Arts and Culture Community

Nine full-time employees of Actors Theatre of Louisville were laid off Monday as part of what officials say is an “organizational restructuring.” The news was first reported by the Courier Journal. 

Executive Artistic Director Robert Barry Fleming said in an emailed statement that Actors is moving toward building a “financially sustainable business model.”

“We found it necessary to reorganize our administrative and operational staff and reallocate responsibilities in a manner that foregrounds interdepartmental collaboration and enhances patron experience,” Fleming said. 

Here’s Fleming’s full statement: 

“In building a financially sustainable business model, we found it necessary to reorganize our administrative and operational staff and reallocate responsibilities in a manner that foregrounds interdepartmental collaboration and enhances patron experience. 

“We aim to create a 21st-century theatre that prioritizes the preservation of the quality of artistic programming, both the quality of our artistic programming and the health and wellness of the staff and artists.

“I am confident in this team’s ability to continue the proud legacy of Actors Theatre and truly fulfill the principles of our mission of unlocking human potential, building community, and enriching the quality of life in Kentuckiana and beyond.

“Our staff and board members have my thanks, especially Board President Mac Thompson, for their collaboration and support.”

In a statement, Thompson called the move “difficult” but expressed support for Fleming and his team. 

“Change and transition are a difficult but necessary component of organizational evolution,” Thomspon said. “Robert and his team have my full confidence, and I know I speak for many Louisvillians when I say, I’m excited to share in the next chapter of Actors Theatre’s prestigious legacy.”

Fleming stepped into his role as Actors’ first non-white artistic director, after Les Waters’ departure in 2016. Managing Director Kevin Moore left the nonprofit last year; the theater’s website currently lists no managing director that has taken his position. 

A spokeswoman wouldn’t say on Monday afternoon how much money the layoffs will save the theater company, or which specific positions were eliminated. The spokeswoman said that no further layoffs are planned for this year.

This story has been updated.

Kyeland Jackson is an Associate Producer for WFPL News.