The heart of Broadway was the site of panic August 6 as a motorcycle backfire was mistaken for gunshots in the theatre district.
“People tried to get into the theatre for safety,” Keenan-Bolger, who earned a Tony for her performance as Scout Finch earlier this year, tweeted. “This was terrifying for the audience, who heard screaming and banging on the doors, so they hid or ran and tried to flee.”
“Screaming civilians tried to storm our theatre for safety,” Gideon Glick, who co-stars as Dill in the Aaron Sorkin-penned adaptation, added. “The audience started screaming, and the cast fled the stage.”
Across the street, the Imperial Theatre, home of Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations—momentarily went under lockdown as audiences began to file out post-performance. The next-door Music Box Theatre faced a similar situation as Dear Evan Hansen cast members and audience members were told to stay in the theatre.
As 7 PM is the standard start time for Tuesday curtains, most shows in the vicinity had ended before the disruption occurred just before 10 PM.
The scare occurred just over a week after two massacres took the lives of over 30 people in one weekend—in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio—in a year when there have been, on average, more than one mass shootings a day in the U.S.
“I’m still processing the whole experience, but all I can think about are the young people who’ve had to go through the actual thing,” Keenan-Bolger wrote. “The trauma and fear that they’ve had to endure and what something like that does to a young person’s brain. We cannot go on like this.”