MONTREAL November 2007 - The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre is
excited to continue producing socially relevant classics such as this compelling
and topical work dealing with environmental issues and political cover-ups. Originally
written in 1882, this stirring adaptation by Arthur Miller makes the Victorian-era
tale easily accessible to contemporary audiences, with the script a fortuitous
coming together of these two respected playwrights. An Enemy of the
People marks the Segal’s kick-start to ‘going green’.
An Enemy of the People is the story of a man who will sacrifice all-
his social standing, his reputation, his wealth and his own security and that
of his family – in order for the truth to prevail. The lead character,
Dr. Stockmann, exposes the pollution that is fouling the waters of the town
spa, threatening the health of its guests. Instead of being thanked, he is taunted
and denounced as a lunatic, an ‘enemy of the people’ by his fellow
townsfolk, who want to sweep the problem under the rug and continue enjoying
the spa’s economic bounty. Here, both the water and the townspeople are
poisoned. Arthur Miller’s adaptation, written during the witch-hunts of
the McCarthy Era, intensifies Ibsen’s principles.
Miller’s injunction, “It is necessary that the public understand
again that the stage is the place for ideas, for philosophies, for
the most intense discussion of man’s fate.” is echoed by Artistic
Director Bryna Wasserman, "The arts have always been in the forefront of
important public ideas, taking a stand where it matters."
Due to the subject of the play, the tainting of a town’s water supply,
director Miles Potter and set designer Peter Hartwell have been encouraged to
make this a ‘green’ production. Potter agrees, “In our age
of global warming and Walkerton, no one needs to argue the relevancy of this
play.” With Thetford Mines in today’s headlines, the play continues
to ring true. The Segal hopes to evolve Canadian theatre practice by looking
for new means and materials in set and costume production that are more environmentally
friendly and sustainable.
Some matters being addressed for this production include costumes reused and
borrowed from past shows and theatres; future productions hope to examine recycled
and hemp fabric. Sets will be built with the idea of reuse as well as donating
pieces to smaller theatre companies who would welcome the materials to offset
their budget. For the Centre overall, biodegradable cleaning supplies are being
incorporated. Recycled paper products will be used throughout along with vegetable
inks. Electronic press kits to the media started with The Diary of Anne
Frank. There is no smoking on stage.
Director Miles Potter is joined by an outstanding cast comprising Ric Reid
in the role of Dr. Stockmann, along with Tyrone Benskin, Margot Dionne, Daniel
Giverin, Jessica B. Hill, Mike Hughes, Marcel Jeannin, Daniel Lillford and William
Vickers. Eight theatre apprentices round out the townsfolk.
The imaginative design team recreating circa 1950 includes Peter Hartwell,
set and costumes; Luc Prairie, lighting; and Troy Slocum, sound. Élaine
Normandeau is the stage manager and Alexie Lalonde-Steedman completes the team
as assistant stage manager.
“The truth is out and soon it will be prowling
like a lion in the streets.” - Dr. Stockmann
88.5 CBC Radio One proudly presents Sunday-@-the-Segal with
Sunday, November 18th, 11am. Admission is free.
Join us for another season of intimate conversation and riveting lectures. With
Peter Hinton, Artistic Director, English Theatre for the National Arts Centre,
and one of Canada’s most respected playwrights, directors and dramaturges.
Mr. Hinton directed Ibsen’s A Doll House for the 2005 –
06 Segal theatre season.
Monday Night Talkbacks presented by Pratt and Whitney Canada
As usual following the play, some of the actors and/or designers will remain
on stage to take questions from the audience. Monday Night Talkbacks provides
an intimate opportunity for audiences to engage up close and personal with the
personalities bringing first class professional English language theatre to
TICKETS AND MEDIA INFORMATION
Nov. 18 – Dec. 9, 2007
November 18 1:30 pm
November 19, 20 & 21 8:00 pm
November 18 11:00 am
Thursday, November 22 8:00 pm
Monday - Thursday 8:00 pm
Saturday 8:30 pm
Sunday 7:00 pm
Wednesdays 1:00 pm
Sundays 2:00 pm
Segal Centre for Performing Arts at the Saidye
5170 Cote St. Catherine Rd.
Miles Potter - Director
Miles Potter has been working in Canadian theatre for over thirty years, and
he has directed plays at virtually every major Canadian theatre. Stratford Festival
productions include Medea, Romeo and Juliet, Good Mother,
The Glass Menagerie, and Orpheus Descending, which went on
to a successful run at Toronto’s Royal Alexandra Theatre. Recent productions
include The Taming of the Shrew (Bard on the Beach, Vancouver), Shakespeare’s
Will (Stratford) and Could You Wait (Grand Theatre, London, Ont.).
Montreal productions at the Centaur include Picasso at the Lapin Agile
(les Masques award) and Arms and the Man. He has been a guest director
at the National Theatre School, Dalhousie University, George Brown College and
the University of Missouri at Kansas City. Miles has directed thirteen productions
for the Manitoba Theatre Centre, and was the original dramaturge and director
of Michael Healy's play The Drawer Boy at Theatre Passe Muraille for
which he received a Dora Mavor Moore Award. When not working, Miles lives in
the Ontario village of Harrington where he gardens, reads, and hangs out with
son Callan and wife Seana McKenna.
Henrik Ibsen - Playwright
Known as the Father of Modern Drama, Norwegian Henrik Ibsen (1828 – 1906)
is among the most famous modern playwrights. He is the author of such dramas
as Peer Gynt (1867), A Doll's House (1879) and When We
Dead Awaken (1899). His first play was published and performed in 1850
(Catiline), the same year he moved to Christiana (now Oslo). He traveled
abroad for nearly thirty years (living in Rome, Dresden and Munich), wrote plays
and directed a variety of theatre companies. During his lifetime he earned an
international reputation for his psychological dramas that frequently commented
on social issues of the day. His plays are still among the most frequently performed
in the world. Ibsen wrote An Enemy of the People in response to the
public outcry against his play, Ghosts, which was considered scandalous
for the time as it challenged the hypocrisy of Victorian morality and was deemed
indecent for its veiled references to syphilis.
Arthur Miller - Adaptation
Arthur Miller was an American dramatist, (1915-2005), whose works are concerned
with the responsibility of each individual to other members of society. Simply
and colloquially written, Miller’s plays sprang from his social conscience
and from his compassion for those who are vulnerable to the false values imposed
on them by society.