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Protesters disrupt performance of ‘An Enemy of the People’

The incident occurred during the March 14 preview performance.

(L-R) Victoria Pedretti and Jeremy Strong in “An Enemy of the People” on Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Emilio Madrid)

A protester disrupted the performance during the March 14 evening preview of Broadway’s “An Enemy of the People.” Currently playing the Circle in the Square Theatre, the revival of Henrik Ibsen’s drama is set to open on March 18.

A representative for the production declined to comment.

In a video posted to X, the protestor, who has not been identified, can be heard shouting:

“I object. I object to the silencing of scientists. I am very, very sorry to interrupt your night and this amazing performance. I am a theater artist, I work in this theater professionally. I am throwing my career under the bus.”

Members of the cast stayed in character and replied, “I’m sorry, you need to leave.” Actors continued to respond in character and escorted the protester from the house.

“Our water is poison,” the protester continued as they exited. “The oceans are acidifying. The oceans are rising and will swallow this city and this entire theater. I am putting my career on the line because we are not doing anything about this crisis. The water is coming for us. Broadway will not survive a dead planet. There is no Broadway on a dead planet.” 

The video was posted by the account “Extinction Rebellion NYC,” the local chapter of a global, nonpartisan climate justice group. After the performance, Extinction Rebellion NYC sent a press release taking responsibility for the action, saying they were protesting unfair charges against climate activists Joanna Smith and Tim Martin. The two were charged with “conspiracy to commit an offense against the United States and injury to a National Gallery of Art exhibit,” after painting the glass case that encloses Edgar Degas’ sculpture “Little Dancer” housed at the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. 

Extinction Rebellion said in a statement, “Just as ‘An Enemy of the People’ demands people act, Extinction Rebellion too is demanding immediate action.” The organization identified three in-audience protesters: Kyle Butler, Nate Smith and Lydia Woolley.

“An Enemy of the People” tells the story of Dr. Thomas Stockmann who discovers that the water in his Norwegian town is contaminated. He alerts the mayor, who is also his brother, Peter. But the water is the economic heart of the region and the brothers are at odds about what is best for the people of their community.

The revival features a script translated and adapted by Amy Herzog. Directed by Sam Gold, “An Enemy of the People” stars Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli as the Stockmann brothers. 

“An Enemy of the People” is produced by Seaview, Patrick Catullo and Plan B.