An Enemy of the People


Program Information

Genre / City Theatre / Berlin
Dates 29 April at 19:00, 30 April at 14:30
Venue At Shizuoka Arts Theatre
Duration 150 minutes
Language In German with Japanese subtitles
seat Reserved seat
Directed by Thomas OSTERMEIER
Production Schaubühne, Berlin

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What is a social justice?

One of Europe’s most distinguished dramatists, the 49-year-old artistic director of the prestigious Schaubühne theater company in Berlin, Thomas OSTERMEIER, has made many innovations in German theatre.
This time, audiences in Shizuoka City can see some of those for themselves in OSTERMEIER’s searingly relevant, 21st-century version of Henrik IBSEN’s An Enemy of the People.
In this classic work from 1882, the hero, Dr. Stockmann, finds out that the water in his town’s new tourist attraction, its hot-spa health resort, is polluted with bacteria. However, when he calls for the resort to be closed, he comes into conflict with many townspeople who would stand to lose money, as well as politicians and the media. Consequently, he’s forced to confront the power of the masses — right or wrong.
Though the theme is serious, the play doesn’t lack wit in the way its voice of reason mirrors today’s world in which experts can find themselves derided by people happy to take a short-term view even despite dire warnings. However, in the play’s climactic scene of a town meeting, OSTERMEIER’s hero asks the audience directly to decide — so there’s no place to hide, as everyone present becomes part of the drama.

Director’s Profile

© Brigitte LACOMBE

Thomas OSTERMEIER was born in 1968 in Soltau. From 1992-96 he studied directing at the Hochschule für Schauspielkunst Ernst Busch, Berlin. In 1990-91 he worked as an actor in Einar SCHLEEF’s Faust Project at the Hochschule der Künste, Berlin. In 1993-94 he was assistant director and actor with Manfred KARGE in Weimar and at the Berliner Ensemble. In 1995 he directed Die Unbekannte by Alexander BLOK in accordance with Meyerhold’s system of biomechanics. In 1996 he directed Recherche Faust/Artaud at the bat-Studiotheater Berlin. From 1996-99 Ostermeier was Artistic Director of the Baracke at the Deutsches Theater, Berlin. Productions there included Fat Men in Skirts by Nicky SILVER (1996), Knives in Hens by David HARROWER (1997 awarded with Friedrich-Luft-Prize), Brecht’s Mann ist Mann (1997), Suzuki by Alexej SCHIPENKO (1997), Shopping and Fucking by Mark RAVENHILL (1998), Below the Belt by Richard DRESSER (1998), The Blue Bird by MAETERLINCK (1999). In 1998 the Baracke was nominated Theatre of the Year. In 1998 and 1999 he directed Disco Pigs by Enda WALSH and Fire Face by Marius VON MAYENBURG at the Schauspielhaus Hamburg. His final production at the Baracke was Suzuki II by Alexej SCHIPENKO.
Since September 1999 OSTERMEIER has been resident director and member of the Artistic Direction of the Schaubühne. He has also directed several productions at the Münchner Kammerspiele: 2002 Der starke Stamm by Marieluise FLEISSER, 2005 Vor Sonnenaufgang by Gerhart HAUPTMANN, 2007 Die Ehe der Maria Braun by Rainer WERNER FASSBINDER (invited to the Theatertreffen 2008) and 2009 Susn by Herbert ACHTERNBUSCH, at the Edinburgh Festival: The Girl on the Sofa by Jon FOSSE, 2002 (awarded with the »Herald Angel Award«) and at the Burgtheater in Vienna: The Master Builder by Henrik IBSEN, 2004. In November 2004 he was appointed Artiste Associé for the Festival d’Avignon by the new artistic director of the festival, Vincent BAUDRILLER, and has been presenting shows at the Festival almost every year since then.
Invitations to Theatertreffen Berlin with Knives in Hens (1997), Shopping and Fucking (1998), Nora (2003), Hedda Gabler (2006) and Die Ehe der Maria Braun (2008). Furthermore, in 2003 Nora has been awarded the Nestroy Prize as well as the Politika Prize during the theatre festival in Belgrade BITEF. Hedda Gabler received in 2006 the audience award of the Theater¬gemeinde Berlin, his Little Foxes was awarded the same prize in 2015. His productions John Gabriel Borkmann and Hamlet have been awarded with international prizes as best productions in the season 2008/2009: John Gabriel Borkmann with the Grand Prix de la Critique of France (April 2009) and Hamlet with the Barcelona Critics Prize (September 2009). OSTERMEIER’s production The Cut received the critic´s prize at the international theatre festival KONTAKT in Torun (Poland) in May 2010. For Measure for Measure he received the Friedrich-Luft-Prize for the Best Theatre Performance in Berlin in 2011. In Chile Hamlet has been awarded with the critic’s prize as Best International Production 2011, in Turkey with the honor award by the 18th Istanbul Theatre Festival 2012 and in Teheran as best direction at the FADJR International Theatre Festival in 2016. For his contributions to the European theatre, he was awarded an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from the University of Kent in 2016. In 2017, he was awarded the Premio della Critica Teatrale for his production of Richard III.
In 2009 OSTERMEIER has been appointed Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French ministry of culture, and promoted to the degree of Commandeur in 2015. In May 2010 he has been announced as German president of the Deutsch-Französischer Kulturrat (DKFR), German-French Council of Culture. He received the Golden Lion of the Venice Biennale for the entirety of his work in 2011.
His latest productions at the Schaubühne are An Enemy of the People by Henrik IBSEN (2012), Death in Venice/Kindertotenlieder after Thomas MANN/Gustav MAHLER (2013), The Little Foxes by Lillian HELLMAN (2014), Richard III by William SHAKESPEARE (2015), the world premiere of Yasmina REZA’s Bella Figura (2015), Professor Bernhardi by Arthur SCHNITZLER (2016) and Returning to Reims after the book by Didier ERIBON (2017).
His productions are touring worldwide to places like Adelaide, Athens, Avignon, Barcelona, Belgrade, Bordeaux, Brussels, Buenos Aires, Bucharest, Caracas, Chennai, Copenhagen, Delhi, Dublin, Hong Kong, Kolkata, Krakow, Lisbon, Ljubljana, London, Madrid, Marseille, Melbourne, Moscow, Naples, New York, Novi Sad, Omsk, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Prague, Québec, Rennes, Reims, Santiago de Chile, Sarajevo, Seoul, Sydney, Taipei, Tampere, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Venice, Vienna and Zagreb.


◎Pre-performance talk: Starting 25 minutes before each performance

Cast / Staff

Directed by Thomas OSTERMEIER
Written by Henrik IBSEN
Performed by Christoph GAWENDA, Konrad SINGER, Eva MECKBACH, Renato SCHUCH, David RULAND, Moritz GOTTWALD, Thomas BADING

Production: Schaubühne, Berlin 
Special Support: Goethe-Institut Tokyo GOETHE INSTITUT

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