A Broadway theatergoer who said a “Hadestown” actor accused her of recording the musical has received an apology for the “embarrassing” misunderstanding. (Watch the Instagram video below.)
Audience member Samantha Coleman explained in a tearful Instagram video Wednesday that she has hearing loss and was actually using a captioning device to better follow along.
Coleman said Lillias White, a Tony winner who began playing Hermes in the show last month, called her out at least twice during the performance that day. Coleman sat in the front row.
“I think it’s a misunderstanding but we still need to talk about it,” Coleman said in her Instagram post.
She added that “to be publicly ridiculed really hurts” and criticized Broadway for systemic accessibility issues.
“i desperately hope my story can prevent another horrifying and embarrassing experience for someone else,” Coleman, who also has progressive vision loss, wrote in the caption. She added, “it was my worst fear, and it was realized. i don’t know if/when i’ll feel comfortable using a captioning devices again.”
Coleman gives her account of what happened in this Instagram video:
The production and Jujamcyn Theatres, the chain that owns the Walter Kerr Theatre venue for “Hadestown,” apologized and pledged its commitment “to accessibility in all forms.”
“The incident yesterday is a reminder that this is an ongoing process needing constant revisiting and renewal,” theater officials said in a statement to “Today.”
“Providing access is also about educating everyone in the theater about how we can be more supportive,” the theater continued, adding that it is reviewing its policies to prevent future incidents.
“The production connected directly with Samantha earlier today to convey their apologies and thank her for bringing this to their attention so that it can be addressed,” the theater officials said.
They also invited Coleman back to the show on the house, according to “Today.”
“Today” reported that it reached out to Coleman and White but did not hear back.
Coleman and a rep for White did not immediately respond to HuffPost’s request for comment.