• Report: #1012824

Complaint Review: Rise Above Theatre Company

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  • Submitted: Tue, February 12, 2013
  • Updated: Tue, February 12, 2013

  • Reported By: OC — OC California United States of America
Rise Above Theatre Company
Los Angeles, California United States of America

Rise Above Theatre Company aka KG Productions, aka Kenne Guillory, aka James Hart sexual harassment, lies, does not fulfill contract, refuses to pay Los Angeles, California

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He will use you for all you're worth, then he discards you when you're no longer useful to him. He breaks promises (both written contracts and oral contracts) made to you. Saps your time, money, energy, talent, and sanity then moves on when he's used you for all you're worth.

He is putting on plays without paying rights and asking prospective actors (before they are cast) for nude photos through Facebook. He also sexually harasses employees. He exploits his actors in sexual/nude situations in his plays. Sexual harassment is serious in any other field - college football, the Catholic Church, etc. Why are we still tolerating it in the entertainment industry? Is this what actors have to put up with? Being afraid to say no to someone's ridiculous, inappropriate, unethical and sometimes downright illegal requests for fear they won't get the job or will lose the job? 

He signs contracts for payment with all cast and crew but never pays them.

Yet another entire cast has unanimously left his production/company. 

Read details below


Kenne has signed contracts with all of his actors from previous productions, stating that they would be paid a certain percentage of box office, and he did not fulfill a SINGLE ONE of those contracts. To my knowledge, he has never paid any of his actors a single cent of what he promised them (and I've been involved since his first production of "The Last Days of Judas Iscariot"). It's one thing if from the beginning he stated that no one would be paid, but he continues to dishonor every contract he puts together.

Kenne falsely claimed that the ticket company, Plays411, he used for his first production ("The Last Days of Judas Iscariot" in late 2011) went bankrupt, and that's why he was unable to pay anyone from that production (We have proof of this false claim in an email sent by Kenne to the "Judas" cast and crew). We were suspicious of the truth of what Kenne was telling us, so we contacted Plays411. They emailed us, rather upset, saying that they had definitely NOT filed for bankruptcy, and that they had in fact issued a check to Kenne from the ticket proceeds (we have both emails, if you would like to see them).

Kenne falsely claimed that HE was bankrupt after his production of "A Few Good Men" in early 2012 to evade paying that cast and crew. Yet bankrupt individuals are unable to continue working in the industry, renting out theaters and signing contracts with new people (We have proof of his bankruptcy claim in an email sent by Kenne to the "A Few Good Men" cast and crew).

Kenne is THOUSANDS of dollars in debt. Yet somehow he continues to put on productions, most likely through false claims (We have proof of his debt in an email sent by his former Executive Director, Randall Gray)

Kenne was evicted from his previous theater on Lankershim in North Hollywood due to not paying rent for months. Search Case # 12B02778 at the following link: http://www.lasuperiorcourt.org/ civilcasesummary/ you can see the case that was filed against him as its public record on that site.

98% of Kenne's former actors and crew members have quit his company. This includes every former cast hes worked with that cannot be a coincidence!

Kenne did NOT secure or pay for the rights to put on the play, "A Few Good Men," during its 3- week extension until the cast forced him to. Most likely he was planning to put on the play for the last 3 weeks illegally. This occurred in April of last year. Most of the original cast had quit anyway (after finding out that he hadnt paid) so he had to recast the extension (We have proof of this in emails between him and the original cast members).

Kenne did not pay for the rights to his last play, "Take Me Out," until the week the show opened - after the second cast forced him to show proof that he actually had paid for them. He had his assistant director pay, promising he would pay him back, but he never did.

Kenne's entire second cast of "Take Me Out" quit 2 weeks into the show's 3-week run (he had a first cast but all but 2 of those cast members quit on him) because the rights were pulled from the show, yet Kenne still wanted to continue illegally. Kenne veered off the "Take Me Out" script so much that Dramatists pulled the rights. He planned to continue the show without the rights until the entire cast quit on him (We have proof of this in emails sent between cast members).

Dramatists has now flagged Kenne's name so that he will NEVER be able to secure rights to any plays handled by them again (as a result of his actions with "Take Me Out"). Kenne will claim otherwise, as he likes to create fake aliases to obtain rights, but you will never see the name "Kenne Guillory" on a license sent from Dramatists again.

Kenne was kicked off Actors Access (a casting site at www.actorsaccess.com) because former cast members reported his unethical actions. Im not sure if you found his casting notice on Actors Access or another site, but on Actors Access the name "Kenne Guillory" is never mentioned. The name James Hart is used. Kenne had to create a new ID to announce the play on that site as his name would not have been accepted (We have proof of him being kicked off the site in an email sent from an executive at Actors Access; We also have proof of the casting notices on this site that do not mention his name).

Kenne's former Executive Director quit Rise Above after he could no longer stand Kenne's behavior and the way he deluded his cast members. The former Executive Director was a yahoo.com theatre critic named Randall Gray. When he quit, he sent a resignation letter to the entire company disclosing ALL of the debt Kenne was in and the lies he had told (We have a copy of Randall's resignation letter - it's very thorough. It is attached.).

And if you think that's bad, here is the REALLY disturbing information:

Kenne created a fake female profile on Facebook to request nude pictures of many of his actors. During the run of "A Few Good Men" and while rehearsals were going on with his initial "Take Me Out" cast, many of the guys in both casts starting receiving friend requests from a pretty girl named

MELISSA JONES. Her profile was very limited, but she claimed she had either seen them in a show or was "recommended to them by a friend on facebook." "Melissa" then proceeded to flirt with them and request naked pictures of them. Some of the guys started uncovering aspects of "Melissa's" emails that contained exact format matches to texts sent by Kenne, leading to the assumption that it was a fake profile set up by Kenne. At first Kenne denied this, but he finally admitted he was indeed Melissa Jones during a rehearsal for "Take Me Out." He claimed he created the profile to "check allegiances to the company." As far as I know, asking for naked pictures of cast members does not have anything to do with allegiance to a company, nor was there any conspiracy going on that warranted this type of action. The day he admitted this was also the day all but 2 actors in his first "Take Me Out" cast quit the show (Multiple people can attest to Kenne's admittance of being Melissa Jones, and we have a copy of one of Melissa Jones' emails next to texts from Kenne so you can see they are written in almost the exact same format).

There was a warrant out for Kenne's arrest in April of 2012 with bail set for $10,000. This document was seen lying around in his office by people at the old Rise Above Theatre in Noho. We do not know what specifically it was for, but we can only imagine it has to do with evading some sort of financial payment or registration.

Kenne's former fiance had to file a restraining order against him because he was sending her menacing and threatening texts. Again, this document was seen in his office by people at the old Rise Above Theatre. It detailed the types of texts he sent (a quote from the "Saw" movies) and was very disturbing. Trust me, we couldn't make that up if we tried.

This report was posted on Ripoff Report on 02/12/2013 09:21 AM and is a permanent record located here: http://www.ripoffreport.com/r/Rise-Above-Theatre-Company/Los-Angeles-California-/Rise-Above-Theatre-Company-aka-KG-Productions-aka-Kenne-Guillory-aka-James-Hart-sexual-h-1012824. The posting time indicated is Arizona local time. Arizona does not observe daylight savings so the post time may be Mountain or Pacific depending on the time of year.

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