Exit 63 Cancels “Horse Girls” After Director Banned from Opening

by Abigail Trabue

Exit 63 Theater has canceled its production of Jenny Rachel Weiner’s “Horse Girls” amidst allegations of misconduct by Director (and Artistic Director) Connor Baty.

A statement was posted on the website “Medium” Friday by actor Liz Lengyel on behalf of the rest of the cast. It details a range of grievances, including Baty’s repeated use of the word “bitches” to describe the all-woman cast, a fist pounding outburst, and racist language.

Exit 63’s website proclaimed that the company followed the Chicago Theater Standards, but the actors say the cast tried to implement conflict resolution techniques from the standards and were denied by Baty, who allegedly said he has not read the policy.

There was an agreement to move ahead with the show without Baty as director—according to the statement—but an email from Baty’s father canceled the show when Baty was told he could not attend opening night.

The company has shut down its website and social media. “Horse Girls” was to be the third and final show of Exit 63’s second season. In an email earlier this week to PerformInk, Baty requested their ad be pulled from the site saying the company “ran into contractual issues and artistic differences and could not find a way forward.”

A request to Connor Baty for comment has gone unanswered.

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Abigail Trabue

Abigail has worked as an actor/director in Chicago for over ten years, and along with husband Jason Epperson founded Lotus Theatricals in 2015, and PerformInk Chicago and Kansas City in 2016 (where she serves as Managing Editor of both publications). When not talking shop, Abigail is raising three padawans with Jason, drinking lots of coffee, converting school buses into RV's, and eating all the foods at Disney World. You can find her on Twitter @AbigailTrabue