Blogs » CITIZEN VÉRITÉ » Moster's Firing Signals Serious Problems For Theater Victoria

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Charles Moster was hired some six months ago by Theater Victoria to (1.) bring in new ideas for theater productions, (2.) to instill a new excitement amongst the public toward the Theater, (3.) to foster better relations with the Victoria Media hopefully resulting in a positive "buzz" with the public eager to attend Theater events, (4.) to strengthen the Theater's relationship with City Council, (5.) to re-assure the Theater's creditors as to the economic viability of their business model, and in tandem with this effort (6.) to improve ticket sales, (7.) expand their membership base, (8.) seek out underwriters for future productions, and (9.) solicit individuals and foundations to give larger sums to shore up the Theater's bottom line. It was an ambitious set of goals laid out by Theater Victoria's Search Committee, Executive Committee, and entire Board of Directors when Charles Moster was hired.

In the interim, Jennifer Hartman, the Board President, asked to be released from her duties as her Father had passed away, and she was facing heavy family responsibilities in the months to come. Omar Rashid was selected by the Theater Board as Mrs. Hartman's replacement as Board President. Very quickly Mr. Rashid and Mr. Moster came into conflict with one another. Mr. Moster was in the process of (1.) implementing changes to Theater staff, which he saw as needed because of complacency, (2.) casting new actors in upcoming productions because too many of the same cast were being overused in show after show, and (3.) introducing new and different programming into the Theater's performing schedule in an effort to broaden the Theater's appeal to the public, and to program new productions which did not carry with it expensive royalty fees, thereby improving the profitability of these performances.

Those upset with Mr. Moster's changes quickly contacted Mr. Rashid, looking for him to intervene on their behalf. Mr. Rashid responded by informing Mr. Moster that many of his duties at the Theater would be proscribed (including his ability to create a new staff of his own choosing), and that from that time onward Mr. Rashid would sit in on morning planning meetings.

Anyone who has Board experience should see the total lack of Board Governance by these actions taken by Mr. Rashid. Once the Board of Directors had hired a new Executive Director, it is the duty of the Board, and in particular its' President, to support the decisions of the Executive Director up and until the time arrives when the entire Board passes a no-confidence motion. As events would prove out, the majority of the Theater Victoria Board of Directors were unaware of Mr. Rashid's actions, including his firing of Mr. Moster, until they convened in an evening meeting on December 2nd. Theater Victoria has shown a lack of respect for Mr. Moster's position in the fashion of allowing employees to lobby Mr. Rashid toward overruling the Executive Director's decisions. In allowing Mr. Rashid to "micromanage" Theater Victoria's day to day operations, and finally in allowing Mr. Rashid to keep vital information from the entire Board of Directors until after Mr. Moster was fired by Mr. Rashid.

I would strongly recommend to the Theater Victoria Board of Directors that Omar Rashid be expelled from its' presidency, and the Board at large. Only then can Theater Victoria hope to hire a new Executive Director who will be spared the ordeal that Mr. Moster most recently had to endure.