A Broadway performance of "To Kill a Mockingbird", starring Jeff Daniels, ended abruptly after panicked passers-by mistook a motorcycle backfire for gunshots and stormed out of the theatre for safety.

Gideon Glick, an actor in the play, tweeted that the performance in the Shubert Theatre had to be stopped as people thought they were in the middle of a shooting

"Screaming civilians tried to storm our theatre for safety. The audience started screaming and the cast fled the stage. This is the world we live in. This cannot be our world," he tweeted.

A video from Utah's Times Square is viral on social media, in which people can be seen running in panic, given the recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Actor Merle Dandridge, who was in the audience, said she had to crouch on the floor of the theatre amid the pandemonium.

"Crouched on the floor of the Shubert Theatre during an astounding performance of 'Mockingbird' fearing for my life. This is our world now. Open panic and ready for life shots. I'm still shaking and scared for our country," she wrote on Twitter.

Other theatres in the areas were also affected by the incident.

The New York City Police Department later tweeted that Times Square was safe and people need not panic.

"There is no #ActiveShooter in #TimesSquare. Motorcycles backfiring while passing through sounded like gun shots. We are receiving multiple 911 calls. Please don't panic. The Times Square area is very safe!" the NYPD said in its tweet.