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Instagram page alleges misconduct within ECU School of Theatre and Dance

Published: Mar. 3, 2022 at 8:36 PM EST
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GREENVILLE, N.C. (WITN) - An anonymous Instagram account that sheds light on alleged misconduct within East Carolina University’s School of Theatre and Dance has caught the attention of both students and school leaders.

The account, created in February and titled ‘dear sotd’ describes what students say they’ve experienced within the program.

One anonymous post reads: “My freshman year I didn’t get into the musical theatre department because the director told me I was too fat to be cast in theatre. His words exactly.”

Tyanna Fuller, an ECU theatre major, says she feels the opportunities she’s had role-wise have been limited due to her skin color.

“When we did get the chance to have full or mostly casted roles, it was a slave play,” Fuller said. “The other was a Black trauma play and it was a student-written script. She won a grant. We performed it. It was great. But the slave play. That topped the cake.”

Fuller said that after the Instagram account caught the attention of faculty members, a meeting was held on Monday, where students were able to share their concerns with some of the department members.

Theater students were then sent an email on Wednesday, stating all classes in the School of Theatre and Dance were canceled on that day. It was followed by a separate email from the theatre department’s faculty leaders explaining why.

It reads, in part:

WITN spoke with two freshmen who are also in the theatre program. They listed ways the situation could be resolved.

”Having more of these conversations instead of pushing them under the rug,” Catherine Snow said.

“I would really want for the bond between faculty and students [to] deepen because we all want to be here,” Fiona Mitchell said. “But sometimes when things like this happen it makes it very difficult. So, I guess just more inclusivity, diversity, and acceptance and just opening up to listening to everyone would be great.”

WITN reached out to School of Theatre and Dance leaders for comment and was referred to ECU News Services.

Fuller says she was in the meeting with faculty members on Wednesday and a plan of action should be announced by Friday.

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