What's it about?
Dr. Stockmann knows a secret that the public does not. He is warned by his brother (the mayor) to not release this secret. Now Stockmann has to choose between standing for what he believes in or saving his relationship with his brother.
What'd I experience?
Walking into the theatre and sinking into my seat was one of the most peaceful moments I have had all week. After being bombarded with the many shootings that have happened in schools and malls, after the long hours of sitting in class and not retaining anything being taught, and after having to hear about that dreadful debate between Trump and Hillary Clinton - I was ready to get away from all of that with this show.
The atmosphere in the room before the show began was so calming, I felt like I was in a forest. Seriously. I could hear birds gently singing above me and I could smell fresh tree bark and water. This was so uplifting, especially with how the set was decorated as a wooden home with a large window showing a view of the woods. The yellow sunlight mixed with hints of blue snuck it’s way from the upper right side of the stage, and made me forget about all of my school work and what's going on in America.
Public Enemy forced me to question who I am, what I stand for, and all that I think I know. I thought that I got away from facing all of the problems in this country, but this play shoved it in my face - opposite from the peaceful aura it initially presented - and I am very grateful for that. An honorable and well loved man, Dr. Thomas Stockmann finds out that the water pipes in town are filled with poison and wants to let the public know in order to protect them. However, his brother, Peter (who is also the mayor), is against this and vows to strip Dr. Stockmann of his title if he reveals the truth to the public. He turns all who once stood with Thomas against him, as they claim this information will destroy the town’s reputation, and it’s businesses. Thomas is appalled, not only because the people who were with him turned against him, but because he was branded the public enemy.
I looked inwards as Thomas came into the audience and asked open-ended, mind boggling questions. What would I do if I was in Thomas's position? What would I do if I was branded a public enemy, and everyone hated me? How would I react if I had no one to lean on, but myself and my family? Would I stand by my truth, or would I cave in? When everything that “made” me is taken away from me, would I stay strong?
This made me think about my society. So many people are comfortable with being blind sheep instead of courageous loners. Many would rather be told what to do and how to do it than to be an individual. They would listen to authoritative leaders and automatically buy into their lies (i.e Politicians, celebrities, etc). I had to look within myself and see who I gave my energy and power to.
As the show was finally coming to an end and things were actually looking a lot worse for Thomas and his family, he was still able to see the light at the end of this suffocatingly dark tunnel and stay true to his beliefs of what's right. I left this show with this man’s definition of a public enemy. A public enemy is the strongest man/woman in the world. The strongest man/woman in the world is the one who stands alone. This does not mean disregarding all opinions and adopting a closed mind, but staying true to oneself even if it means being hated.