Harassment claims continue to plague Department of Theatre

Following claims of intimidation and harassment between Theatre students, many questions remain unanswered.

Last week, officials confirmed that harassing messages were written on a white board in Fairchild Theatre. Department chair Kirk Domer said in a previous interview with The State News that he has involved the police in an investigation surrounding the claims.

Officials will not say what exactly was written on the board, but Domer said it had something to do with upcoming castings within the department.

“This was more of a scare tactic based on casting,” he said. “It’s petty, but I take this very seriously.”

MSU police are investigating the incident, according to Domer. Since involving the police, the messages have stopped.

For the most part, students in the department remain in the dark about the details. Theatre senior Nick Reid said the message likely didn’t come from someone in the cast of the play because that particular cast is known for being close.

“From what I hear, the whole dynamic of the cast is positive,” he said. “Everyone seems to get along, so people are mostly shocked and confused.”

Most students don’t know details about the message.

Reid said some students are assuming the threat came from outside of the department, but little is known for sure.

“Most people are confused,” he said. “No one really knows who it was.”

The atmosphere of the department is welcoming, theatre senior Mike Geeter said, but the nature of the major sometimes brings out the competitive side of people.

“I’ve always thought it was a nice atmosphere,” he said. “But it can get a little cutthroat at times, definitely competitive.”

Geeter said part of being a theatre major is being able to take critiques gracefully.

“I would imagine things like this happen because it is a major based off of critiquing and performance,” he said. “Part of the job is being able to shrug it off.”

The motives for the messenger are also up in the air for many.

Some believe the message was meant to be a playful joke, while others think the messenger was trying to get the attention of the department.

“It seems like someone was trying to be stupid or raise an eyebrow,” Reid said.

Through it all, both Geeter and Reid said they have been impressed with the way the department has handled the situation.

Geeter transferred into the theatre major later in his college career and said in his experience, the department has always been welcoming.

“It’s a pretty open environment,” he said. “I’ve always felt welcomed with open arms.

“I think everyone in the department have been really positive in handling the situation.”

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