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Chad Kimball

Award-winning Broadway actor under fire for challenging state’s COVID-19 restrictions

Actor Chad Kimball, a Seattle native who was nominated in 2011 for a Tony for his performance in “Memphis,” recently said he will respectfully disobey Washington state’s restrictions on church gatherings and indoor singing.

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“Respectfully, I will never allow a governor or anyone to stop me from SINGING, let alone sing in worship to my God,” he posted. “Folks, absolute POWER corrupts ABSOLUTELY. This is not about safety. It’s about POWER. I will respectfully disobey these unlawful orders. To be clear: nobody is going maskless. The overreach – in my opinion! – is not being able to sing even WITH a mask. No singing WITH a mask ON. Everyone will continue wearing masks. With respect and with hope and with care.”

Kimball’s comments were met with criticism from some of his Broadway colleagues, such as Sharon Wheatley, who co-starred with him in “Come From Away” and wrote, “I respectfully totally and completely disagree with you. I respectfully feel you are very much on the wrong side of this. I FaceTimed with you when you had Covid, Chad. You were very sick. I remember. It scared me. I love you like a brother, but I disagree with you.”

Kimball, who is a Christian, chronicled his COVID-19 experience when he came down with it in March. He pointed to his faith as a source of hope during his illness, writing in part, “And everyone is experiencing loss. All of our earthly pleasures — the things we rely on, our freedom, the things that help us escape — have been ripped away. And the only thing standing are those aching questions – Who am I? WHOSE am I? What is the thing that LASTS?

“I understand – err on side of safety, but safety is feeling arbitrary, obtuse & fraught with inchoate science,” he wrote last month. “The ‘cure’ doing more harm than good. IMHO. Trying to b patient. Trying to b kind. I’m sad for people.” Later in October he tweeted, “As a Christian, I serve the ‘common good’ by rolling up my own sleeves, and relying not on the government to do the service for me…”

“Where does my strength come from? Where does HOPE come from? These are questions I’ve been asking myself. So. We all stand here naked and apart from our comforts and pleasures. And we’ve got time to think!”

–Alan Goforth | Metro Voice