Actor Fired After Confronting Anti-Gay Heckler During CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF Performance; Says 'I'd Do It Again'
As BWW previously reported, during the May 31st performance of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF at Repertory East Playhouse in Santa Clarita, Calif., actor John Lacy, who was playing 'Big Daddy' in the production of the Tennessee Williams' play, jumped down from the stage and confronted a heckler who had been yelling anti-gay slurs, including the term "fag", from the audience.
The man had been drinking excessively during intermission and commenting throughout the performance. According to new reports, Lacy went out into the audience and pushed the man, who fell to the ground. Another audience member then escorted the man from the theater.
Lacy was fired following the incident, and fellow lead actor Anton Troy resigned in solidarity with his co-star.
"I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn't support its talent," Troy wrote on Facebook. "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."
The pair appeared on CBS2 Los Angeles last night, June 2, to discuss the incident. "It caught me by surprise, and once the anger set in, and I heard him say it a second time, I didn't see what my options were," Lacy said in the interview. "Loving your fellow man is what we're here to do. I'd do it again." Watch the interview here.
The theatre released a statement outlining what happened on Saturday night: "During that evening's performance, an unruly patron allegedly made discriminatory comments that distracted audience members and a confrontation occurred between a member of the cast and the disturbing party. The management of the REP regrets that this situation was not brought to their attention sooner and would like to assure future audiences that disruptive behavior, including disparaging remarks from the audience, incidents of bullying or hate speech, and racial, discriminatory or homophobic utterances, will not be tolerated and offending parties will be asked to leave the theater."
Because of insufficent time to re-cast the two lead roles previously played by Lacy and Troy, the remaining performances of CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF have been cancelled.
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF won Tennessee Williams the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1955. The play centers on a family living on a plantation in the Mississippi Delta and among many other topics and ideas, examines issues of sexual desire, repression and homosexuality.
BroadwayWorld will keep you updated as the situation develops...