Photo Flash: Classical Theatre Company presents AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE, 2/9 through 2/25
Classical Theatre Company returns to the great Henrik Ibsen for the first time since their critically-acclaimed 2016 production of A Doll's House. Ibsen is known for his no-holds-barred critique of the world - in particular, society - around him, and An Enemy of the People follows that same course.
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 John 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. Enemy [of the People] simply begs to be produced in the U.S. today."
Groundbreaking in its day, this play will be directed by Classical Theatre Company founder and Executive Artistic Director, John Johnston - whose other directorial work for CTC includes The Barber of Seville, A Doll's House, The Cherry Orchard, Hamlet, The Merchant of Venice, The Tempest, Ghosts, Tartuffe, One-Man Hamlet, Antigone, and Shylock, the Jew of Venice.
Winner of the American Theatre Wing's prestigious National Theatre Company Grant Award in 2016, the Classical Theatre Company is dedicated to boldly re-envisioning classical drama on the stage, in the community, and in the classroom through engaging and enlightening plays - bringing them new life and relevance while maintaining the integrity that the works deserve.
An Enemy of the People continues through February 25, 2018. Performances are at 8 p.m. on February 14-17, 19, 22-24; and at 2:30 p.m. on Sundays. Chelsea Market Theatre, 4617 Montrose. For information, please call 713-963-9665 or visit classicaltheatre.org. $10 to $25.
Photo credits: Pin Lim
Andrew Love as Hovstad, and Thomas Prior as Dr. Stockmann
John Dunn as Aslaksen, and Thomas Prior as Dr. Stockmann
Christianne Mays as Mrs. Stockmann, and Maddie Calais as Petra