Review On An Enemy of the People

Leigh Kennicott

Leigh Kennicott

Registered Critic

It’s startling to see the Theatricum Botanicum stage populated by robed members of the Ku Klux Klan at a meeting chaired by David Duke (Conner Clark Pascale) in 1972. But we soon learn that that the main character, Dr. Stockman (Christopher W. Jones) and his wife, Katherine (Earnestine Phillips), were once run out of the little town of South Fork because of their marriage. Stockman has retained friendships across both sectors of the town, however. He unites with Horatio (Max Lawrence) editor of the “Black” newspaper, while Mildred (Katherin Griffith), the town’s mayor is none other than his own sister. Ibsen twists the knot ever tighter when all, even Stockman’s family, turns against him and he is declared “enemy of the people.”

Echoes of our own times abound in Geer’s update. The performers recreate the town’s inhabitants to chilling effect. From the repugnant KKK meeting to the final denouement, the play elicits a visceral effect. To paraphrase Trump’s “There are fine people on both sides” --- here, there are culpable people on both sides.

Leigh Kennicott
Leigh Kennicott has an extensive background in theatre, film and television and a Ph.D. degree in Theatre, awarded in 2002. A writer, director and actor, Leigh Kennicott began theatrical reviewing at Backstage, followed by Pasadena Weekly and Stage Happenings blog.
As a director in Los Angeles, she directed a neo-realist "Romeo and Juliet" at the Secret Rose Theatre; a new play,“Charlotte Second Chance,” at DramaGarage; and “How I Learned to Drive,” “Nickel and Dimed” and “Top Girls” all at College of the Canyons.
Presently, she teaches theatre topics at California State University, Northridge.