The nightly assassination of a figure dressed to look like Donald Trump at the Public Theater’s production of “Julius Caesar” in Central Park was proceeding as normal when some drama erupted from the audience. A young woman rushed the stage, shouting, “Stop liberal violence!”

As the crowd booed and the woman was dragged away, a young man jumped up from the audience and yelled, “The blood of Steve Scalise is in your hands! Goebbels would be proud! You’re a Nazi crowd!” Then he too was escorted away by security.

Who were those theater critics?

The woman who rushed the stage was Laura Loomer, who works from what the New York Post describes as an “alt-right” website called “The Rebel.” She has been charged with disorderly conduct and trespassing.

The other protestor was Jack Posobiec, described as a “conspiracy theorist” and a former writer for “The Rebel” who was apparently let go from the site in May. “The Rebel has started a fund for Ms. Loomer’s legal defense.

The Public Theater responds

The Public Theater company was not as appreciative of the disruption as it might have been, describing that two young people as being “paid protestors” who were being driven by a “social media strategy.” It claimed that the play was disrupted for less than a minute and then went on to a standing ovation from the audience.

The reaction to the disruption

The response to the brief disruption of “Julius Caesar” was decidedly mixed on social media and elsewhere.

Some cheered Loomer and Posobiec on as Patriots, calling attention to what many consider to be “assassination porn” depicting the stabbing to death of a sitting president, albeit wrapped up in Shakespearean blank verse. The staging and costuming was clearly meant to provoke, so on one level, one might suggest that the provocation got a little out of hand.

On the other hand, some suggested that the two protestors were acting no better that Antifa radicals who shout down and prevent conservatives from speaking on college campuses.

The point was a fair one, but one should also point out that neither Loomer nor Posobiec behaved violently nor did they resist being escorted from the premises.

The incident is illustrative of how provocative speech begets even more of the same. As long as things remain relatively peaceful, then all is well. Indeed, both sides got what they wanted.

Loomer and Posobiec got their 15 minutes of social media fame. The Public Company got to virtue signal about their right to free speech, albeit in a tasteless manner. The audience of the production got some spontaneous drama to enjoy.