Mother says child with special needs asked to leave show

A New Bedford woman said Monday that she and her daughters were asked to leave a performance at the Providence Performing Arts Center because one of her girls was allegedly disruptive.

Samantha Torres said she attended Sunday's performance of the Disney show "Beauty and the Beast" with her two daughters, ages 5 and 7.

Her youngest daughter, Nadia, was very excited to see the show, but it's how she expressed that in the theater that prompted PPAC's response.

Nadia has a chromosome abnormality. Torres said her daughter is nonverbal and expresses herself by squealing and clapping when she is happy.

Torres said she was told abruptly and rudely by staff to leave because Nadia was being too loud.

"No sympathy whatsoever. They made me feel this was our fault, that we were being asked to leave because we were being terribly loud and Nadia was communicating just like the other children at the event that they were excited to be there," Torres said.

PPAC events manager Betsy Menders said it was in the interest of fellow patrons that 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.

"So unfortunate and we're very sorry, but it is our policy is to make sure everybody is comfortable in the theater," Menders said. "I'm sorry she felt anyone was being rude, but we try hard to be respectful and courteous of everybody that comes into PPAC."

Torres is getting her money back, but she said she was not happy about the experience. She said how the policy is enforced needs to be re-examined.