Wendell Pierce praised for response after audience member disrupts Broadway show

Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke in Death of a Salesman (DKG)
Wendell Pierce and Sharon D Clarke in Death of a Salesman (DKG)

Wendell Pierce has been commended by fans after his response to an off-stage disturbance at a performance of Death of a Salesman on Broadway.

The actor, known to many for his work as Detective Bunk Moreland on The Wire, is currently leading a production of the Arthur Miller play, made up of mostly Black actors.

He plays the central salesman, Willie Loman, while British actor Sharon D Clarke plays his wife Linda, in a double reprisal of their roles from the 2019 West End production.

During a performance of the show on Wednesday (28 December), the action on stage had to be called to a halt at the beginning of act two.

According to footage from other theatregoers, an audience member began shouting at Pierce during a scene, demanding her money back.

As the audience member continued making loud noises and approaching the stage, Pierce broke out of character and addressed the commotion directly.

Though a crew announcement directed the cast to exit the stage, Pierce remained to face the heckler.

“Hold on,” Pierce said loudly. “I’ve waited too long for this.”

Later, he is heard appealing to the audience member to guarantee that she’d get her money back, so that the cast could resume their performance.

This content is not available due to your privacy preferences.
Update your settings here to see it.

The audience member was eventually removed by security, and the show continued as normal.

Many commenters online were sympathetic to Pierce having to deal with disruption during what should have been an intense moment in the story.

“Poor Wendell. This is one of those roles of a lifetime and his concentration must have been shook,” wrote one fan on TikTok. Similarly, another added: “Poor Wendell, man. He’s a professional but this would still knock you out of the character for a minute.”

However, many were complimentary of the actor’s management of the startling moment.

“Wendell Pierce was the consummate gentleman,” said one, while another offered: “Wendell Pierce was quite gracious throughout the ordeal which apparently went on for 30+ minutes!”

The Independent has reached out to the Hudson Theatre for comment.