AN ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE
A major artist of our time, Thomas Ostermeier grabs a classic play like an insurgent seizing hold of a weapon. A flamboyant spectacle driven by the urgent need to speak out.
There are key artists in every era, and the German director Thomas Ostermeier is one of those who, in the 21st century, are redefining the sense, the place and the scope of theatre. He grabs Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People like an insurgent seizing hold of a weapon. Ostermeier takes the audience into a dilemma that is all too familiar – integrity or money? – but with such acuity, such relevance, such skill in the manipulations of power, and with such appropriation of human fragility that the spectator plunges right into the fiction, actively taking part in the debate during a memorable public meeting.
In this devastatingly intelligent presentation, one driven by an urgent desire to speak out about the world we live in, Ostermeier revives grand German tradition through a lucid audacity, while remaining faithful to the idea of theatre as being necessary for society.
PRODUCED BY SCHAUBÜHNE BERLIN
WRITTEN BY HENRIK IBSEN
DIRECTED BY THOMAS OSTERMEIER
ADAPTATION AND DRAMATURGYFLORIAN BORCHMEYER
PERFORMED BY THOMAS BADING + CHRISTOPH GAWENDA + MORITZ GOTTWALD + INGO HÜLSMANN + EVA MECKBACH + DAVID RULAND + STEFAN STERN
SET DESIGN JAN PAPPELBAUM
COSTUME DESIGN NINA WETZEL
MUSIC MALTE BECKENBACH + DANIEL FREITAG
LIGHTING DESIGN ERICH SCHNEIDER
PAINTINGS KATHARINA ZIEMKE
PHOTO ARNO DECLAIR
PRESENTED IN ASSOCIATION WITH PLACE DES ARTS + CARREFOUR INTERNATIONAL DE THÉÂTRE (QUÉBEC)
WITH THE SUPPORT OF GOETHE-INSTITUT MONTRÉAL + GERMAN MINISTRY OF FOREIGN AFFAIRS
WRITTEN BY PAUL LEFEBVRE
TRANSLATED BY NEIL KROETSCH
PREMIERED AT OPÉRA-THÉÂTRE, AVIGNON, JULY 18, 2012
THOMAS OSTERMEIER | SCHAUBÜHNE AM LEHNINER PLATZ (BERLIN)
HENRIK IBSEN + THOMAS OSTERMEIER | SCHAUBÜHNE AM LEHNINER PLATZ
Humanist, Inventive Theatre
With its innovative strength and informed, probing productions, the Schaubühne, which celebrated its 50th anniversary last September, is one of the most important theatre companies in the world. Founded in West Berlin in 1962 by a collective led by Jürgen Schitthelm with the idea of establishing a theatre focused on social and political issues, the Schaubühne really took off in 1970 with the arrival of director Peter Stein. He was artistic director until 1985, and was accompanied by fabulous actors such as Edith Clever, Jutta Lampe, Angela Winkler and Bruno Ganz. With them, over the years he created pieces that became historically important, works like Big and Little by Botho Strauss (1978), Oresteia by Aeschylus (1980) and The Three Sisters by Chekhov (1984).
The Schaubühne underwent a radical reform with the arrival in 1999 of choreographers plus director Thomas Ostermeier. It became a place where theatre and dance influenced each other, as seen in Körper by Sasha Waltz and Trust by Falk Richter and Anouk van Dijk, presented at the FTA in 2009 and 2011 respectively. Thomas Ostermeier, sole artistic director since 2009, has created a permanent ensemble of actors who bring a burning immediacy to plays by writers ranging from Sarah Kane (Crave, 2000, Blasted, 2005), to Ibsen (A Doll’s House, 2002, Hedda Gabler, 2005, John Gabriel Borkmann, 2008-2009), Marius von Mayenburg (Fire Face, 1999-2000, Parasiten, 2000, Eldorado, 2004) and Shakespeare (A Midsummer Night’s Dream, 2006, Hamlet, 2008, Othello, 2010, Measure for Measure, 2011), giving a profound humanity to his staging.