“Enemy of the People,” an interactive adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic morality tale, has cancelled all remaining performances. The Park Avenue Armory show was scheduled to continue through Aug. 8, but has abruptly ended its run so Ann Dowd, the Emmy-winning actress who performs the one-woman show, can deal with “a pressing family matter.”
“Enemy of the People,” which allowed audience members to vote on how they’d like to see various plot points resolved in choose-your-own-adventure style, started performances on June 22. The show centered on a scientist who discovers a problem with the water in a town that relies on public bathes for tourist revenue. It earned strong reviews, particularly for Dowd’s central turn. The Washington Post, for instance, hailed “Dowd’s embodiment of the scientist, a brave, outspoken woman who has nevertheless lost all her compassion for those who lack her education and experience, is another of her striking portrayals of deeply paradoxical characters.”
The actress is the Emmy Award-winning star of “The Handmaid’s Tale” and has also appeared in such films as “Compliance,” “Hereditary” and the upcoming “Mass.” “Enemy of the People” was directed by Robert Ickie. In an interview with Variety, Dowd said she saw many parallels with the issues of conscience that Ibsen dramatized and what’s going on in the body politic today.
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“We’re asking important questions about does our democracy work?” Dowd said. “How do we decide what’s the right thing to do?”
The show was presented as part of the Armory’s Social Distance Hall series. Audience members were required to present proof of vaccination and were seated in pods. The Armory’s sprawling theater allowed people to easily socially distance.
Ticketholders for affected performances will receive full refunds via their original payment method.