Marty Childers, who had been executive director of Jenny Wiley Theatre for more than a decade, guiding the theater company through its expansion to year-round productions at its amphitheater in Prestonsburg and a new indoor theater in Pikeville, abruptly resigned his post Monday, citing personal reasons.
“Jenny Wiley Theatre regrets the resignation of Executive Director Martin Childers, for personal reasons, on Sept. 16, 2013,” the theater said in a statement released by board member Miriam Silman. “Marty’s tenure as Executive Director presided over a period of tremendous growth and positive change for the theatre and we appreciate his leadership and expertise during this time.
“We assure the community that the Theatre will continue its mission of enhancing the quality of life in Eastern Kentucky by providing professional theatre and exceptional educational opportunities in the performing arts.”
Silman’s statement indicated that the theater would soldier on in the wake of Childers’ resignation.
“We assure the community that the Theatre will continue its mission of enhancing the quality of life in Eastern Kentucky by providing professional theatre and exceptional educational opportunities in the performing arts. Jenny Wiley Theatre has been a vital part of the region for 49 years, and it will continue for many years to come,” the statement said.
“The Board of Trustees will solicit applications for a new Executive Director and look forward to filling that position shortly. Jenny Wiley Theatre has benefitted from the leadership of a strong and involved Board, talented actors, musicians and technicians, a capable and dedicated administrative staff, and a supportive audience and community: those elements will continue to guide us successfully through this transition.”
Childers did not provide specific reasons for his departure, and attempts by The Floyd County Times to contact him have been fruitless.
However, The Paintsville Herald reported Wednesday that Childers’ resignation came immediately after a reporter contacted him requesting comment following an “investigation” by that newspaper. According to the Herald, Childers was asked whether he had performed in a adult video, after the paper said it uncovered images and video of a person matching his appearance on the internet. The paper, however, did not confirm whether or not the person in the images was Childers.
Childers had spent much of his life working in some capacity with Jenny Wiley Theatre. His first experience with the theater was as an actor, performing in the production of “Camelot” in 1989. He would go on to appear in several other productions and joined the theater’s board of trustees in 1990, serving as president for two seasons. In January 2000, he was named the theater’s executive director, holding that position until his resignation this week.