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Tuesday, February 5, 2019

Ibsen's The Enemy of the People next at Centenary Stage


Randall Duk Kim and Anne Occhiogrosso headline Centenary Stage Company’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People, February 15 through March 3 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center, Hackettstown, New Jersey. Adapted by John Alan Wyatt and directed by Anne Occhiogrosso, the production will feature Randall Duk Kim as Doctor Thomas Stockmann supported by an acting company of professional and local talent from the tri-state area and Centenary University. The full-scale production marks the culmination of the 2018 Gates Ferry Lecture Series: “What is Truth?” To purchase tickets, call the Centenary Stage Company box office at (908) 979 0900 or visit centenarystageco.org.

With ripped-from-the-headlines relevance, this high intensity drama is a powerful investigation of ambition, integrity and the price we pay for truth. Originally published in 1882, An Enemy of the People concerns the actions of Doctor Thomas Stockmann, a medical officer charged with inspecting the public baths on which the prosperity of his native town depends. He finds the water to be contaminated. When he refuses to be silenced, he is declared an enemy of the people. Stockmann served as a spokesman for Ibsen, who felt that his plays gave a true, if not always palatable, picture of life and that truth was more important than critical approbation.

Occhiogrosso notes: “I first directed Enemy 30 years ago and Randall played Dr. Stockmann. Simply put I love the challenge of bringing Ibsen to life on the stage again and Randall is ecstatic to be able to invite the unpredictable and lively Dr. Stockmann into his imagination once more. Ibsen’s voice is so needed today as we struggle with environmental crisis, women’s rights, economic inequality, political division and our very ideas of truth and justice.”

The cast features a host of returning professional artists. Leading the cast is Randall Duk Kim as Dr. Thomas Stockmann and Colleen Smith Wallnau as Katherine Stockmann. Winner of the OBIE Award for Sustained Excellence, Kim began his early career with the legendary Joe Papp and the New York Public Theatre’s Shakespeare Festival and performed leading classical roles at some of America’s finest regional theatres. He has been seen on Broadway in Flower Drum Song, Golden Child and The King and I but perhaps is most universally recognized as “The Keymaker” in the film Matrix Reloaded and the voice of “Oogway” in the DreamWorks’ animated film Kung Fu Panda. Mr. Kim’s TV and film work includes the BBC Special Prisoner in Time, Anna and the King, Memoirs of a Geisha, Dragonball Ninja Assassin, Elementary and John Wick. Most recently, Kim starred in Centenary Stage Company’s production of “Art,” directed by Anne Occhiogrosso.

Colleen Smith Wallnau appeared this past November in Jennifer Fawcett’s play Apples in Winter as part of The National New Play Network Rolling World Premiere for the Centenary Stage Company. She has worked in the professional theatre for over 30 years on Broadway, off-Broadway, regionally and internationally. Broadway; Crazy for You, Off-Broadway; Joseph Papp Public Theatre (Through Darkest Ohio), SoHo Rep (On The Verge), Peccadillo Theatre (Beggar on Horseback), and the Mint Theatre (The Flattering Word and Oroonoko) among others. Regional theatre; Paper Mill Playhouse (An Ideal Husband), North Shore Music Theatre, (Music Man), Asolo Repertory Theatre (The Dark of the Moon, The Winslow Boy, The Dining Room), Meadowbrook Theatre (A View from the Bridge), Midtown International Festival (The Bauer Sisters), New York Fringe Festival (Milk for Mrs. Stone) among others.

Also returning is David Cantor as Peter Stockmann. Audiences will remember Cantor from The Learned Ladies. Broadway: Evita (Che), La Vie Parisienne (Bobinet). Off-Broadway: The Rothschilds (Nathan Rothschild). Regional: Vanya & Sonia & Masha & Spike (Vanya), My Fair Lady (Henry Higgins), Glengarry Glenn Ross (Ricky Roma), Oliver! (Fagin), The Desert Song (Benny), Much Ado About Nothing (Benedick), The Fantasticks (The Old Actor), 1776 (John Adams). Principal roles all 13 Gilbert & Sullivan operas in USA, Great Britain, Italy. TV/Film: Orange is the New Black, Madam Secretary, Jessica Jones, Redrum, Shadow of Doubt, Man in Progress.

Another familiar face to CSC audiences is David Sitler as Morten Kill. Sitler was last seen at Centenary Stage Company in Sherlock Holmes and the Case of the Jersey Lily and Inventing Montana among many other readings of new works. He was last seen as another ole Miser Scrooge at Triad Stage and has been on Broadway with Rosemary Harris, National Tour with Stacy Keach and regionally from Maine to California. He has been on film, TV web series, and most recently the game RED DOG REDEMPTION 2.

Michael Irvin Pollard also returns to Centenary Stage Company as Aslaksen. He was last seen at Centenary Stage Company in Light up the Sky. Most recently he was seen in New Jersey Repertory Company’s West End Festival of the Arts and, before that, off-Broadway in DAYBREAK at Pan Asian Rep. Regional credits include performances at Forestburgh Playhouse, Shadowland Theatre, Seven Angels Theatre, The Theater Project, The Bickford Theatre, the Adirondack Theatre Festival, Writer’s Theatre of NJ, the Depot Theatre, the Pioneer Valley Summer Theatre, George Street Playhouse and the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park where he was a member of the professional actor training program.

Michael Gabriel Goodfriend also returns to the CSC stage after his performance in The English Bride. A member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland, Oregon, he has appeared in numerous world premieres of new plays by outstanding contemporary American writers and in classics at theaters across the country. He has performed internationally at the National Theatre of Korea in Seoul and was a member of the Brooklyn-based Irondale Ensemble Project, where he wrote Wasted!, a noir-style thriller about the demise of public education in the United States. He has also performed on television and in several independent films. Michael was co-founder and artistic director of Yale Cabaret Hollywood, where he wrote, produced and participated in numerous plays and workshops. His play, “Dear Father…” A Kafka Cabaret, based on the life and work of Franz Kafka, was a semifinalist in the 2012 Eugene O’Neill Center National Playwrights Conference and the 2013 Eugene O'Neill Music Theatre Conference. He has also written several screenplays, and his political satire was heard weekly on Sirius XM Radio’s “Left Jab” for nine consecutive years. He has worked as a freelance producer for Sirius XM Radio, Air America, E!TV and AOL.

An Enemy of the People runs February 15 through March 3 in the Sitnik Theatre of the Lackland Performing Arts Center. Performances are Fridays, February 15, 22 and March 1 at 8pm, with a preview performance on Friday, February 15 at 2pm; Saturdays, February 16, 23 and March 2 at 8pm; Sundays, February 17, 24 and March 3 at 2pm; Thursdays, February 21 and 28 at 7:30pm and Wednesdays, February 20 and 27 at 2pm. Tickets are $25.00 for adults for matinee performances, $27.50 for adults on Friday evenings and $29.50 for adults on Saturday evenings. Thursday evening performances are $27.50 for all seats with a buy-one-get-one free rush ticket special. Centenary Stage Company also offers a buffet matinee special for Wednesday matinee performances at $42.50 per patron. Buffet matinees include admission to the performance and private dinning for groups of 25 – 50. Reservations required. Call the Centenary Stage Company box office directly at (908) 979 – 0900 to reserve.

The Centenary Stage Company box office is located in the Lackland Performing Arts Center at 715 Grand Ave. Hackettstown, NJ on the campus of Centenary University. The box office is open Monday through Friday from 1 – 5PM and two hours prior to every scheduled performance event. Centenary Stage Company can also be found across social media platforms; Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. “Like” and “follow” to receive the latest in Centenary Stage Company news and special offers.

The 2018-2019 season of Centenary Stage Company’s performing arts events is made possible through the generous support of the Geraldine R. Dodge Foundation, the NJ State Council on the Arts, the Shubert Foundation, the Blanche and Irving Laurie Foundation, the Sandra Kupperman Foundation, and CSC corporate sponsors, including Premier Season Sponsor Heath Village Retirement Community and The House of the Good Shepherd, Silver Sponsors HMC Atlantic Health, Home Instead Senior Care (Washington), Fulton Bank of New Jersey, and Centenary Stage Company members and supporters.

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