Wendell Pierce has been praised by many for how he handled a disturbance during a performance of Death of a Salesman on Broadway.
According to Deadline, a woman interrupted the performance throughout the first act of the play, which Pierce stars in, with heckling. She continued into the second act, until she was escorted out of the audience. One Instagram user wrote how the woman was seemingly intoxicated.
“That Wendell Pierce is one of the great actors of his generation should hardly be a secret. But tonight, in the middle of his electrifying performance as Willy Loman in Arthur Miller’s DEATH OF A SALESMAN, he was forced to break character when an irate, seemingly inebriated audience member disrupted the play’s second act so intensely that the action had to be suspended,” they wrote, according to MEAWW.
“When the house lights came up, he patiently & heroically pleaded with her to leave peacefully despite her insistence that she should be carried out forcefully (She was eventually escorted out by police),” they continued. “After the play resumed, Pierce segued seamlessly back into the role of a lifetime–his first appearance on Broadway in three decades–an acting job all the more remarkable given the real-life drama that could have derailed the entire night.”
Other social media users wrote about the incident on other platforms like Reddit, with further descriptions of how, before she was forced to leave, she seemed to be preparing to leave during intermission, only to come back to say she wouldn’t leave. One Reddit user wrote, “A little while later she starts screaming at the top of her lungs that she wasn’t leaving and if she couldn’t see the rest of the show neither would anyone else.” This is when Pierce flew into action, as the Instagram users described.
Commenters heaped praises on Pierce, with one user on Instagram writing in the comment section of the above post, “My husband and I were in the dress circle for this performance. I was so impressed with how Mr. Pierce and the entire cast handled the disruption. The show was fantastic and the unfortunate (and bizarre) disruption was just a blip. Theater security and the police did their jobs well, although it took several minutes to remove the woman. Mr. Pierce especially showed such class, patience, humor, and humanity–I’m an even bigger fan now!”