The Penn State Berks Theatre Department will present “An Enemy of the People,” written by Henrik Ibsen, Wednesday through Saturday, April 10-13, at 8 p.m. in the Perkins Student Center Auditorium. General admission is $10; $5 for Penn State Berks students, faculty, and staff with Penn State ID; and free to high school theatre students and faculty.
Jim Brown, program coordinator for Theatre, is the director. He explains that the production is an adaptation of the original text. “The story is still centered on the conflict between science and corporate profit in a fight between Dr. Thomas Stockmann and Mayor Peter Stockmann, brothers who are part of a group that has created a health spa,” explains Brown. “In the original production, the waters of the spa have become contaminated by bacterial runoff from a tannery. In our production, the waters were contaminated by toxic chemicals from fracking. In the original, the Mayor undercuts his brother the doctor by leaking false stories to the local newspaper. Our adaptation uses the social media platforms to undercut Dr. Stockmann and engage in a viral character assassination.”
He went on to explain that they also changed some of the character names from difficult to pronounce Norse names to Americanized names and their jobs to positions that make more sense for a contemporary culture.
Penn State Berks senior Theatre majors will play the leads: Brandon Reimer will portray Dr. Thomas Stockmann and Taylor Clark Housel will portray Mayor Peter Stockmann. The cast includes Tessa Eberlein in the role of Mrs. Catherine Stockmann, Taylor Probert as Petra Stockmann, Dan Jankauskas as Harper, Charles Carr as Billing, Evan Barton as Mr. Alekson, Elliot Dietrich as Morton Kiil, Dan Harper as Reverend Horster, and Andrew Beam as Evan Stockmann. Brandon Rodriguez and Matt Fry will portray Town Citizens.
Once again, the college’s engineering students are lending a hand to the team. Junior Electro-Mechanical Engineering Technology major R.J. Bonham, sophomore Engineering major Patryk Smith, and first-year Engineering major Heather Alexander will handle sound and projection. Faculty member Cory Palmer will provide technical direction and scenic design; Robin Buckwalter, costume design; and Christopher Connelly, lighting, sound and projection.
The Penn State Berks Bachelor of Arts in Theatre provides students with a solid foundation to become successful theatre artists and effective theatre educators. The degree program also trains students in the skills to become effective communicators and professional program managers.
For more information, contact the Box Office at 610-396-6371 or visit berks.psu.edu/BA-Theatre.