Jubilee Theatre’s artistic director, accused of offering boys $100 for sex, has been placed on paid administrative leave while his employers investigate whether anyone associated with the theater has similar incidents to report.
The theater trustees’ executive committee met Sunday and voted to place Declois Beacham, known professionally as Tre Garrett, on paid administrative leave, according to a news release.
The Jubilee board will hire outside legal counsel to investigate, managing director Glenda Thompson said. Thompson has also been appointed to manage normal operations of the artistic staff, the release said.
“We just want to make sure than none of the types of things that have been reported to the police have been happening at Jubilee Theatre,” Thompson said in an interview Monday. “The board reacted quickly by placing Tre on administrative leave so he can work through what he needs to work through and so that the Jubilee Theatre can continue to act as the autonomous organization that it has been in the past.”
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Beacham faces two charges of compelling prostitution with a child under 18. His attorney said Beacham denies the accusations.
On two occasions, boys reported that they were approached by a man in the southeast part of Fort Worth near East Rosedale Street and Loop 820, an affidavit said. A 17-year-old said that on Jan. 9 a man with a goatee driving a gray BMW had approached him in the 1800 block of Lucas Drive and asked if he knew anyone who would engage in oral sex for $100. The teen told police he ran away after the man showed him the money.
On Jan. 12, two boys, ages 10 and 11, told police a man approached them with the same offer. The 10-year-old did not get in the car; the 11-year-old did and later gave police five $20 bills that he said he got from the BMW driver.
Police put the car under surveillance. All three boys picked Beacham out of a photo lineup, police said. Beacham surrendered Friday.
Thompson said that most of the Jubilee’s shows are performed by adults and only a few children came into contact with Beacham at the theater. Employees who do school outreach performances go through background checks, and that outreach does not usually involve the artistic director, Thompson said.
Thompson said she is not sure whether the theater did a background check on Beacham before he was hired as artistic director in 2010.
“The last time we had a show for kids was two seasons ago,” Thompson said. “It’s rare that we have anyone younger than 17 in any of our shows simply because of the nature of our shows.”
The board sent letters to theater patrons and supporters assuring them that the Jubilee Theatre will maintain normal operations and there will be no changes regarding the current season, Thompson said.
Jubilee, which sells about 30,000 tickets annually, should not be judged based on the actions of any one person, Thompson said.
“The letter ensures our patrons and supporters that we will continue with normal operations and that we hope any accusations against one person is not a reflection on our theater of 35 years,” Thompson said.
Mitch Mitchell, 817-390-7752