Friday, January 12, 2018

Former George Brown theatre students allege they were humiliated, abused by faculty

abuse education misconduct

Former students of the acting program at George Brown College allege they suffered abuse, humiliation and harassment from faculty at the Toronto school.

The allegations, some dating back more than a decade, describe an environment in which students were bullied by teachers, and feared being kicked out of the program if they spoke up.

"I think that the belittling, I think that the humiliation was just something that you expected," 2003 graduate Jenn Franchuk told CBC Toronto. "The faculty made it seem like it was part of the process."

Franchuk and others were inspired to come forward by the allegations of sexual misconduct at Soulpepper Theatre Company last week. The school, in collaboration with Soulpepper, opened the Young Centre for the Performing Arts in 2006 — a space where both the professional company and George Brown's third-year acting students perform.

George Brown is widely known as one of the top theatre schools in the country. Hundreds audition every year to get in, but only 30 or so are accepted.

According to the students who spoke to CBC Toronto, that number is then whittled down over the first two years, leaving approximately a dozen actors in the final year, leaving the students worried that any misstep could get them thrown out.

"What we've accepted as a norm is not normal and it's not OK, and if we couldn't say it then, we're saying it now," said Franchuk, who described her time at the school as "abusive."  (more...)

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abuse education misconduct

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