Shakespeare in the Park’s final showing of “Julius Caesar” was disrupted again Sunday evening, the end of a nearly four-week run met with controversy.
Two men were arrested during the 8 p.m. showing of the production held at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, the NYPD said Monday.
Brooklyn resident Jovanni Valle, 26, and Salvatore Cipolla, 28, from Oceanside, Long Island, were arrested near 9:20 p.m. and each charged with criminal trespassing and disorderly conduct after disrupting the show, police said. Both were given desk appearance tickets and ordered to appear in court on Aug. 16, police said.
Apparent video from Sunday’s production posted to social media shows a man running onto the stage yelling, “liberal hate kills.” He was quickly removed by security and met by a mix of boos and claps from the crowd. Two protesters were also caught on video disrupting the show Friday night.
The Shakespeare in the Park production portrays a President Donald Trump-like character as Caesar and includes a scene in which the lead is assassinated. The Public Theater addressed the disruptions on Saturday by tweeting, “Thank you to our staff and security who worked to peacefully remove them from the theater … so we could continue with our evening of Free Shakespeare in the Park.”
A statement from artistic director Oskar Eustis on the company’s website explains the adaptation stayed true to the work of Shakespeare.
“... In case you were wondering: no, we didn’t write any new lines. It’s all Shakespeare,” Eustis wrote.
The controversy resulted in a higher demand for tickets in its final week. The production company thanked its “46,000 enthusiastic audience members and global supporters” on Twitter after its final showing Sunday.
Delta Air Lines and Bank of America each pulled their sponsorship of the Public Theater following the backlash.
“No matter what your political stance may be, the graphic staging of Julius Caesar at this summer’s Free Shakespeare in the Park does not reflect Delta Air Lines’ values,” Delta said in a statement on June 11. “Their artistic and creative direction crossed the line on the standards of good taste.”