Monday, May 18, 2009

Robert Oakes on Adapting Ibsen

We asked Red Tape Ensemble Member Robert L. Oakes to discuss his reasons for adapting Henrik Ibsen's Enemy of the People.

There are a several reasons I chose to adapt this play. First, was the sense that the play had not aged well. In spite of being dramatically compelling, it seemed to lack the psychological weight of some of Ibsen's other scripts.

Second, was a desire to re-imagine the play in a contemporary setting. How would the themes and ideas of script be realized in a contemporary context? And how could those themes and ideas be presented in a way that was compelling and dramatic for a contemporary audience.

Third, was the desire to re-imagine Dr. Stockmann as an Ibsenian woman. I some respects, I think Dr. Stockmann is the woman character Ibsen would write if he were alive today: feminine, intellectually powerful, emotionally independent and deeply conflicted.

Lastly, there was one particular aspect in the original script which I felt needed to be developed and that was the relationship between the two siblings. What does it mean to this story if those two characters actually love each other?

Robert L. Oakes

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

No comments: