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Children's Theatre Company settles with 6 sex abuse survivors

They suffered sexual abuse in the '70s at the hands of the company's artistic director and 2 other staffers.

The Children's Theatre Company has announced it's settled six lawsuits with survivors of sexual assault while they were students.

The survivors were all subjected to sexual abuse by the Minneapolis theater company's 

The students are all survivors of sexual abuse that occurred at the theater company in the 1970s, including at the hands of former artistic director John Clark Donahue, one of the company's founders, and two former employees.

Clark Donahue was charged in 1984 with molesting multiple young boys during his tenure there. He was subsequently convicted and served 10 months in jail. 

He died this past March at the age of 80.

While it has settled with six survivors, there remain nine others who have yet to reach an agreement with the company. The details of the settlement announced on Wednesday, including the amounts involved, have not been disclosed.

"To those survivors who have shared their stories with us: We are so profoundly sorry," the company said. "Your courage in sharing your abuse has challenged us to think more creatively about the strategies by which we can support and honor you."

"A theatre’s purpose is to serve its community," it added. "Not only does the CTC of today and tomorrow have no place for abuse of any kind, we pledge to uphold the values of our community to the highest standard.

"Like so many of you, we choose to work at and serve CTC because of our love of theatre and to help foster that same connection in the children of our community—to spark joy through art and performance. Any kind of abuse of children is abhorrent and goes against our core values."

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The CTC says it's taken a series of steps to rectify its past, including by acknowledging the historic abuse of the '70s and '80s in its Adult Youth Engagement Policy, which provides guidelines on intervention and reporting of suspected abuse.

All staff and volunteers will also undergo yearly child safety training, while all child actors and parents will be made aware of past abuses.

It will also go on to establishes a "Survivor Fund" once all the legal cases are settled, which will be used to "support and honor survivors as well as the broader community for many years to come."

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