling for Mr. Edelstein, relocation of the workspace, creation of ground rules for communication, and plans for future communication concerns, including the ongoing availability of a 3rd party therapist to address the issues," said Pappano.

But some of the 24 current and former Long Wharf employees and collaborators interviewed for reporter Michael Paulson's story say administrators and board members were aware of Edelstein's behavior, and allowed it to continue.

Pappano counters that the theater acted on every complaint of sexual of misconduct by Edelstein.

"The theatre is committed to creating a workplace environment where everyone is respected, valued and feels safe," she said in a statement issued to the press. "We have policies in place to support that charge."

Edelstein is on administrative leave pending further action from Long Wharf's board.