Image: STC/Prudence Upton

Sydney Theatre Company Issues Apology Over On-Stage Pro-Palestine Protest

Sydney Theatre Company (STC) has issued an apology over an on-stage pro-Palestine protest during curtain call of the opening night’s performance of The Seagull.

At the performance on Saturday night, three actors wore Palestinian keffiyehs, in a move STC said it wasn’t aware had been planned.

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“We understand the actions at the curtain call and our immediate response has hurt many in our community. For this, we are deeply sorry,” the STC statement read.

“We support individual freedom of expression but believe that the right to free speech does not supersede our responsibility to create safe workplaces and theatres.

“We believe that it was not the intent of the actors involved to cause any harm or offence. We have emphasised to our performers that they are free to express their opinions and views on their own platforms.”

The actors, Harry Greenwood, Mabel Li and Megan Wilding appeared on stage for curtain calling wearing the traditional scarves but did not accompany the move with a comment.

ABC Arts reported it understood the move was done as a sign of solidarity with Palestinians and not to cause offence,

The protest led to prominent board member Judi Hausmann, announcing her retirement in a letter address to other key members of STC.

“I never imagined my resignation would be necessary because I’m a Jew,” Ms Hausmann said in her letter.

“What hurts most is that I love the STC and all of the people I’ve worked alongside, especially the three of you (referring to those she addressed the letter to).

“But as I’ve told you all, I need allyship, as well as friendship, at a time when my Jewish community is under serious threat and I’m beyond disappointed that you don’t feel able to speak up.”

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