An actor was fired after throwing out a heckler in the audience who was shouting ‘faggot’ at the cast.
John Lacy, who was performing as Big Daddy in a California production of Tennessee Williams’ Cat On A Hot Tin Roof, was growing tired of the unruly patron’s behavior.
According to other people at the show, the audience member was repeatedly making noise and yelled ‘fag’ during emotionally tense scenes.
The actor jumped off the stage, physically confronted the audience member, and threw him out of the theater.
After the incident, Lacy went back on stage to a standing ovation, and the show continued.
According to The Wrap, the actor was then fired.
Lead actor Anton Troy resigned in solidarity, saying the show’s producers should have handled the audience member themselves.
‘I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn't support its talent,’ Troy wrote.
‘Hate in any form is not something I choose to subscribe to. John is a seasoned professional and an honorable man.
‘It should never escalate to a point where the talent has to handle an unruly drunk in the audience themselves regardless of the outcome. Producers dropped the ball, the fish stinks from the head on down.’
But not all agreed. Cast member Missy Kaye said she was ‘NOT proud’ to be an actor.
‘By you jumping off the stage and putting your hands on this guy put the whole theatre in jeopardy, cast and audience, and to me that is unforgivable,’ Kaye said.
‘What if this guy had a weapon? Did that cross your mind?’
The Repertory East Playhouse in Newhall said Monday that its managers had not been made aware of the situation at the time, or else they would have intervened.
The run of Cat On A Hot Tin Roof has been suspended. As the play is slated to run for just two more weeks, it is unlikely there will be sufficient time to recast the two vacated roles.