This month, The College of Charleston Department of Theatre and Dance is bringing a version of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People to the stage to highlight the political, economic, and environmental implications surrounding water.
The performance, put on by a cast and crew comprised of students and guest alumnus Douglas Scott Streater, runs from Thurs. Feb. 22 through Mon. Feb. 26 at the Emmett Robinson Theatre. Curtain time is 7:30 p.m., with a special matinee performance at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets can be purchased online at or over the phone at (843) 953-6306.
Ibsen’s play tells the story of Dr. Thomas Stockmann, who discovers that local baths in his town are causing health problems for the people who use them, and his fight against townspeople, including his own brother, who place economic gain over the potential threat of the tainted waters.
Dr. Stockmann’s beliefs eventually earn him the title of “an enemy of the people.” Although written 150 years ago, Ibsen’s drama remains extremely relevant today. With Dakota Access Pipeline protests and current conflict surrounding water access, the tension between people and business, nature and economic growth is still prevalent in today’s world.
“An Enemy of the People is one of Ibsen’s most powerful plays,” notes Susan Kattwinkel, Associate Professor and director of the play. “Its central character reflects the conflicts and biases that have accompanied that have accompanied the rise of social activism over the last 150 years. This production tries to draw connections between race, class, and environmental issues that are often ignored in discussions of activism.”
The department will stage an adaptation of the original play, written by Rebecca Lenkiewicz, that debuted in London in 2008 and completed a successful stint on Broadway in 2012.
The play choice is directly tied to the College’s Sustainability Literacy initiative, primarily this year’s theme of water quality and accessibility, and the theatre and dance season’s theme “Sustain This!”
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