Marjorie Lyons Playhouse presents “An Enemy of the People” October 3-6
SHREVEPORT, LA — Centenary assistant professor of theatre Logan Sledge will direct An Enemy of the People at the College’s Marjorie Lyons Playhouse October 3 through 6. Performances are at 7:30 p.m. October 3 through 5 and at 2:00 p.m. on Sunday, October 6.
Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People in 1882 and it was adapted by American Arthur Miller in 1950. The play explores the explosive consequences when one man’s quest to expose an inconvenient truth threatens and angers a larger community. In Ibsen’s original, a small Norwegian town has just begun to win fame and wealth through its medicinal spring waters. Dr. Stockmann, resident physician in charge, discovers that the waters are poisoned. 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.
“The play is at once both a scathing indictment of political corruption and the inherent corruptibility of the body politic,” says director Sledge. “It is also a grim warning about the dangers of denying empirical fact. We watch what happens when people abandon science for sensationalism, principles for practicality, and, perhaps most importantly, individual thought for the cerebral safety of the masses.”
Centenary student P.J. Souther plays Dr. Stockmann in the MLP production and has enjoyed the challenge of translating his character’s intense emotional journey for the audience. Souther and other members of the cast have also grappled with the larger contemporary implications of An Enemy of the People.
“I hope to convey to our audiences the impact propaganda has on us as a society and how it can cripple a society on both sides of the political field,” explains Souther. “That's where the true beauty of this play lies. Though there is a clear protagonist and antagonist the actual borders of right and wrong become muddled. There are rights and there are wrongs on both sides but at the end of the day what matters is the truth.”
Charlie Roppolo plays the Mayor (who happens to be Dr. Stockmann’s brother) and also sees the play’s relevance.
“This play shows the serious struggle between the battle of truth and rationale, and it’s beautiful to take in,” says Roppolo. “A lot of the play is a man sacrificing his entire life to reveal the truth about a certain thing, and it’s a very admirable trait for any character. It’s important to watch this production in these times. It’s beneficial for anyone to look in the mirror and ask themselves if the solid majority is actually right.”
Tickets for An Enemy of the People are $15 for general admission, $10 for military personnel and seniors, and $5 for students with ID. Tickets are free for all Centenary students, faculty, and staff. Visit centenary.edu/playhouse for more information or to purchase tickets.