Open to Public
An Enemy of the People: A Theater Project from America’s Hometown
Join us for a reading/open rehearsal of scenes from An Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen, a new version by Bryan Doerries, followed by a discussion with cast and community members about how the play resonates in Knox County today.
An Enemy of the People: A Theater Project from America’s Hometown will present acclaimed actors, elected officials, scientists, journalists, and local community members performing dramatic readings of scenes from Henrik Ibsen’s 1882 play An Enemy of the People to help frame powerful, guided audience discussions aimed at generating connection, understanding, compassion, and positive action.
The play tells the story of a doctor who discovers the water supply in his small, rural town has been poisoned by a tannery. Despite his efforts to convey the truth to the public, the doctor fails to save his community from environmental disaster and is ultimately scapegoated for his whistleblowing. An Enemy of the People was first performed in Norway in 1882, and yet it speaks to the present moment as if it were written for our time.
An Enemy of the People is co-presented by Theater of War Productions, the Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County, and Kenyon College.
Featuring performances by Benjamin Viccellio (Associate Professor of Drama and Film, Kenyon College), Matthew T. Starr, (Mayor, City of Mount Vernon), Jonathan Tazewell (Thomas S. Turgeon Professor of Drama, Kenyon College), Wendy MacLeod (James Michael Playwright-in-Residence/Professor of Drama, Kenyon College), John K. Chidester (Director, Public Library of Mount Vernon and Knox County), Alyssa Gómez Lawrence (Assistant Director of Community Partnerships, Kenyon College). Leeman Kessler, (Mayor of Gambier, Ohio).
Matthew T. Starr
Alyssa Gomez Lawrence
Caregiving & DeathThe Susie King Taylor Project
A dramatic reading of Susie King Taylor's memoir to help frame powerful, guided discussions about challenges faced by Nurses and Veterans.
War & Mental HealthTheater of War
Rooted in discussions about the invisible and visible wounds of war, the company’s hallmark project is designed to increase awareness of psychological health issues, disseminate information on available resources, and foster greater community cohesion.
Domestic ViolencePatient and Impatient Griselda
Theater of War Productions and Margaret Atwood return to the Toronto International Festival of Authors with an exciting new collaboration exploring power and control, domestic violence, and family dynamics by way of two versions of the same story, one written by Giovanni Boccaccio in 1348 during the bubonic plague and the other by Atwood in 2020 during the Covid-19 pandemic. In Bocaccio’s version, a woman named Griselda remains in an abusive and controlling relationship, showing great patience and forbearance in the face of her husband’s sadism and cruelty. In Atwood’s version, Griselda takes matters in her own hands and, with the help of her sister, turns the tables on her husband.
This free, public event featured a live, dramatic reading of the “Patient Griselda” story from Boccaccio's Decameron by Jesse Eisenberg (The Social Network, Fleishman is in Trouble), Maev Beaty (Beau is Afraid, Mouthpiece), and Araya Mengesha (Tiny Pretty Things, Nobody). Then, in response, Margaret Atwood performed “Impatient Grisleda,” a story that is narrated to a group of humans in quarantine by an alien that looks like an octopus. The readings of both texts was followed by immediate responses by community panelists and culminated in a guided audience discussion, facilitated by Bryan Doerries (Artistic Director, Theater of War Productions).
Co-presented by Theater of War Productions and Toronto International Festival of Authors.
This hybrid presentation took place in person at the Toronto Harbourfront Centre Theatre and on Zoom Webinar on September 30, 2023.