Video: Jeremy Strong Responds to Climate Change Protesters at Enemy of the People | Playbill

Broadway News Video: Jeremy Strong Responds to Climate Change Protesters at Enemy of the People

The production's star wasn't upset at being interrupted.

It's a common assumption that when actors are interrupted by audience members during a performance, they feel disrespected. But that hasn't been the case for the actors in An Enemy of the People on Broadway. On March 14, the play, starring Jeremy Strong and Michael Imperioli, was interrupted by climate change activism group Extinction Rebellion NYC, who stopped the show. The protesters were then ushered out of the theatre. Now, Strong has reacted to the protest, in an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

In the show, which takes place in a small Norwegian town, Strong plays whistleblower Doctor Thomas Stockmann, who discovers that the town bathwater has been poisoned. But because the town depends on those baths economically and for tourism, its officials refuse to listen to Thomas. On his Late Night appearance, Strong admits that while he was thrown off by the protestors, he understood where they were coming from.

"This is a play about trying to communicate an inconvenient truth to the power structure," he says. "I have kids…I’d be a hypocrite if I didn’t, in a way, support what [the protesters] were saying. It only underlined the message of the play, which is that we’re all in this together and we’re all in deep shit. It’s, like, record wildfires, record heat, record flood.” He also added that if An Enemy of the People "could be a force multiplier for saying something about the world we all live in, then I’m all for that.” Listen to more of Strong's thoughts on returning to Broadway after starring in HBO's Succession in the video above.

Strong's opinion is shared by his castmates. In an interview with the New Yorker, Imperioli (who plays Thomas' brother, Peter, the town's mayor) also gave his thoughts. "I kind of agree with the protesters! I think we’re headed for disaster, climate-wise. And it’s a lot more pressing than I think a lot of us want to admit," he said, adding that he thought the protesters had "soul and guts" and that, "I think there’s something very touching about people who care that much. I think they know the show’s on their side. We’re all on their side. I’m on their side. The show is about this!"

Read: Michael Imperioli Is Making His Broadway Debut, But He Actually Used to Run a Theatre

Similar protests have disrupted performances at The Metropolitan Opera, and at least one West End performance of Les Misérables. The latter was the work of a different activist group, Just Stop Oil.

An Enemy of the People continues its run on Broadway at Circle in the Square Theatre. The revival of the Ibsen classic features a new adaptation from 2023 Tony nominee Amy Herzog, with Tony winner Sam Gold directing. The cast also includes Victoria Pedretti (The Haunting of Hill House) as Petra Stockmann, David Patrick Kelly (Once) as Morten Kiil, Katie Broad as Randine, Bill Buell (Ink), Caleb Eberhardt (Choir Boy) as Hovstad, Matthew August Jeffers as Billing, David Mattar Merten, Max Roll (Good Night, Oscar), Thomas Jay Ryan as Aslaksen, and Alan Trong as Captain Horster.

The production also features scenic design by dots, costume design by David Zinn, lighting design by Isabella Byrd, sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman, hair and wig design by Campbell Young Associates, production stage management by Rachel Bauder, technical supervision by Juniper Street Productions, fight direction by Thomas Schall, and casting by Taylor Williams Casting. 101 Productions serves as general manager.

Photos: Jeremy Strong, Michael Imperioli, Victoria Pedretti, More Open An Enemy of the People On Broadway

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