Profiles Theatre belatedly acknowledges use of pseudonyms after Reader investigation

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Darrell W. Cox, alias Wayne Karl, Sal V. Armano, Sarah Franklin, Carla Russell, et al, in Profiles Theatre's 2013 production of Hellcab. - ANDREW A. NELLES/SUN-TIMES MEDIA
  • Andrew A. Nelles/Sun-Times Media
  • Darrell W. Cox, alias Wayne Karl, Sal V. Armano, Sarah Franklin, Carla Russell, et al, in Profiles Theatre's 2013 production of Hellcab.

In a Tribune article about the closing of Profiles Theatre in the wake of a Reader investigation, reporters Chris Jones and Nina Metz address the theater's use of pseudonyms in previous theatrical productions.

The Reader's investigation found that Profiles Theatre had given directing, costume design, photography, and other credits to fictitious people, including crediting productions to female directors who did not exist.

Many of these aliases were cover for the theater's coartistic director Darrell W. Cox. In a written interview given to the Trib through a PR rep, Cox apologized for the deception, and said it was the act of a young company that was just starting out and wanted to appear bigger than it was. "If we could go back and change it, we would," Cox told the Tribune.

The company's first fake director, "Sarah Franklin," originally emerged in 1999 under the name Sarah Atkins, at which point the company was 11 years old. 

Jones and Metz write that Cox "openly acknowledges his use of pseudonyms":

In an online database listing Cox's theater credits, he openly acknowledges his use of pseudonyms (which is not unheard of in the theater but hardly common practice), claiming, in addition to directing those two productions, that he directed "Things We Said Today" in 2007 (credited to "Sarah Franklin") and "Noise" in 2004 (credited to "Carla Russell"). Cox also claims the scenic design of "The Thugs" and "Men of Tortuga" in 2008 (credited to the fictional "Wayne Karl") and the costume design for "Autobahn" in 2006 (credited to "Sal V. Armano").

However, Cox appears to have only acknowledged the theater's use of fictitious female directors and other contributors after the Reader published its story. 

Cox's credits appear in at least one online database, About the Artists, which bills itself as "The online production history of the world. Every credit ever. Almost."

His listing was updated after the allegations against Profiles became public. Here is a screenshot of Cox's credits on the About the Artists website as it appears today:

cox_today.jpg

And here is a screenshot of a cached version of that same page as it appeared on June 12:

cox_6.12.jpg

Additional reporting by Jeff Nichols.


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