The artistic director of a leading African-American theater company in North Texas has been placed on administrative leave following his arrest Friday for allegedly soliciting sex from two boys.
Hours after his arrest, Tre Garrett of Jubilee Theatre in Fort Worth was released on bail.
The arrest warrant identifies the 33-year-old as Declois Garrett Beacham, but among theater lovers, he’s known as Tre Garrett, a charming and energetic Houston native, whose very goal was to introduce theater to more young people.
“I’ve seen him grow the audience, and grow the theater with the works that he’s brought to us,” said Glenda Thompson, managing director at Jubilee. “He’s extremely talented.”
Since the 2011-2012 season, Garrett introduced such plays as Topdog/Underdog, the Pulitzer-prize winning drama. And under his direction, the company is presenting Charlayne Woodard’s one-woman trilogy Pretty Fire.
The final installment, “In Real Life,” is in previews and scheduled to open Friday.
But Garrett will no longer be conducting any theater business. Jubilee’s board of directors decided during an emergency weekend meeting to place Garrett on paid administrative leave.
Maintains His Innocence
“This is something Mr. Garrett is really engaged in as ‘Tre Garrett,' and doesn’t really have anything to do with Jubilee Theatre,” Thompson said. “So we felt it was important that we gave him the time to sort through things, moving forward.”
Two boys, an 11-year-old and a 17-year-old, separately accuse Garrett of compelling prostitution or offering money in exchange for sex.
“My client, Declois Beacham, maintains his innocence on both these charges,” said Patrick Curran, Garrett’s attorney.
A third person, another 11-year-old, initially accused Garrett of kidnapping and soliciting prostitution, but later recanted.
Curran says his client and his wife are distressed over false accusations against the artistic director.
“It’s very damaging to his reputation, no matter what the outcome,” he said. “It’s hard to get that back, so it’s a big loss for him. If this case is never charged ... or is dismissed, or if he wins trial and is found not guilty, he still has irreparable damage to his reputation.”
Garrett’s attorney says there’s a lot more to this story that hasn’t been revealed publicly, and he hopes people won’t judge his client based on the allegations. Jubilee says its conducting its own internal investigation, and will take further action as warranted.
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