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Von Metzke "groomed" underaged girls by texting

In addition to the normal care/influence instructors have at any place like this, I'd like to add some perspective about how much time these students spend at the theatre during a production. I've gone through old cast/crew schedules and added up the hours. I've used schedules from productions run during both the school year and summer months. Parents are not allowed to be present during rehearsals, which is standard. For a school year production, over the course of 11 weeks for rehearsal and performances, the number of hours typically spent by students at SDJT are as follows: Primary roles: 160 hours Ensemble: 140 hours Stage crew: 89.5 Usher/House manager: 43.5 *Note- *This does not include things like transportation to/from or classes that must be taken in order to participate. This is also during the school year, so students are also in their regular schools. The number of hours for crew varies, based on position. I calculated the crew members who have the most hours and the least hours. Most of the rest fall somewhere in between. For summer productions, the typical number of hours for an 11 week schedule are fairly similar: Primary roles: 176 Ensemble: 141 Stage crew:89.5 Ushers: 43.5 Most students are on summer break at this time, but again, either a class or a 2 week camp must be taken in order to qualify. Many choose camp, which adds another 60 hours spent at the theatre during this time. My point is not to complain about the number of hours, as they are made aware of the time frame before auditioning. My point is that this makes it easy for situations like what JT is facing to crop up when you have people with few ethics in charge.
— June 29, 2017 12:29 p.m.

Brouhaha or foofaraw at San Diego Junior Theatre?

Thank you for writing this article to help bring attention to the situation at Junior Theatre. There are a few points I'd like to make in regards to some of the comments, as a parent of a former JT student. First, as pointed out earlier, the students at JT are held to a very high standard. Not only is it made clear they are accountable, but all students and their parents in any production sign a contract in regards to this. It is definitely made very clear if there are major problems, they could be removed from the production and possible future involvement. The reason I'm reiterating this is that Jimmy Saba is pretty much the highest authority figure in the theatre. Considering he is the one who had committed the offense, and in anger, there is a definite intimidation factor at the outset. The age range of students is from 8-18 years. The oldest student in that production was 15. Another, related, thing I would like to point out from comments last fall when this was being discovered is that not only was the parent of the student who had been grabbed not informed, but very few, if any of the parents of the other students informed. This, again, can be viewed as being worried about getting in trouble. To add to this, after parents found out, there were very few who were wiling to speak up after Tony and Rayme were fired. The reason most often given by (I believe) most of them was that they were concerned that it would affect their children's ability to participate at JT in the future. JT has been considered the best youth theatre program in the area, and people did not want to have that taken away. Those who did speak up had to actively consider if they felt it was more important to speak to the truth, knowing it would likely cause the student to be blacklisted. There was no overt threat of such, but seeing how the board had handled things thus far, something like that would be a minor inconvenience for them. During the meeting between Gil Cabrerra and concerned parents, there was a point brought up that not only was the student who was grabbed a victim, but every student in that dressing room was, as well. It was a very disturbing and volatile situation for everyone in that dressing room.
— May 4, 2017 2:17 p.m.

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