If you’re debating which shows to check out this Autumn, Bozeman Actor Theatre’s production of “Enemy of the People” should be at the top of your list. I got a chance to attend preview night and found the performances stunning, every character chisel-cut by a cast of the region’s best. That includes a rare chance to see Kevin Asselin on stage in a lead role—by day he’s the Artistic Director of Montana Shakespeare in the Parks. He’s joined by John Hosking, Kalen Watson, Will Dickerson, and several other local favorites.
Only a cast this accomplished could tackle material this challenging. This is the Arthur Miller 1950s adaptation of a late 1800s script by Henrik Ibsen. Dated? Not a bit. Directed by Gordon Carpenter, the storyline provides an anatomy of corruption with just enough humor to help the medicine go down. The scenario in short: As a small town wrestles with the implications of a scientific finding that could destroy their local economy, they wind up aiming their hostilities at each other instead of channeling their energy into solving the problem.
Sound familiar? Of course. But far from over-worked or mundane. This script pops the lid regarding how these conflicts arise and shines fine light on a million little off ramps. No one is innocent in this honest examination. You’ll come away feeling like you’ve had a good scrub and a revelation in one.
See this one. It’s good for your health! Bring a friend so you can have a robust conversation in the car afterwards.
The show runs for two weekends only: October 10-13, 19-20, 2019.
Reviewer: Anika M. Hanisch