An Enemy of the People
By Henrik Ibsen
Directed by Robert Falls
March 10 – April 15, 2018 in the Albert
Ibsen’s masterwork, “a play so necessary, so exhilarating to experience” (The Village Voice), finds renewed immediacy in a daring new production from Artistic Director Robert Falls. The contamination of a resort town’s water supply sets the stage for a battle involving the town’s respected mayor, Peter Stockmann, and his brother Thomas, a respected doctor. As the brothers become locked in a combative struggle between political wisdom and personal ethics, the economic fate of the community—and the unity of the town’s residents—hangs in the balance.
Artistic Director Robert Falls' Artist Page can be found here.
An Enemy of the People
Henrik Ibsen, Playwright
HENRIK IBSEN (Playwright, 1828 - 1906) Born in Skien, Norway, Ibsen was apprenticed at age 15 to an apothecary, a situation he detested. He wrote poetry to escape his misery and at 20 attended the university in Christiania (now Oslo). Within a short time his plays were being published and produced at the Christiania Theatre. In 1851, he was appointed to the theater at Bergen, where he served as director, designer and resident playwright. After six years learning his craft in Bergen, Ibsen moved back to Christiania, again working as a theater manager and artistic advisor. Plays from this period, such as The Vikings at Helgeland (1858) and Loves Comedy (1862), demonstrated his mature voice for the first time and, like many of his later plays, stirred up controversy on their first appearances. In 1864, Ibsen applied to the government for a poet's stipend; when it was refused, he exiled himself from Norway. The injustice he felt at this denial helped propel his two early masterpieces, the verse dramas Brand (1866) and Peer Gynt (1867). Ibsen spent most of his years of exile in Germany, though he frequently spent months at a time in Italy. He returned briefly to Norway for the publication of his huge epic Emperor and Galilean (1873). He published A Doll's House in 1879, followed by Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), The Wild Duck (1884), Rosmersholm (1886), The Lady from the Sea (1888), Hedda Gabler (1890), The Master Builder (1892), Little Eyolf (1894) and John Gabriel Borkman (1896). When We Dead Awaken, Ibsen's last play and a grand culmination of his themes, appeared in 1900. He returned to Christiania in 1891 to live out his life and died four years after suffering a physical and mental breakdown.
Robert Falls, Director
ROBERT FALLS (Goodman Theatre Artistic Director) The 2016/2017 Season marked Mr. Falls’ 30th anniversary as the artistic director of the Goodman in which he directed the world premiere of Jim McGrath’s Pamplona, starring Stacy Keach, and Annie Baker’s adaptation of Uncle Vanya. In the 2015/2016 Season he directed the Chicago premiere of Rebecca Gilman’s Soups, Stews, and Casseroles: 1976, and also partnered with Goodman playwright-in-residence Seth Bockley to direct their world premiere adaptation of Roberto Bolaño’s 2666 (Jeff Award for Best Adaptation). During the 2014/2015 Season, he reprised his critically acclaimed production of The Iceman Cometh at the Brooklyn Academy of Music, directed Rebecca Gilman’s Luna Gale at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Los Angeles and directed a new production of Mozart’s Don Giovanni for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Other recent productions include Measure for Measure and the world and off-Broadway premieres of Beth Henley’s The Jacksonian. Among his other credits are The Seagull, King Lear, Desire Under the Elms, John Logan’s Red, Jon Robin Baitz’s Three Hotels, Eric Bogosian’s Talk Radio and Conor McPherson’s Shining City; the world premieres of Richard Nelson’s Frank’s Home, Arthur Miller’s Finishing the Picture (his last play), Eric Bogosian’s Griller, Steve Tesich’s The Speed of Darkness and On the Open Road, John Logan’s Riverview: A Melodrama with Music and Rebecca Gilman’s A True History of the Johnstown Flood, Blue Surge and Dollhouse; the American premiere of Alan Ayckbourn’s House and Garden and the Broadway premiere of Elton John and Tim Rice’s Aida. Mr. Falls’ honors for directing include, among others, a Tony Award (Death of a Salesman), a Drama Desk Award (Long Day’s Journey into Night), an Obie Award (subUrbia), a Helen Hayes Award (King Lear) and multiple Jeff Awards (including a 2012 Jeff Award for The Iceman Cometh). For “outstanding contributions to theater,” Mr. Falls has also been recognized with such prestigious honors as the Savva Morozov Diamond Award (Moscow Art Theatre), the O’Neill Medallion (Eugene O’Neill Society), the Distinguished Service to the Arts Award (Lawyers for the Creative Arts), the Illinois Arts Council Governor’s Award and, most recently, induction into the Theater Hall of Fame.