Bill Murray To Join Taylor Schilling, Kathryn Erbe And Climate Activists In Free Times Square ‘Enemy Of The People’ Event

Three months ago, members of the climate activist group Extinction Rebellion made national headlines when they interrupted the Broadway staging of Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People to bring attention to the environmental movement.

Now, they’re getting an Enemy of their own, with a cast of actors including Bill Murray, Taylor Schilling, Kathryn Erbe and Zach Grenier as well as Nate Smith, one of the activists who interrupted the Jeremy Strong-Michael Imperioli Broadway staging on March 14.

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Tomorrow evening – June 12, from 6-9 p.m. ET – Extinction Rebellion and Theater of War Productions will present scenes from the Ibsen classic with a cast that, in addition to Murray, Erbe, Schilling and Grenier will include actors Peter Francis James (Oz) and Jay O. Sanders (True Detective). Also taking part will be New York City Public Advocate Jumaane Williams and former Washington Post theater critic Peter Marks. The scenes are adapted, directed, and facilitated by Theater of War artistic director Bryan Doerries.

The free event will take place on the popular “Red Steps” public space in Times Square, and can be watched in-person or on Zoom.

The Broadway production of An Enemy of the People is not affiliated with the event.

Despite the unusual disruption of the Broadway revival in March, during which stars Strong and Imperioli joined other cast members in ushering activists out of the Circle in the Square venue, the production’s two stars subsequently said they supported Extinction Rebellion’s cause.

The Times Square event’s co-sponsor, Theater of War Productions, presents community-specific, theater-based projects that address pressing public health and social issues. The group’s events typically follow a standard format: Performers read the text being presented, with “community panelists” opening up a discussion with the in-person and Zoom audiences.

The Ibsen play is particularly resonant with the activists. On the event’s audience registration page, Extinction Rebellion and Theater of War Productions note: “An Enemy of the People was first performed in Norway in 1882, and yet it speaks to the present moment as if it were written for our times — to the corrosive influence of power and money in politics, the distortions of the media, and the many other challenges to climate action, environmental justice, and public health in our culture today. By presenting scenes from the play in public settings, featuring a variety of stakeholders, the project aims to create the conditions for open and constructive dialogue and positive action at this critical juncture, when the stakes could not be higher.”

Since the Red Steps are a public space, event organizers caution that in-person registration does not guarantee a seat for the three-hour Enemy event: “We encourage you to show up by 5:15pm, with a cushion.”

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