Pro-Trump protesters disrupt NYC's "Julius Caesar," 1 arrested

Last Updated Jun 17, 2017 8:22 AM EDT

NEW YORK -- Two protesters disrupted the New York City Shakespeare in the Park production of "Julius Caesar" with one being arrested on Friday night, police and the Public Theater said. 

The protester, who the NYPD did not name, was charged with trespassing and disorderly conduct, police said. Right-wing activist and Rebel Media's Laura Loomer livestreamed herself rushing the stage. By midnight, Loomer posted she had been released from jail. 

According to her video, she rushed onto the Delacorte Theater stage during the scene where Caesar is assassinated and yelled "stop the normalization of political violence against the right! This is unacceptable ... this is violent!" The crowd mainly yelled for her to get off the stage or booed as she compared the production to ISIS and yelled "shame!" 

Pro-Trump activist Jack Posobiec also posted video of the incident on Twitter. From the audience, Posobiec yelled to the actors and the crowd "you are Goebbels," referring to the Nazi minister of propaganda.

"You are all Nazis like Joseph Goebbels ... You are all inciting terrorists! The blood of Steve Scalise in on your hands!" he yelled, in reference to the shooting of Republican Rep. Steve Scalise and three others earlier this week at a baseball practice.

Tina Benko, left, portrays Melania Trump in the role of Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, and Gregg Henry, center left, portrays President Trump in the role of Julius Caesar during a dress rehearsal of The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production

Tina Benko, left, portrays Melania Trump in the role of Caesar's wife, Calpurnia, and Gregg Henry, center left, portrays President Trump in the role of Julius Caesar during a dress rehearsal of The Public Theater's Free Shakespeare in the Park production of "Julius Caesar" in New York in this May 21, 2017. Teagle F. Bougere, center right, plays as Casca and Elizabeth Marvel, right, as Marc Anthony.

Joan Marcus/The Public Theater via AP

Posobiec later posted a video of Loomer being released from the Central Park Precinct.   

In a statement, the Public Theater said the show was stopped for "less than a minute" and credited Public Theater stage manager for handling the incident "beautifully."

"The staff removed the protestors peacefully, and the show resumed with the line "Liberty! Freedom! The audience rose to their feet to thank the actors, and we joyfully continued," the statement read.

The Public Theater's annual Shakespeare in the Park in Central Park has drawn criticism this year because the Caesar character bears a resemblance to President Trump and some have criticized the violent death scene as too realistic. Two sponsors, Delta and Bank of America, dropped their support for the play earlier this week, and the criticism has gotten louder after a left-wing gunman opened fire on a Congressional baseball practice earlier this week. 

Mr. Trump's son, Eric Trump, thanked Delta and Bank of America in a tweet after they pulled their sponsorship. Although Mr. Trump's other son, Donald Trump Jr., later tweeted about taxpayer funds possibly going to the production, the National Endowment of the Arts -- which has had its funding threatened by Mr. Trump -- said in a statement that none of its funds went to the production.

Shakespeare actors and scholars told CBS News earlier this week that the protests fundamentally misunderstood the lesson of the play. "The play doesn't condone violence," Shakespeare actor Joe Wegner told CBS News. "It actually is a story about what happens when an act like that is committed. And you watch these characters realize that. And then, in the end, everything falls." 

Other prominent pro-Trump supporters, including Mike Cernovich‏, tweeted with the hashtag #FreeLaura after her arrest.