Two Trump supporters were arrested after disrupting the final performance of the Public Theater's controversial production of Julius Caesar in Central Park on Sunday night. One man rushed the stage and yelled, "Liberal hate kills!" and "Goebbels would be proud!" and then, reportedly 20 minutes later, another interrupted the performance by shouting, "Goebbels would be proud!"
The Public's staging of the classic play about political power has been criticized for making Julius Caesar a President Donald Trump-like figure—long, red tie; yellowy hair; a propensity to Tweet; a Slavic wife—who is killed in very bloody fashion. Sponsors Delta Airlines and Bank of America dropped their support of the production, prompting outrage from some who question why there wasn't this kind of furor over a 2012 production in the Twin Cities that featured a President Barack Obama-inspired Caesar. Last week there was a small rally in support of the non-profit's mission.
The NYPD says that Jovanni Valle, a 26-year-old Brooklyn resident, and Salvatore Cipolla, a 28-year-old from Oceanside, Long Island, were both charged with criminal trespass and disorderly conduct. A police spokesman said that they refused to leave and were "creating an unreasonable amount of noise."
Here's video of someone believed to be Valle:
One audience member told the NY Post, “During the show a guy jumped on stage, had on fake camera glasses, calling everyone Goebbels and Nazis and he was tackled and [taken] out... During the Senate stabbing, a big guy jumped on the stage with a beard. They grabbed him right away. He was saying, ‘I’m tired of this bullshit,’ as they were taking him away."
Here's the other one:
Not once but twice!👏👏👏👏👏 pic.twitter.com/iSTrqa9eUY
— DANNYHOAGLAND1 (@DANNYHOAGLAND1) June 19, 2017
— Salvatore Cipolla (@Pterodactyliii) June 19, 2017
This comes two days after alt-right blogger Laura Loomer was arrested for charging the stage during Friday night's production. She yelled, "Stop the normalization of political violence against the right — this is unacceptable! You cannot promote this kind of violence against Donald Trump!" before being arrested for criminal trespass and disorderly conduct.
On the play's opening night, the Public Theater's Artist Director Oskar Eustis, who directed Julius Caesar, told the audience, "When we hold a mirror up to nature, often what we reveal are disturbing, upsetting, provoking things. Anybody who watches this play tonight—and I’m sorry there’s going to be a couple of spoiler alerts here—will know that neither Shakespeare nor the Public Theater could possibly advocate violence as a solution to political problems, and certainly not assassination.
"This play, on the contrary, warns what happens when you try to preserve democracy through non-democratic means. But at the same time, one of the dangers unleashed is a large crowd of people manipulated by their emotions, taken over by leaders that urge them to do things not only against their interests, but that destroy the very institutions there to serve and protect them."
— The Public Theater (@PublicTheaterNY) June 19, 2017
The next production of Shakespeare in Park is A Midsummer's Night Dream, which starts previews on July 11th.