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An Enemy of the People (adapted by Arthur Miller)

An Enemy of the People (adapted by Arthur Miller)
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by: Arthur Miller
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 80
Pub. Date: 1950
ISBN-10: 082220360X
ISBN-13: 9780822203605

About the Play:

An Enemy of the People is a full-length drama adapted by Arthur Miller, from Henrik Ibsen's political masterpiece. Pitting government against the press, well-being against economics, and family member against family member, this classic drama focuses on an idealistic doctor who has discovered a potentially dangerous health situation in his town and must now risk everything to do what he thinks is right. It raises and examines from all angles the question of what it takes to stand firm in one's beliefs despite the objections of others.

An Enemy of the People is a thought-provoking thriller about free speech and fake news that follows a doctor fighting to expose a corrupt regime and press. A small, coastal fishing community enters into a new era of prosperity and fame when the town's socially-minded, but prideful Dr. Stockmann convinces his brother, the authoritarian and equally prideful mayor, and other leading citizens to transform the local hot springs into a health resort. But, the town's new found fortune is balanced upon the edge of a razor after Dr. Stockmann discovers that the waters are dangerously contaminated. On receiving proof of this, he immediately reports to his associates, but is shocked to find that instead of being thanked, he is looked upon as a dangerous crank, motivated by a desire to prove that his fellow townsmen are wrong, and to bring ruin upon them. As the people who run the local paper do their utmost to urge secrecy and compromise, the determined doctor realizes that the honesty and idealism he has counted upon to make the truth prevail, simply does not exist in the face of selfish "practical" interests. The press will not report his findings; the officials refuse to give him a hearing; he loses his position and the townspeople boycott him; and every weapon of blackmail, slander, and eviction are brought against his family. At the end, the townspeople, gathered around the doctor's home, throw stones through the windows. Stockmann addresses his family: "But remember now, everybody, you are fighting for the truth and that is why you're alone. And that makes you strong." Though written by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen in 1882 and adapted by Arthur Miller in 1950, An Enemy Of The People grapples with timeless, societal themes such as political and social corruption, science denial, media manipulation, power, class and the isolation of the principled versus the tyranny of the mob.

An Enemy of the People premiered in Norway in 1883, and Arthur Miller adapted this version during the same period as writing The Crucible. It premiered in 1950 at Broadhurst Theatre on Broadway New York City. It's been a popular and a favourite play for regional, high school, college, and community theatre productions ever since.

Cast: 3 female, 10 male

What people say:

"It flames out of a fiery spirit…Mr. Miller's adaptation…is compact, idiomatic, and eminently actable, and it also preserves Ibsen's moral point of view." — The New York Times

"Arthur Miller's adaptation emerges as a work that does magnificent service to Ibsen." — The Times

"Miller does Ibsen proud. The dialogue is tough, sinewy and colloquial – but the power ultimately rests with its gripping, beautifully constructed narrative." — The Telegraph

About the Playwright:

Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is the second most widely produced dramatist in the world, eclipsed only by Shakespeare. He is revered in Norway as its most famous author and a national symbol, even though he spent much of his life abroad in Italy and Germany. He was largely responsible for the rise of realism in the theatre. In works that possess revelatory power Ibsen challenged his audiences to question conventional morality and social conditions. Often controversial, his works were deeply unsettling to many of his Victorian contemporaries. He is now widely regarded as the "father of modern drama" and one of the greatest dramatists who ever lived.

Arthur Miller (1915-2005) was born in New York City and studied at the University of Michigan. With a career that spanned over 50 years, he wrote more than thirty plays that transformed American Theatre and proved to be both the conscience and redemption of the times. His probing dramas received many awards in his lifetime, including two Emmy awards and three Tony Awards for his plays, a Tony Award for Lifetime Achievement, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama in 1949, for Death of a Salesman.

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