PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WHDH) – A five-year-old girl special needs girl and her mother were kicked out of a performance of Beauty and the Beast in Providence.
“Nadia is non verbal. Her method of communication is to just squeal and be happy and clap,” said her mother, Samantha Torres.
That’s just what the young girl was doing when her mother said she was approached by an usher.
“’You need to leave.’ And I said, ‘what do you mean we need to leave?’ And she said, ‘You need to leave right now,’” said Torres.
She said she was treated rudely by both the usher and later the house manager when she asked to speak with him.
“Well I said, ‘I want my money back, I can’t believe you’re kicking out a disabled, special needs child, and he said, ‘Yup,’” said Torres.
But a PPAC events managers didn’t see it that way.
“I’m sorry that she felt that anyone was being rude but we really try hard to be very respectful and courteous of everyone that comes to PPAC,” said Betsy Menders.
The theater’s events manager said in the interest of fellow patrons, they asked Torres and her daughter to step out and watch the show from a monitor in the lobby because the noise was becoming a distraction.
“It’s so unfortunate and we’re very sorry, but it is our policy to make sure everybody is comfortable in the theater,” said Menders.
But Torres thinks how the policy is enforced needs to be re-examined after her experience with her family.
“She doesn’t play with toys, she listens to music. That’s what she enjoys and that’s what she loves. So I just thought it was going to be a great afternoon and it ended up turning into a horror show,” said Torres.
The family is getting their money back but Nadia’s mother said still she is not happy with the way all of this turned out.