By Sunnivie Brydum
Originally published on Advocate.com October 07 2013 4:24 PM ET
Members of the Broadway cast of Big Fish filmed a special message for student actors at the University of Mississippi after they were heckled with "borderline hate speech" by fellow students at last Tuesday's presentation of The Laramie Project.
Officials at Ole Miss announced that all students who were in the audience during the Tuesday performance will be required to attend an educational dialogue in response to the incident, according to the school's newspaper, the Daily Mississippian.
The school's Bias Incident Response Team began investigating the incident last week, when a group of students — which allegedly included roughly 20 first-year football players — interrupted the play by shouting out what one faculty member called "borderline hate speech" about student actors' body type and sexual orientation.
The university's chancellor and athletic director issued an apology Thursday and promised to investigate the incident fully, but they have not yet announced whether there will be disciplinary action against the offending students.
The Atlantic reports that one football player was sent to apologize on behalf of all of the hecklers but didn't seem to understand what he was apologizing for. The Atlantic article cites a campus newspaper story that says the player's "apology" caused two cast members to begin crying.
The Laramie Project is a play dealing with the 1998 murder of Matthew Shepard, a University of Wyoming student killed because he was gay.
"We want to wish you a happy run of your show," said Broadway cast member Alex Brightman. "We heard that there was some complications, and some kind of crummy things that went on, and we just want to let you know that we're thinking about you and wishing you an unbelievable rest of your run."
Watch the special message to the Ole Miss Laramie Project cast below from the company of Big Fish, which opened Sunday on Broadway.