Advertisement

Michael Imperioli Escorts Climate Protestors Out of Broadway’s ‘An Enemy of the People’

Climate change protestors disrupted Thursday night’s performance of Broadway’s “An Enemy of the People.” The disturbance briefly halted the play and resulted in several of the cast members, including star Michael Imperioli, helping to usher them out of the theater.

The activists, who identified themselves as Extinction Rebellion, interrupted the performance three separate times, shouting phrases like “No theater on a dead planet” before Imperioli (without breaking character) began pushing one of the protestors toward the exit.

More from Variety

“An Enemy of the People” stars Jeremy Strong as Dr. Thomas Stockmann, a medial professional who discovers harmful bacteria in the town spas. But those in power, including the mayor (Imperioli), who also happens to be Dr. Stockmann’s brother, try to silence him and turn him into an enemy of the people. During the interrupted scene, select audience members happened to be seated on stage for a town hall, causing some in the crowd to think the protesters were part of the show.

In a statement, Extinction Rebellion called theater a “powerful medium for provoking social change.”

“[Thursday’s] action highlights the failure of governments and corporations to treat climate and ecological breakdown as the crisis it is,” the group wrote. “The group emphasizes that the present socio-economic system can’t protect people from the environmental crises to come, because its very structure creates these crises and then ignores them.”

Imperioli acknowledged the incident on Instagram, implying that although his character may not side with the protestors, he supports science. “Tonight was wild….no hard feelings extinction rebellion crew,” he wrote. “Michael is on your side but mayor stockmann is not. Much love.”

Amy Herzog adapted the revival of Henrik Ibsen’s “An Enemy of the People,” directed by Sam Gold. It’s running for a 16-week limited engagement at Broadway’s Circle in the Square Theatre.

Best of Variety

Sign up for Variety’s Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.