Last week, reports surfaced about a New York theatre-goer who climbed on stage before a performance of the play Hand to God to plug his phone in to charge. The incident gained attention after a Facebook post from audience member Chris York described the events, and was later confirmed by Playbill, with YouTube footage showing the whole episode unfurling like a slow-mo human car crash.
And no, the outlet wasn't even real
There are cries of "oh, god" from the audience, plaintive questions about whether the outlet is even real (the answer: no, it wasn't), and even a shaky camera pan to some suited officials marching down the aisle to stop the madness. It's so perfect it could be an early scene from my found footage etiquette disaster movie Quite Athwart Goes All Decorum.
But failing creative projects aside, we still have some questions for the stage-crasher. Like, some quite straightforward questions that go beyond the basic "What was he thinking?":
- Was his phone on silent? Because, you know, if he'd actually managed to charge his phone on stage, what would have happened if someone called him. We know this guy's rude, but how rude exactly?
- Was this a legit emergency? Maybe he had a pregnant wife who could go into labor at any moment.
- Was this a "legit" emergency? Maybe he was trying to win an argument with his friend and needed to Google something.
- Did he think this was immersive theatre? Have you ever seen anything by Punchdrunk (e.g. Sleep No More) because they would totally be down with someone plugging their phone in to charge mid-play. I went to a Punchdrunk show once and was pulled into a cupboard and encouraged to write a letter to my mother confessing my childhood sins. Charging a phone seems pretty unobtrusive by comparison.
- What if the plug had been working? Would he have stayed up on stage? When would he have gone to get the phone back — after the play had finished? In the interval? I feel that judging by the guy's priors, the correct answer here is "any time he felt like it."
- But really though, what was he thinking???? On second thought this still needs an answer.