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News Release

An Enemy of the People
November 2007

First Class Theatre

The Leanor and Alvin Segal Theatre

An Enemy of the People
By Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Arthur Miller

Directed by Miles Potter
November 18 - December 9, 2007

"Now you'll see how human beings can walk around and make judgements like blind rats." - Dr. Stockmann

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 Peter Hinton
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 Montreal.


Nov. 18 – Dec. 9, 2007

November 18 1:30 pm
November 19, 20 & 21 8:00 pm

November 18 11:00 am

Opening Night:
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

Box Office:
(514) 739-7944

(514) 790-1245


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.