Maple Grove actor is no ‘Enemy of the People’

Takes role in play at James J. Hill House

by Neil Salminen

Murphy News Service

 

Maple Grove actor David Denninger takes on the role of a concerned community doctor, Dr. Thomas Stockmann, who stands up his brother, the local government and the press in the Lex-Ham Community Theater’s production of “An Enemy of the People.”

“The role has a lot of depth, a lot of conflict and a complex character,” Denninger said, when asked what attracted him to the role of Dr. Stockmann.

The Lex-Ham Community Theater will present six performances of Henrik Ibsen’s drama, adapted by Arthur Miller. Kari Steinbach will direct the show at the historic James J. Hill House, located at 240 Summit Ave. in St. Paul. Performances will run from Nov. 8 to Nov. 23.

Peter Stockmann (George Calger) and Thomas Stockmann (David Denninger of Maple Grove) have a heated discussion in front of a concerned Caherine Stockmann (Kathy Kohlstedt). “An Enemy of the People” is being performed at the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.

Peter Stockmann (George Calger) and Thomas Stockmann (David Denninger of Maple Grove) have a heated discussion in front of a concerned Caherine Stockmann (Kathy Kohlstedt). “An Enemy of the People” is being performed at the James J. Hill House in St. Paul.

Denninger has been acting in the twin cities metro area for more than 20 years and has a lengthy resume of various roles. The versatile actor has performed in dramas and comedies. He has done Shakespeare and interactive improve. Denninger has also starred in television and radio commercials on both the local and national scene.

“The role of Dr. Stockmann is strong and difficult character to play and Dave brings a lot of experience,” said Aaron Wlaschin, on the of the play’s co-producers.

Denninger acted for Mystery Café, an interactive dinner theatre company for 14 years.

“I’ve been trying more dramatic stage plays after spending so much time working in an interactive, improve setting,” Denninger said.

“An Enemy of the People,” is a play about a conflict that arises when news that waste from local tanneries threatens a town’s tourist attraction. The conflict splits Dr. Stockmann and the people of the town who desire economic development for their small Norwegian town of Kirsten Springs.

Dr. Stockmann is the medical officer for Kirsten Springs and the brother of the mayor. Dr. Stockmann is married to Catherine Stockmann, daughter of Morten Kiil. Kiil is the owner of several of the local tanneries that Dr. Stockmann implicates in his water pollution report.

The people of the town have invested a large amount of public and private funds towards the development of baths, which are said to be of great medicinal value. The town is expecting a surge in prosperity, however, those baths are being contaminated by the local tanneries. The doctor reveals his unsettling discovery and struggles to stand up and fight for the truth.

Both Ibsen’s original play and Miller’s adaptation remain relevant for contemporary audiences. “We hope the play will resonate with audiences help spark further discussions around this topic within our community,” said Erin Howlett, one of the play’s co-producers.

“We see frequent news stories about the ongoing struggle between the pursuing economic development and protecting the environment,” Howlett said. “All too often environmental concerns about air, soil and water quality are overshadowed by the draw of more immediate financial gain.”

The Lex-Ham Community Theater will present six performances of Henrik Ibsen’s drama, adapted by Arthur Miller. Kari Steinbach will direct the show at the historic James J. Hill House, located at 240 Summit Ave. in St. Paul. Performances will run from Nov. 8 to Nov. 23.

“The James J. Hill House is possibly the most elegant play space that isn’t a theatre that I have ever acted in,” Denninger said.

Performances will be at 7 p.m. Nov. 8, 9, 15, 16, 22, 23. Tickets for the performances are $22 and include the opportunity to explore parts of the historic James J. Hill House. For more information about the production or to reserve tickets, visit www.AnEnemyofthePeople.org.

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