The Pearl Theatre Company will stage the U.S. premiere of Blackbird playwright David Harrower’s adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s Public Enemy Off-Broadway this month. In Ibsen’s tale of truth and politics, a doctor tries to expose an important discovery to the community, but finds his friends and neighbors have turned against him.
Harrower’s take is billed as a “punchy and raw adaptation,” with performances scheduled to run September 29-October 29. Pearl Theatre Company artistic director Hal Brooks directs.
“When I read Harrower's lean adaptation, I was stunned,” Brooks comments in a press statement. “His writing allows Dr. Stockmann to go for the jugular, to confront the hypocrisies of his town, and root out the corruption inherent in its local politics. Ultimately, my approach is to show that there is a price for excessive adherence to principle—and there's a greater price for society in ignoring one’s truer ideals.”
The cast of Public Enemy is made up of Jimonn Cole, Dominic Cuskern, Arielle Goldman, Guiesseppe Jones, John Keating,Alex Purcell, Carol Schultz, Nilaja Sun, Robbie Tann, Alex Haynes and David Vino.
“In Ibsen’s Public Enemy, better know as An Enemy of the People, we find a society that values comfort over safety, wealth over equality and publicity over truth,” state press notes for the premiere. “Harrower’s town is similarly motivated by self-preservation and survival, and this mob-mentality leads people in a direction that is paradoxically at their own expense.”
The creative team includes Harry Feiner (scenic design), Barbara A. Bell (costume design), Marika Kent (lighting design), Jane Shaw (sound design) and Marci Skolnick (production stage manager).
All performances will take place at the Pearl Theater, located at 555 West 42nd Street. Visit pearltheatre.org/ for more information and to purchase tickets.