SEE ALSO: Full Statement from the REP
[KHTS] – An altercation took place during Saturday’s show at the REP Theatre in Newhall after an audience member yelled “fag” twice during key scenes in the two-act performance, said Valencia resident John Lacy, who portrayed Big Daddy in the play.
Lacy’s character was about to deliver an important monologue to the character of Brick, played by Anton Troy, when the audience member yelled the slur in response to a question Lacy’s character asked Troy’s.
“The second time, I wasn’t going to stand for it anymore,” Lacy said. “He was so loud and so invasive to our performance.”
Lacy walked off to the side of the stage and said, “Who said that?” according to Tim Sullivan, who was in the audience. The person who made the slurs then stood up and said, “I did.”
“I gave him a little shove to let him know I was there,” Lacy said, “and because of the alcohol, he went down pretty easily.”
Sullivan, who was sitting nearby, grabbed the man who was on the floor and ushered him into the lobby, Lacy said.
The actors restarted from the interruption and continued the show, Lacy said.
“As an audience member and a gay audience member, I’ve been to a lot of theater and I’ve never experienced something where the thematics of the story, homophobia and hate, that were depicted on stage, were depicted in the audience,” Sullivan said, referencing the “Cat On A Hot Tin Roof” storyline.
“When the play ended, that audience stood on its feet and cheered Anton and John more than they would any other night,” he said.
After a wrap party with the cast and crew, Ovington M. Owston fired Lacy, according to the actor.
The following day, Troy said he resigned in a show of solidarity, as did another actor in the show named Anthony Bietel.
“We are committed to provide groundbreaking subject matter and professional performances to our audiences,” said Ovington Michael Owston, executive director of the REP. “We are extremely sorry that our patrons experienced this disruption and will do our best to make it up to those holding reservations for cancelled performances.”
No further comment would be made by Owston at the direction of the theater’s board of directors and legal counsel, he said.
The next show in the REP’s 2014 season, “Return to the Forbidden Planet,” is in pre-production and is scheduled to open July 11.