When the curtain rises this week on Pittsburg State University Theatre’s “An Enemy of the People,” audience members may wonder whether the play was based on events of the past month or year, according to Director Joey Pogue.
But Henrik Ibsen’s troubling drama about the shortcuts corporations make when the drive for financial gain jeopardizes ethical practice was written more than 120 years ago, Pogue said, yet remains as topical today as when it was written.”
“An Enemy of the People” runs Thursday through Saturday, Feb. 27 - March 1 at 8 p.m., and on Sunday, March 2, at 2 p.m. in the PSU Studio Theatre, located at the corner of Joplin and Cleveland streets.
In the play, when a local physician, Dr. Stockmann, discovers that the water of the municipal baths is poisoned and is making people sick, he reports the hazard to the authorities, fully expecting them to remediate the situation and prevent more tourists from becoming ill. However, having grown used to the increased revenue, the townspeople refuse to acknowledge the contaminated water. Fighting the disclosure of Stockmann’s discoveries, they ostracize him and label him an enemy of the people.
“All around us we see ethical practice being challenged by economic hardships,” said Pogue. “When the truth is obscured by political and economic manipulations, solutions become even more elusive. Ibsen asks us to face this reality and confront the issues that threaten our survival with transparency. Issues involve more than poisoned water. Toxic damage comes in a myriad of forms.”
The cast of “An Enemy of the People” features Jacob Hacker as Peter Stockmann, the mayor; Logan Qualls as Dr. Stockmann; Taylor Patterson as Catherine Stockmann; and Jeanine Kunshek as Petra Stockmann. Other players include a variety of individuals from both the PSU student body and the local community.
Supporting the production are Doug Bennett, scenic design; Jesse Gregory, lighting design; and Lisa Quinteros, costume design.
Tickets for the production are $11 for the general public and $7 for persons under 17 or over 65. PSU students, faculty and staff are admitted free with a valid PSU photo I.D. Tickets are available through the PSU Ticket Office at 620-235-4796 or at the PSU Studio Theatre door 30 minutes prior to curtain. Because seating is limited, reservations are encouraged.
On March 3, the spring 2014 Interdisciplinary Lecture Series will explore the theme of the play in conjunction with Chad Erpelding’s exhibit, “Living in a Corporate World,” in Porter Hall.