Henrik Ibsen's An Enemy of the People
Adapted and Directed by Connor Zaft
Ego, fear, and the public good clash on stage in Key City Public Theatre's production of Henrik Ibsen's classic, An Enemy of the People. Enemy marks the culminating directorial effort of KCPT's artistic apprentice, Connor Zaft, who previously directed both 4,000 Miles and Shipwrecked, an Entertainment! which formed the backbone of KCPT's award-winning 2016 season. Enemy is a play that has 250 years of history behind it, and broad reaching influence that has touched the work of luminaries such as Arthur Miller and Stephen Spielberg, and Zaft closes his time with KCPT bringing this classic tale to our local stage.
When Dr. Stockmann discovers that the "healing baths" his town and his family have become economically reliant on contain life threatening toxins, he makes it his mission to bring this truth to light. In so doing, he threatens the downfall of the community. His ego blinds him, just as the fear of ruination blinds his community. They clash over what facts matter in this delicate situation.
An Enemy of the People helped Ibsen build a legacy that saw him become one of the most produced playwrights in history, second only to Shakespeare. Enemy is a masterful look at the human condition through Ibsen's preferred lens of realism, one that ponders the nature of truth, pride, and the fearful instincts of the mob. Written in 1882 in response to the public backlash against his earlier play, Ghosts, Enemy represents a drastic expansion in scope from his previous works, taking controversy and notoriety and making them central themes, not just in small households, but in an entire community. The play has seen many adaptations around the globe, the most prominent in America was Arthur Miller's 1950 adaptation, produced at New York's Broadhurst Theatre.
John Clark returns to KCPT as Dr. Stockmann, having previously starred in 2015's The Mystery of Irma Vep. Fresh from performances in PlayFest 21, Michelle Hensel and Rosaletta Curry are Dr. Stockmann's wife, Katherine, and Petra their daughter, respectively. Young brothers, Jack and Sam Slater, previously seen in 2014's A Christmas Story, are the Doctor's young sons, Eleif and Morten. Hewitt Brooks is Peter, the Doctor's elder brother, and the Mayor. Crystal Eisele and Mark Valentine are newspaper editors Hovstad and Billing, with Sam Cavallero performing as Aslaksen, their publisher. Lawrison Driscoll is Morten Kiil, the Tanner. A Clallam County favorite, Ron Graham, is Captain Horster.
An Enemy of the People is provocative, timely, and revelatory. It is a play that has always exposed previously unexamined truths to its audience, and this production will be no different.
An Enemy of the People runs Thursdays through Sundays for three weekends, April 7th through April 22nd, with a preview performance on April 6th, at KCPT's Playhouse on 419 Washington St. Thursday, Friday, and Saturday performances at 7:30 PM, Sunday matinees at 2:30 PM. Ticket prices are Thursdays and Sundays, $20 and Fridays and Saturdays, $24. Tickets are available online at www.keycitypublictheatre.org, or by phone at (360) 385-KCPT. Pay-What-You-Wish performances are April 9th and 13th. For other reduced cost viewing opportunities, please inquire at the box office.
An Enemy of the People is sponsored by the generous support of Playwright for Playwright. KCPT's season sponsors are Alchemy Bistro & Wine Bar and SOS Printing. Pay-What-You-Wish performances are funded by the Port Townsend Arts Commission.