Emmy winner Ann Dowd, no stranger to dystopian societies and ethical crises through her work on The Handmaid's Tale, will headline a solo version of Ibsen's Enemy of the People. The production, adapted and directed by Robert Icke, will run June 22–July 25 at New York City's Park Avenue Armory.
Dowd will play all the characters in the story, about a town thrown into a moral frenzy after the mayor's sibling, a scientist, discovers life-threatening contamination in the waterline of its natural hot springs resort, an economic boon and lifeline for the community. Icke incorporates an interactive element in his version, with audiences voting during pivotal moments to determine the direction of the story.
“Ibsen’s play asks big questions that still have no easy answers: about democracy and debate, about votes and majorities, and about how in an increasingly online, increasingly divided world, we might all live together,” Icke shared.
The production is the fourth offering in the Armory's Social Distance Hall series, which has welcomed back audience members to the Midtown East venue for socially distanced offerings. Earlier post-shutdown works have included the dance club experience SOCIAL!, the music-driven performance piece Party in the Bardo, and the Bill T. Jones-choreographed Afterwardsness.
Enemy of the People will feature sets and costumes by Hildegard Bechtler, lighting design by Natasha Chivers, and sound design by Mikaal Sulaiman. Tickets will be sold in pods of two to five attendees.