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An Enemy of the People

About performance

SHAUBUEHNE, Berlin, Germany


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  • Direction — 2967

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By Henrik Ibsen 

Premiere: July 18th, 2012 in Avignon 
Premiere: September 8th, 2012 in Berlin 

Dr. Stockmann discovers that the source of drinking and spa water is riddled with pathogenic micro-organisms, caused by industrial effluence. Stockmann wants to publish the findings in the newspaper and demands that the city council re-route the water pipes. Influential citizens and local journalists promise their support. However, his brother Peter, the councilor of the city, raises some serious concerns: The economic prosperity of the spa town will be threatened and the citizens will have to bear the brunt of the high repair costs. Suddenly the support for Stockmann from the town’s policymakers begins to wane. They spread seeds of doubt about his plans and try to cover up the fact of the contaminated water. But Stockmann insists on transparency and intends to go public on the matter. In an all-important speech, ha hopes to win the town over to his way of thinking. He accepts that this will cause the permanent rift between himself and his brother and that he also runs the risk of being ostracized by the community. For him the affair has long since ceased to be about the polluted health spa, his target is society as whole. Ibsen’s drama wavers on a fine line between honesty and fanaticism. What is the potential for transparency in a commercialized society?

Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes (no intermission)

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