As Deadline first reported Tuesday, the incident took place shortly before 10 p.m. and during the final scene of the play, which stars Jeff Daniels and Celia Keenan-Bolger. When a motorcycle backfired near New York’s Times Square, frightened pedestrians began dashing into the lobby of the Shubert Theatre, as well as Sardi’s restaurant, a popular nightspot for theatergoers located across the street.
According to Gideon Glick, who plays Dill Harris in the show, the sounds of the crowd emanating from both the theater’s exterior and the lobby sparked panic among both the “Mockingbird” cast, who left the stage, and audience members.
Keenan-Bolger, who won a Tony Award for her portrayal of Scout Finch, shared her perspective on the “terrifying” experience in a series of tweets.
According to Playbill, the panic also reached the nearby Music Box and Imperial theaters, where the hit musicals “Dear Evan Hansen” and “Ain’t Too Proud—The Life and Times of The Temptations” are being staged.
While the performances of those shows had both concluded, cast members and audience members were asked to stay inside the theaters until the fracas outside subsided.
The New York City Police Department addressed the reports in a tweet late Tuesday, confirming that the sounds had, in fact, been motorcycles backfiring.
A representative for “To Kill a Mockingbird” declined to comment.