Written in 1882, An Enemy of the People takes aim at a number of the issues that were prevalent in Norway at the time: political corruption and the silencing of whistleblowers, the destructive impact of industry on the environment, and the role ethics plays in the media and what they report. Clearly these subjects are not only still relevant today, but remarkably topical once again as the past two years have brought great emphasis on them in sociopolitical discourse.
The play follows Dr. Thomas Stockmann, a notable and respected doctor in his Norwegian town, as he discovers that the baths – a source of great pride and income for the town – as well as the local water supply have become contaminated by local industry and are now poisonous. He struggles with his brother, the town’s mayor and one of the owners of the baths, in trying to get his findings published in the town’s newspaper. A play, at its heart, about personal responsibility and the rights and roles of whistleblowers, An Enemy of the People could be ripped right from today’s headlines.
“I’m very excited to produce this play as the central production of our tenth season,” says director JJ Johnston. “While all of our plays have had relevance to our contemporary world, this one is so incredibly topical that, frankly, I’m stunned. Our current presidential administration is embroiled in cover-ups and decries ‘leakers’ on an almost daily basis, we are engaged in a raging debate over the part industry has played in the environment and climate change, and the media in our country has been scrutinized by this administration at an unprecedented level – going so far as to popularize the term ‘fake news.’” Johnston follows up by saying, “And as if all that weren’t enough, Donald Trump himself has on numerous occasions used the term ‘enemy of the people’ when speaking about the media. This play simply begs to be produced in the U.S. today.”
Dr. Thomas Stockmann: Tom Prior
Peter Stockmann: Jim Salners
Mrs. Stockmann: Christianne Mays
Hovstad: Andrew J. Love
Aslaksen: John Dunn
Billing: Greg Cote
Petra: Maddie Calais
Morten Kiil: Carl Masterson
Captain Horster: Jeff McMorrough
Costume Design: Alan Gonzalez
Scenic Design: Jodibob Bobrovsky
Lighting Design: Mitchell Cronin
Sounds Design: Jon Harvey