Eric Schaeffer will step down as artistic director of the Signature Theatre June 30, three decades after he co-founded the theatre company in Arlington, Virginia.
The announcement from the theatre company did not specify the reasons, but comes on the heels of several sexual assault allegations shared on social media by actor Thomas Keegan, who recently alleged on Facebook that Schaeffer had groped and fondled him several times during the 2018 Helen Hayes Awards.
Following Keegan's posts, Signature shared a since-deleted statement on its website saying an internal investigation at the time had concluded that the allegations were not credible.
Founded in 1989, the Signature was the recipient of the 2009 Tony Award for regional theatre. In his retirement announcement, Schaeffer said, "I hope I leave our community in a stronger place as it struggles to find its way forward through the current COVID-19 crisis. I am proud of everything we accomplished, and I look forward to continuing to be this amazing company’s biggest cheerleader.”
The Signature Board of Directors will commence a search for a new artistic director for the company.