Thank you Kevin Moon Loh

25 Sep

An actor in a major musical production has a facebook post about a recent performance. In this performance, an autistic child made noise during a quiet part of the show. And Mr. Loh comes to the defense of the child.

The post begins:

I am angry and sad.
Just got off stage from today’s matinee and yes, something happened. Someone brought their autistic child to the theater.
That being said- this post won’t go the way you think it will.
You think I will admonish that mother for bringing a child who yelped during a quiet moment in the show. You think I will herald an audience that yelled at this mother for bringing their child to the theater. You think that I will have sympathy for my own company whose performances were disturbed from a foreign sound coming from in front of them.
No.
Instead, I ask you- when did we as theater people, performers and audience members become so concerned with our own experience that we lose compassion for others?

Mr. Loh quotes Joseph Papp that theater is created for all people. It’s a message that resonates with my family. We have worked to make the theater experience accessible to our own child and also to other disabled people in our community. I am proud to say that my wife started on this effort even before the idea of a “sensory friendly” performance became big news. Proud not because she was ahead of the curve, but because this shows that this is an effort of passion on her part.

Mr. Loh, I thank you. Theater is for everyone.


By Matt Carey

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2 Responses to “Thank you Kevin Moon Loh”

  1. Ann September 26, 2015 at 17:02 #

    Bravo to him. This breaks my heart and makes me sad. It could have happened to any mother with any child autistic or not. But it is more heart wrenching knowing her struggles reach beyond just a normal childhood disagreement and exertion of will. Prayers and courage to her and kudos and brava to the cast and this actor for speaking out!!

  2. Narad September 27, 2015 at 02:28 #

    In this performance, an autistic child made noise during a quiet part of the show.

    The New York Times describes it as “a particularly intense whipping scene.” As I’d never seen either the first film or the musical, a quick Gazoogling points to this as the King’s preparing to punish slave Tuptim for trying to escape (she’s apparently burned at the stake in the original).

    There’s no access to the contents of other people’s heads, and a news report leads to nothing but rank speculation, but if I were still a child and maybe uptight already (my grandmother once took me to a matinee of Caberet, since we caught the double features on Saturday by habit), that might be enough to set me off.

    Sheesh, as a college student, I once freaked out and had to flee a kabuki performance, but there were more working parts in that episode.

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