Anton Troy and John Lacy, who was fired

A theatre performance went horribly wrong when a member of the audience began shouting out anti-gay slurs at the actors.

On Saturday, the abusive man twice yelled out “fag” during a performance of Tennessee Williams’ Cat on a Hot Tin Roof in Santa Clara, California.

Actor John Lacy, who played the role of Big Daddy, snapped when the homophobic heckler interrupted him as he was about to deliver a monologue.

“The second time, I wasn’t going to stand for it anymore,” Lacy told KHTS Radio. “He was so loud and so invasive to our performance.”

Lacy walked off stage and physically confronted the bigot. “I gave him a little shove to let him know I was there and because of the alcohol, he went down pretty easily.”

The intoxicated audience member was escorted out and the performance resumed, concluding with a standing ovation. Behind the scenes, however, things were less rosy. Lacy was that night fired by Repertory East Playhouse director Ovington M. Owston over the incident.

The following day, fellow actors Anton Troy, who played the sexually confused Brick, and Anthony Bietel resigned in solidarity with their castmate, causing the rest of the show’s run to be cancelled.


Anton Troy resigned in solidarity with his castmate

“I will not support homophobia or an establishment that doesn’t support its talent,” said Troy on his Facebook page.

“Hate in any form is not something I choose to subscribe to. John is a seasoned professional and an honourable man. It should never escalate to a point where the talent has to handle an unruly drunk in the audience themselves regardless of the outcome. Producers dropped the ball, the fish stinks from the head on down,” said the actor.

In a press release, Owston said that “disruptive behaviour, including disparaging remarks from the audience, incidents of bullying or hate speech, and racial, discriminatory or homophobic utterances, will not be tolerated and offending parties will be asked to leave the theatre.”

He added: “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.”

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