Thora Birch Fired from Off-Broadway's 'Dracula' After Back Rub Flap

Mark Mainz/Getty Images for AFI

HOLLYWOOD - NOVEMBER 10:  Actress Thora Birch of the film "Dark Corners" poses in the portrait studio at the AFI FEST 2006 presented by Audi at the Arclight Hollywood November 10, 2006 in Hollywood, California.

Actress is dismissed four days before first performance following disagreement between her father and another actor.

The producers of an Off-Broadway production of Dracula fired their star actress Thora Birch just four days before opening night, according to The New York Times.

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."