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Patti LuPone has left the Actors’ Equity union and hinted an end to her Broadway career.
The 73-year-old actress – who infamously stopped production of ‘Gypsy’ she was starring in in 2009 when an audience member was on their phone – has spent decades on the New York stage starring in acclaimed productions of musicals such as ‘Les Miserables’, ‘Sunset Boulevard’ and ‘Sweeney Todd’ but is “no longer part of that circus” just days after seeing her name “bandied about” in connection to a more recent incident, which saw an audience member at ‘Hadestown’ reprimanded for using a captioning device.
She tweeted: “Quite a week on Broadway, seeing my name being bandied about. Gave up my Equity card; no longer part of that circus. Figure it out.”
The multi-Tony Award-winner later revealed that she had in fact resigned from the Actors’ Equity Association – which strives to negotiate fair wages and provide performers with reasonable working conditions – earlier this year after starring in a production of Stephen Sondheim musical ‘Company’ and warned she would not be on stage for a “very long time.”
In a statement, she said: “When the run of Company ended this past July, I knew I wouldn’t be on stage for a very long time. And at that point I made the decision to resign from Equity.”
Her comments come just days after the alleged incident at ‘Hadestown’ – which Patti is not involved in -, after which deaf audience member Samantha Coleman alleged that actress Lillias White mistakenly believed she was recording the show.
In a video posted to Instagram, she said: “I was sitting in the front row of ‘Hadestown’ tonight and Lillias White not once but twice at least reprimanded me from the stage because she thought my captioning device was a recording device. For Lillias, because I don’t think this is inherently her malice, I think it’s a misunderstanding, but we still need to talk about it.
“There is a systemic issue in the theatre community and the theatre industry specifically with Broadway about accessibility and inclusion, and some of that has been changed by the creation of technology like captioning devices so that people can be able to experience a show that may not have been able to before.”