Monday, May 4, 2009

Ibsen's Inspiration

Ibsen scholar Michael Meyer discusses the incidents that inspired the plot of Henrik Ibsen's Enemy of the People.

He reveals that the father of Ibsen's colleague was stoned and chased out of the town of Teiplitz after speaking up about an outbreak of cholera at their spa in the eighteen-thirties.

Ibsen was also in Norway in 1874 when chemist Harald Thaulow waged ware on the Christiana Steam Kitchens "for neglecting their duty towards the city's poor." The chairman and the crowd prevented him from speaking at their annual meeting. The newspaper account read:

THAULOW: "I won't cast my pearls into the sand. This is a damned insult being inflicted on a free people in a free society. Now I'll go! Stand in the dunce's corner and be ashamed of yourselves!"

Meanwhile in 2009, as swine flu sweeps the news and the poisoned water investigation in Crestwood, IL continues to unfold, Red Tape Theatre's production grows more topical by the day.

Enemy of the People runs May 4-30, 2009
Tickets are available through our website.

Paul G. Miller
Season Dramaturge

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