What Happened and What’s Next

Message from the Board of Directors of Switchyard Theatre Company 

Many people in the Triangle theater community have been asking questions about Switchyard Theatre Company (“STC”), such as  “What happened at Switchyard?” and “What did Charlie do?” The speculation and rumors since June 2023 have metastasized to the point where it has become necessary for STC to make this public statement.  

STC’s new Board of Directors, reestablished earlier this year, is dedicated to the growth and continued success of the company, and we have developed a plan for the company’s future that we believe will enable STC to continue the impact it strives to bring within the theater community. The first step in executing that plan is to own our past, learn from it, and move forward positively and respectfully. To that end, the new Board has accepted the following statement from Charlie Machalicky: 

During a show I directed last year, I ran a rehearsal with a cast member where I went through blocking and dialogue while other cast members were not in attendance. Prior to the rehearsal, at the last minute, the ASM called in sick. This left the cast member and me alone where there would typically be a third party present. I made the call to proceed with rehearsal, during which I marked through at least one piece of blocking that could be construed as suggestive. Unfortunately, this made the cast member uncomfortable.

While there was no physical contact between myself and the cast member, what matters is that the cast member was uncomfortable. Being too focused on the needs and success of the production, I lacked perception when it came to the cast member and how they would feel.  I am mortified that I made the cast member feel discomfort, and I humbly apologize to that cast member as well as to the wider theatrical community.

This incident catalyzed other frustrations that had been brewing for several months within our organization, and caused several Board members to depart. While our new Board sympathizes with what happened, this is the space for me to take accountability. I apologize for my actions and statements that contributed to their departure, and I am profoundly grateful for their contributions in producing and supporting our first six excellent shows.

As a founder and outgoing Board Chair, I am proud of the shows STC has produced and the many good relationships we have forged in the Triangle theater community. I am pleased to be able to turn over the reins to a new group of leaders, and take a step back. Theatre is a necessary art form, and we will continue to evolve, learn from our mistakes, and do what’s right, as we serve our community with quality productions.

Here’s what’s next for STC: 

STC has attracted new people with fresh ideas and new passion for our mission. Our new Board has the skills, experience, and leadership ability to drive STC’s evolution and success. Next week we will announce our reorganization. Over the next few months, please look for rebranding and third season announcements that embody our commitment to produce relevant, quality theater in the Triangle.