‘Enemy’ of all
Student play reflects social issues with tragic elements
| Audrey Hucke reporter |
Although the show is set in the 19th century, those attending the performance of “An Enemy of the People” by Henrik Ibsen at 8 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 27, will see a production filled with social messages relevant to today’s world.
The play will be presented at the same time again Friday, Feb. 28, and Saturday, March 1, in the Grubbs Studio Theatre. A final performance will be at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 2.
A social drama with tragic elements, “An Enemy of the People” addresses various civic issues. The story line paints a picture of an 1880s Norwegian community endangered by the disturbing unethical practices of a corporation risking its well-being for financial stability and prosperity.
“Overall, the message of Ibsen’s play is about telling the truth and how that process is often complicated when the economy and money get in the way,” said Joey Pogue, associate professor in communication and first-time director at Pitt State.
“The producti on is very topical today. All around us we see ethical practices jeopardized by economic hardships,” he said. “These issues are still present in many forms, and often times people see these truths but don’t talk about them.”
The cast, which consists of 19 characters, is composed of actors from PSU as well as the community. In addition, students from the Department of Communication help run the behind-the-scenes work vital to the presentation’s success.
Individuals associated with the performance have been busy the last couple of months with five rehearsals a week being the norm.
“Those involved in the performance started rehearsing right after we came back from break, but the idea has been around for some time,” Pogue said. “When we began, we decided to link the play in with the Department of the Art’s upcoming Interdisciplinary Lecture Series.”
“We’re really encouraging participation from the public,” Pogue said. “We’ve gone out in the community to put on scenes for organizations. Not only that, but there are three lawyers and two children from the community involved in the production.”
In addition to the diverse cast, Pogue says that the characters’ wardrobes are something to look forward to as well. The costumes, which were designed by PSU’s costume designer Lisa Quinteros, seem to fit right into Ibsen’s Victorian, Norwegian community.
The director says he has high hopes for his directorial debut at Pitt State.
“At this point it looks like there’s been quite a bit of interest and we’re hoping for a good turnout,” Pogue said. “He added that to him the play will be an “opportunity to bring drama, artistic expression and the social sciences together.”