Truth and Consequence: GVT presents An Enemy of the People

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(Photo courtesy Greenbrier Valley Theatre)
Stuart Margolin as Norman Thayer, Jr. and Gretchen Corbett as Ethel Thayer in GVT’s 2016 production of On Golden Pond.

Greenbrier Valley Theatre (GVT), the State Professional Theatre of West Virginia, presents Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People. This drama, still relevant today, runs Apr. 27-May 10 at 7:30 p.m. with a Pay-What-You-Can Preview Performance on Apr. 26 at 7:30 p.m. and a matinee performance on May 5 at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are $30 for general admission, $27 for seniors and $20 for children/students. For tickets or more information, call GVT’s Box Office at 304-645-3838 or visit www.gvtheatre.org.

A small Norwegian town survives on the popularity of their bath houses until one man discovers that the water is contaminated. The events of the play argue that truth cannot prosper in a society where humanity is subordinated to economic growth. To succeed financially, the town and its officials will have to ignore the harm that the springs do to visitors. The crisis brings out the best in some and the worst in others as people decide how to respond to the whistle-blower who threatens their way of life.

This is the situation Dr. Stockmann, portrayed by two-time Emmy Award winner and star of The Rockford Files Stuart Margolin, finds himself in.

Margolin, who portrayed Sid Caesar in GVT’s 2015 production of Laughter on the 23rd Floor and Norman Thayer, Jr. in the 2016 production of On Golden Pond, is no stranger to dramatic roles. The accomplished actor put himself in his character’s shoes by trying to imagine what would happen if such a tragedy were to hit Lewisburg.

“In Lewisburg, it’s interesting to explore what would happen to a tourist area if your number one source of income would go away,” Margolin said.

While his character Dr. Stockmann has the chance to help he is not ready for the backlash he must face when he endangers the prosperity of his friends and family. Exploring the different relationships that these characters have with each other makes this production so much more than a political thriller. Margolin believes that these deep relationships between the characters and the different subtle nuances make this a very compelling drama.

The program is presented with financial assistance from the WV Division of Culture & History, and the National Endowment for the Arts, with approval from the WV Commission on the Arts.