By Keith Waits
Entire contents copyright 2013 by Keith Waits, all rights reserved.
After a whirlwind week of crisis and more rumors than there are villains in Shakespeare, the situation at Kentucky Shakespeare has resulted in producing artistic director and CEO Brantley Dunaway being placed on paid administrative leave. The action was taken after a meeting of the board of directors on Thursday.
As reported by Erin Keane of WFPL, Dunaway’s leave ends on July 22, which is the date of a hearing scheduled to address the emergency protective order granted Madison Dunaway against him. Ms. Dunaway, married to Brantley for eight years, resigned her lead role in this season’s production of Twelfth Night after receiving the protective order on Monday. Court documents included in Keane’s reporting outline accusations of verbal abuse that caused Ms. Dunaway to fear for her own safety as well as that of the couple’s two children.
Allen Harris, chairman of the board of directors of Kentucky Shakespeare, expressed concern about Brantley Dunaway’s ability to continue his leadership role, but stated that the board would wait until after the legal circumstances are resolved to make any further decisions.
The sad sequence of events are an unwelcome disruption for the venerable theatre company, which has struggled with uncertain leadership for the past several years and with financial difficulty that had grown so dire that at one point it placed the 2013 season in jeopardy.