An Enemy of the People


Arthur Miller adapted from Henrik Ibsen

Published by Dramatists Play Service

3 Female

A small Norwegian town has just begun to win fame and wealth through its medicinal spring waters

Dr Stockmann, resident physician in charge, discovers that the waters are poisoned. On receiving proof of this, he immediately reports to his associates, the town officials most immediately affected

The Doctor is shocked to find that instead of being thanked, he is looked upon as a dangerous crank, motivated by a desire to prove that his fellow townsmen are wrong, and to bring ruin upon them

As the people who run the local paper and the town officials (among them close relatives and friends of the Doctor) do their utmost to urge secrecy and compromise, the determined Doctor realizes that the honesty and idealism he has counted upon to make the truth prevail, simply do not exist in the face of selfish "practical" interests

The press will not report his findings; the officials refuse to give him a hearing; he loses his position and the townspeople boycott him and ultimately his wife and children are cut off from all contact with friends and neighbors

Almost every weapon of offense and abuse is brought to bear against the family - blackmail, slander, and eviction from their home. But all the time the Doctor, morally supported by his family, carries on his magnificent fight for the truth

At the end the townspeople, gathered outside the home which the Stockmanns must soon leave, cast stones through the windows. Stockmann addresses his family: "But remember now, everybody, you are fighting for the truth and that is why you're alone. And that makes you strong"

Produced in New York and with great success by the Repertory Theatre of Lincoln Center

"It flames out of a fiery spirit Mr Miller's adaptation is compact, idiomatic, and eminently actable, and it also preserves Ibsen's moral point of view" ~ NY Times

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