Broadway’s Hadestown issued an apology after an audience member was reprimanded by an actor who mistakenly thought their captioning device was being used for recording.
In an emotional video posted to social media, audience member Samantha Coleman said she was called out “not once, but twice, for recording the performance” by Lillias White, who plays Hermes in the production. “She thought my captioning device was a recording device,” Samantha explained.
“I don’t this is inherently her malice, I think it’s a misunderstanding,” she continued. “My hearing is such that I need a captioning device in order to see a show. And to be ostracized and publicly ridiculed really hurts. It was super embarrassing.”
Her account of viewing the show further went viral on Twitter:
Where it sparked a discussion about whether checking the audience for recording devices should be left to the ushers, rather than the cast — especially given Broadway legend’s Patti Lupone’s penchant for yelling at audience members:
Hadestown subsequently issued an apology:
“Providing access is also about educating everyone in the theater about how we can be more supportive,” a spokesperson for Hadestown added in a statement. “We are reviewing our policies and internal protocols to ensure this doesn’t happen again.”
Samantha later followed up with a call to “stop harassing” Lillias for the incident:
The theater that Hadestown is in provides I-Caption devices, which are basically small, handheld screens that show, lyrics, dialogue, and sound effects. Some shows also provide captioning via an app — unfortunately, this does run the risk of even more people mistaking the phone usage for illegal recording.
Here’s hoping this doesn’t happen again!