The first Friday night performance of the Guthrie Theater's A Christmas Carol in two years was delayed by a woman in the audience who caused a major disruption by screaming racist comments.
Patrons attending A Christmas Carol were seated and ready for the 7:30 p.m. showtime when a woman began screaming in the crowd. According to social media posts from witnesses, the woman ranted for upwards of 30 minutes, sparking a delay and creating a very uncomfortable situation.
A video that has gone viral on Twitter shows the incident. The woman appears to scream "get out of my country," though it's not clear to whom the remark was directed.
It's unclear what prompted the woman's behavior, but theatergoers have been discussing the issue on Twitter. One person said she wasn't sure how it started, but it happened "right as the lights were dimming to start the show and then we all heard yelling and it went crazy for like 40 minutes after that."
Another Twitter user said "Two people in front of her took a selfie during the curtain speech," which "made her very angry and she decided to take her mask off because they were also 'breaking the rules.'" The user also alleged that the woman spit on his friend after his friend told the woman to put her mask back on.
One Twitter user claims the woman directed racist remarks at "non-white audience members sitting right in front of her."
The woman then is heard screaming, "You ruin my night at the play, yours is going to suck."
"They're mocking Shakespearian drama while they watch an English play," she continued. "Losers! Losers all of you. You don't know what Macbeth is. Macbeth! Macbeth!"
The woman said she wasn't going to leave until the cops arrived, with some audience members mention on social media that she did eventually leave once the police arrived. That report has been confirmed by Guthrie Theater Managing Director James Haskins, who released the following statement.
“On November 12, the Guthrie Theater’s performance of A Christmas Carol was delayed due to a disruptive patron in the audience. Members of Audience Services and our Health, Safety and Security Team responded immediately and asked the individual to exit the auditorium. After approximately 30 minutes, the person was peacefully removed by police and the performance continued. The staff who responded to the incident believe it was an unplanned, isolated event, and unrelated to any safety protocols the theater has required of its audience members. We greatly appreciate the care our staff demonstrated in handling the situation, and thank the audience for their the patience and support.”