Friday night, he and fellow Twin Cities actor Leigha Horton were sitting in the mezzanine of Broadway's Richard Rodgers Theatre when Vice President-elect Mike Pence walked in, and a wave of mutterings and boos wafted upward.
"Suddenly there was just a ton of uproar. It was bizarre. It was very hostile. Pretty much as soon as he was seen the reaction started rising," Anderson recalled. The actor did not boo himself. "I actually found it really unsettling. For me, theater is a very warm, inclusive place. Even once I found out what it was it was about, I found it disturbing. It was loud."
The woman next to him mumbled something about an assassination attempt, while a man a few rows back hollered, "We love you, Mike!"
"It quieted down when the lights went down, and then it was just all about the show," Anderson said.
Unfortunately, some accounts of what happened that night--including tweets from the president-elect himself, alleging that Pence was "harassed" and the cast should apologize--have conflated the audience's reaction with the response from the actors, which was simply to perform, and then deliver a statement about inclusion and equality afterwards.
"They were professionals, top to bottom," Anderson said. But every time an actor uttered a relevant line, the audience responded with applause that was "long and sustained." "The lines are all there," Anderson said. "The only thing they could have done was cut them."
The show stopped for the first time when Mandy Gonzales, who plays Revolutionary War rabble-rouser Angelica Schuyler rapped, "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, but when I meet Thomas Jefferson, I'm gonna tell him to include women in the sequel!" Another long pause was necessary after the actors playing Hamilton and Lafayette hollered, "Immigrants! We get the job done."
"They just had to hold. The reaction just went so long," Anderson said. "But it never felt negative, it always felt like that opening volley of negative energy just got transformed into this is really positive showing of, 'Let's focus on what we believe in.'"
Around 2 a.m. that morning, with his mind still spinning, Anderson posted his account of the night on Facebook. He's not actually a big fan of social media, but the post has since gotten more than 1,100 likes and been shared roughly 250 times.
"I've never been more popular on social media," said Anderson (pictured with Horton in photo at right) .
The actor is best known locally as the creator of "Theater People," an award-winning web series about the backstage travails and triumphs of a acting troupe. It's a bit like "Smash," although the tone and insider humor is more like the Canadian cult hit "Slings and Arrows." That show starred A-listers Rachel McAdams and Sarah Polley. Anderson, on the other hand, works with Twin Cities actors; he's now filming Season Four. He typically uses Facebook to promote the show, but in the past week, he's heard from fans he didn't know he had, as well as a few detractors deeming the whole episode "disgraceful."
Obviously, he disagrees.
"I felt like I was part of something that was incredibly positive and important," he said.