The End of the East Chicago Lead Contamination Problem

Lead was found in the soil under the homes of a housing development and a school which had been built on the footprint of a lead factory. The EPA report came out in the summer of 2016. The lead count was so high that the mayor determined that the houses needed to be razed and sent... Read more »


“Tom Stockmann is a complex person,” both Brett Neveu and Robert Falls, believe and in their adaptations at A Red Orchid and Goodman theaters respectively, they attempt to portray him as such. They point to Stockmann’s lines in his monologue in the fourth Act in which echoes of the eugenics debate going on at the... Read more »


      Robert Falls’ adaptation of 19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People” at the Goodman Theatre provides the perfect platform for  Falls to “Howl” at the “ongoing horrific, terrible” world as he sees it. He has loaded the dialog with references to the present political, environmental and economic situation in which we... Read more »
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(Continued from the March 13 blog) The real meaning of 19th century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s play, Enemy of the People” seems to have gotten lost in all of the discussions around such questions as ‘What is an adaptation?’ “How can we understand Stockmann’s complex character, especially his monologue in the fourth act?” ‘How should we... Read more »

THE COMPLEXITY OF ‘ENEMY OF THE PEOPLE’—A Preview Discussion by Two Playwrights

Two playwrights, who have just completed adaptations of 19th century playwright Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People,” spent an hour on Sunday discussing the meaning of the complex playat the Goodman’s Alice Theatre. The play is being shown sequentially at two Chicago theaters. Brett Neveu’s production, which he renamed “Traitor,” at A Red Orchid Theatre,... Read more »

SUMMARY: Enemy of the People

Two Chicago theaters, A Red Orchid in February and the Goodman in March, are offering their adaptations of 19th century Norwegian Playwright Henrik Ibsen’s play, ‘Enemy of the People,’ which focuses on several of today’s hottest issues: politics and the business v environment debate with a nod to the Trump presidency and the Flint, Michigan,... Read more »

Review of Traitor at A Red Orchid Theatre: A Fictional View Resembling the East Chicago Lead Debacle

  In Brett Neveu’s version of 19th century Swedish playwright Henrik Ibsen’s “Enemy of the People,” art and reality collide in one of the most powerful plays I’ve seen. Neveu’s new play, “Traitor,” at A Red Orchid Theatre comes eerily close to the unfolding drama taking place in East Chicago where lead was found in... Read more »

Two Chicago Theaters adapt Enemy of the People by Henrik Ibsen;Background to Two Chicago Adaptations

An Enemy of the People was written at the turn of the 19th century by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen. It has recently been adapted by three Midwestern theaters– The Goodman and A Red Orchid in Chicago and the University of Michigan-Flint. This is a powerful play. And it is as relevant today as it was... Read more »

Interview with the Playwright of Traitor at the Red Orchid Theatre--Brett Neveu

Serendipity more often than we realize plays a role in our lives. The plot of a new play, ”   Traitor,” at A Red Orchid Theatre, appears to have been taken directly from a real life situation in East Chicago. But it wasn’t. In fact the playwright, Brett Neveu, knew nothing about the East Chicago debacle until... Read more »

Chicago Theaters Present a Dramatic Portrayal of Lead Contamination Unleashed

Two Chicago theatre companies—A Red Orchid and the Goodman— are having their say about the EPA’s changes in pollution regulations, curtailing of pollution monitoring, and weakening of the Clean Water Act. Both dramas are adaptations of Henrik Ibsen’s late 19th century play “An Enemy of the People,” in which the Norwegian town’s Public Health Springs... Read more »
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    Carolyn Boiarsky

    " I am an American," but not "Chicago born" like Augie March. Only Chicago aged. I'd like to think that if Henry Louis Gates were to investigate my geneology, he would discover in my past three women who traveled around the globe, chronicling their adventures. Sarah Kemble Knight traveled 112 miles by carriage from Boston to New York in 1704, a journey most women did not embark on alone (and men did so only with some trepidation). In fact, women were only just beginning to exercise their independence in the 1920's when Emily Kimbrough took off with her friend, Cornelia Otis Skinner, to explore Europe. But it is Auntie Mame, transforming herself from a New Yorker to the wife of an Austrian Baron and climbing the Matterhorn, whose mantra I have adopted. "LIFE IS A BANQUET...LIVE!" I began travelling in the 1960's when I traveled around western Europe between graduating from the University of Pennsylvania and my first job as a statehouse correspondent for UPI (United Press International) in Charleston, West Virginia, which was about as foreign a place as Europe was to someone who grew up in the environs of Philadelphia. Since then, I've also traveled to Kaunas, Lithuania, to teach at Vytautus Magnus University and to Sheffield, England, to present a paper at an engineering conference. I've been to the Alps and seen Auntie Mame's Matterhorn while climbing, by a series of cable cars rather than by foot, toward the peak of Mont Blanc. For 10 years my husband and I traveled to unique places: a sheep farm during lambing season in England's Lake Country, a hotel on one of the Barromeo Islands in the middle of Lake Maggiore in Northern Italy, and a cottage in Dun Quin on the Dingle Peninsula which the Irish claim is the last parish before Boston. Between excursions, I'm a professor in the Department of English at Purdue University Calumet in Hammond, Indiana,. My husband passed away recently and, Auntie Mame-style, I am in the process of transforming myself. I've joined a tour to Central Asia and traveled to China to work with the pandas. Two years ago, I returned to Europe--Inreland, England, and France--to present a paper at a Conference and then visit friends. It's 2017 now and London once again draws me in. This time I'm fulfilling my dream of taking my grandchildren to Europe. I've rented a flat near Hyde Park and ordered London passes for everyone. A new adventure. Old friends. Another banquet.

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