Following the leak of bootleg video footage from Broadway's Tony-nominated revival of Take Me Out capturing a scene with Tony nominee Jesse Williams in the buff, Second Stage has released a statement condemning the filming and posting of the clip and pledging to increase staff at the Hayes Theatre to prevent further illicit filming.
"Second Stage Theater has worked to ensure the privacy of the Take Me Out company by creating a phone-free space with locked phone cases at all performances," shares the company on Twitter, referencing the production's use of sealed Yondr pouches for cell phones. "We are appalled that this policy has been violated and unauthorized footage of our acting company has been posted. It is deeply unfortunate that one audience member chose to disrespect the production, their fellow audience members, and, most importantly, the cast in this manner. Taking naked pictures of anyone without their consent is highly objectionable and can have severe legal consequences. Posting it on the internet is a gross and unacceptable violation of trust between the actor and audience forged in the theatre community. We are actively pursuing takedown requests and ask that no one participates in the distribution of these images. Second Stage is also adding additional staff at the theatre to enforce the policy."
Though all Broadway shows ban the taking of photographs and audio or video recording of any kind during performances, the Take Me Out leak is especially notable because the production requires audiences to store powered-down phones in Yondr pouches for the duration of the performance. Staff lock the pouches as audience members enter the theatre and unlock them as the audience leaves. The pouches have previously been seen on Broadway during the original run of Freestyle Love Supreme.
Second Stage's Broadway revival of the Richard Greenberg play officially opened at the Hayes Theater April 4. Directed by Scott Ellis, the production features Grey's Anatomy alum Jesse Williams starring as baseball star Darren Lemming, center fielder for the Empires, who comes out of the closet, revealing a tradition of long-held unspoken prejudices off the field. As the Empires struggle to rally toward a championship season, the players and their fans begin to question the old ways, their loyalties, and the price of victory.
Co-starring with Williams are Jesse Tyler Ferguson, Patrick J. Adams, Julian Cihi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, Michael Oberholtzer, Eduardo Ramos, and Tyler Lansing Weaks. The company is rounded out by understudies Ryan Broussard, Michael Castillejos, Lance Takeshi, Stephen Wattrus, and Tim Wright.
Take Me Out premiered on Broadway in 2003, winning the Best Play Tony Award. Second Stage's production is the play's first Broadway revival. Ellis and Williams will reportedly continue their work with the piece as it is adapted as a TV mini-series expected to premiere later this year.
Second Stage's revival features scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Linda Cho, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design by Bray Poor, and casting by Jim Carnahan. Fight direction is by Sordelet Inc., with Barclay Stiff serving as production stage manager and Kelly Levy as stage manager.