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Climate Activists Disrupt Broadway’s ‘An Enemy Of The People’


Climate activists disrupted tonight’s Broadway performance of An Enemy Of The People, bringing the production starring Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli to a brief halt as protesters shouted “No theater on a dead planet” before being subdued by ushers.

The interruption came during a scene in the Ibsen play in which the lead character, played by Strong, addresses a rowdy town hall gathering. The scene is performed in the Broadway revival at Circle in the Square with house lights up and some audience members invited to gather in the in-the-round performance space to replicate the town hall setting.

Shouting “No Broadway on a dead planet,” at least three or four protesters, most in the audience seats but at least one storming the stage area, brought the play to a stop for several minutes. At least two of the cast’s actors, including Imperioli and David Patrick Kelly, shouted back at the disrupters, drawing applause from the initially confused audience.

After a couple minutes of shouting and chaos, an announcer on the venue’s PA system asked the cast to leave the stage area. Before the actors had a chance to exit, the protesters were removed. One of the activists struggled with ushers to the point of nearly falling to the ground.

The group’s tactic was similar to a recent protest during Les Miserables on London’s West End. A representative for An Enemy of the People told Deadline that the production did not know if criminal charges had been filed; at least one NYPD vehicle with flashing lights was parked outside the Midtown theater following the performance.

Kelly, who plays the elderly father-in-law of Strong’s main character, approached one of the activists and shouted “Write your own play!” several times.

Imperioli also yelled back at the protesters, though the response initially seemed in keeping with the actor’s character – a Russian mayor attempting to control the play’s rowdy town hall gathering. When Imperioli shouted at the activists to shut up, the audience, catching on to the situation, responded with applause. One woman yelled an approving “Christopher!,” a reference to the actor’s character on The Sopranos.



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