Arizona actor accidentally stabbed, finishes scene

Yara Bishara
Associated Press

A Tucson actor who was accidently stabbed during a performance at a local theater said Thursday he had no hard feelings toward his colleague.

Ken Beider was stabbed in the stomach with a serrated breadknife while playing an ex-convict in “The Language of Flowers” at the Temple of Music and Art’s Cabaret Theatre on Sunday. In past rehearsals, the knife was taped in order to avoid such injuries.

“I would bet a trillion dollars on it that it was an accident,” Beider told The Associated Press as he was receiving follow-up treatment at a hospital.

Beider, 57, said he and the actress were supposed to crisscross paths while she was holding the knife. But she didn’t move according to what was rehearsed and that led to him getting stabbed, he said. The knife went in 3 inches and left a 4-inch hole.

Regardless of the injury, Beider managed to finish the scene.

“I had my adrenaline going with the audience there and I pulled the knife out and I got my breath and continued with the scene,” said Beider, who was recently laid off as a drama teacher at a Tucson charter school.

Co-star Callie Hutchison was backstage when the stabbing occurred and didn’t realize what happened until she saw the other actress.

“The other actor ran backstage and said, ‘I stabbed Ken! I stabbed Ken,’ freaking out obviously,” Hutchison said.

Hutchison said the audience realized what had happened when the ambulance arrived during intermission.

“When the ambulance pulled up and put him on the gurney, the entire audience gave a huge, well-deserved round of applause,” Hutchison said.

Beider was taken to a hospital, where he received 12 staples and was sent home Monday, the Arizona Daily Star reported. But on Thursday, he was back in the hospital because of complications with the injury.

The decision to use a real knife was made by director and producer Gavin Kayner, according to Beider.

Kayner did not immediately return calls seeking comment Thursday.

Beider said he plans to return to the stage in October.

Remaining performances of “The Language of Flowers” were canceled. It had been scheduled to run through June 14.