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Arts and Entertainment

SCT Presents Ibsen's Surprisingly Modern 1882 Classic "An Enemy of the People"

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(Poster design courtesy Springfield Contemporary Theatre)
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Springfield Contemporary Theatre presents Henrik Ibsen's classic 1882 drama "An Enemy of the People," in an updated version by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, April 27-May 13 at SCT Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza, corner of Robberson and Pershing downtown. When Dr. Thomas Stockmann discovers toxic contamination in the water used at the local baths, he expects to be hailed as a hero. But since the baths are the town's main source of revenue, the community fights to silence him as Dr. Stockmann learns there are forces more powerful than truth. A town in water crisis – refuting science as it conflicts with business and political interests – the ethics and repercussions of whistleblowing – today’s headlines scream out from Ibsen’s classic 1882 play brought to stage in this fresh, thrilling new adaptation and production.

Rick Dines directs SCT's production, and featured as Stockmann is Michael Lee--both of whom can be heard talking about the play and the production on the sound file above.

Dines and Lee emphasize that, contrary to most peoples' expectations, there is a fair amount of humor in Ibsen's play, which Rebecca Lenkiewicz's adaptation brings out--as do Dines's cast in this production.  "When Ibsen wrote it and submitted it for production," says Rick Dines, "I read somewhere that he said 'I'm not sure if this is a drama or a comedy!'  Most productions play this show so dramatically and so straight. And there's so much comedy in the writing.  I've never seen a production that I laughed a lot at... until this one.  And this cast really seems to have very honestly found the comedy in the piece, and it kind of becomes a very funny political comedy at times.  And that's great, because just a piece of political theater can get boring real fast! It's really a play about family relationships"--particularly Dr. Stockmann and his brother, who happens to be the town mayor.  Adds Michael Lee, "I think the audience will change their sympathies as the play progresses."

Performances are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30pm and Sundays at 2:00pm at Center Stage in Wilhoit Plaza. For tickets call 831-8001 or visit www.springfieldcontemporarytheatre.org.