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Birch’s dismissal from her New York stage debut seems to stem from problems over a back rub given to her by an unnamed actor in the production — a rub which the actor claimed was part of the stage direction.
According to the play’s director, Paul Alexander, this back rubbing caused Jack Birch, Thora’s father who was on hand for the rehearsal, to react with perceived menace towards the actor.
“I can’t have one of my actors in a situation where he is physically threatened by the father of anyone,” Alexander told the Times. He was told of the incident afterwards by the actor in question.
Jack Birch denied making any threat, though he said that his daughter had been “a little uncomfortable on stage because an actor kept rubbing her back.”
“I was trying to convey Thora’s discomfort,” he told the Times. “In no way was I making a threat.”
Thora Birch, best known for her role in American Beauty, said she was “blindsided” by the firing and “in a state of shock.”
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