New York City's provocative rendition of Julius Caesar, which features an actor bearing the likeness of Donald Trump in the title role, was disrupted by a pro-Trump protester who rushed the stage in Central Park.
The protester was quickly taken down by Shakespeare in the Park security Friday evening and the Public Theater, which puts on the free production, thanked the audience and people who helped whisk the activist away.
Earlier this evening, a pair of paid protestors briefly disrupted our performance of JULIUS CAESAR, as anticipated. (1/4)— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 17, 2017
While we are champions of the first amendment, this interruption unfortunately was part of a paid strategy driven by social media. (2/4)— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 17, 2017
Thank you to our staff and security who worked to peacefully remove them from the theater... (3/4)— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 17, 2017
...so we could continue with our evening of Free Shakespeare in the Park. (4/4)— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 17, 2017
Help us spread a positive message: #FreeShakespeare.— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 17, 2017
The play resumed to the cheers and applause of audience members.
“The staff removed the protesters peacefully, and the show resumed with the line ‘Liberty! Freedom!’ The audience rose to their feet to thank the actors, and we joyfully continued. Free speech for all, but let’s not stop the show,” Oskar Eustis, the artistic director of the play, told The New York Times.
The production of Julius Caesar, which opened last month, will close Sunday.
The theater has paid tribute to the fans who have come to enjoy the play on Twitter.