ENCINITAS — Since the city of Encinitas, the Intrepid Shakespeare Company and San Dieguito Academy went into a partnership to produce great theater in 2010, it’s been a win-win-win all the way around.The city of Encinitas got its first live theater, Intrepid established a home in Encinitas, and students at the academy got an internship program working with award-winning, professional artists at the new Clayton E. Liggett Theatre on campus.The first year of the internship program, two SDA students won a 2010 National Youth Award in the category “Youth Performances in Professional Production.” Austin Myers won for “King John” in spring 2010, and Benjamin Schaffer for “Romeo and Juliet” in fall 2010.
Subsequently, the internship has grown from 18 to 30 students. The troupe will be performing Arthur Miller’s adaptation of Henrick Ibsen’s play, “An Enemy of the People.” Proceeds benefit the school’s drama department.
The theme is a universal one: A good man is vilified by the community for his efforts to protect them because his actions threaten the local economy.
In Miller’s adaptation, a health spa created from the local springs in a coastal town in Maine fuels hope of major economic growth. Citizens are unconcerned that visitors have been getting sick. Instead of being hailed as a hero for discovering and reporting that the town’s water is being poisoned, the lead character Dr. Thomas Stockmann is labeled “an enemy of the people.”
The cast of SDA interns includes Emily Falkner, Annie Tarabini, Emily Floyd, Andrew Scher, Brigittie Williamson, Kristin Perkins, Daniel Alguire, Cameron Waggoner, Abby Espinosa, Sophia Rucireta, Carly Strait, Rafael Swit, Damon Ferreirae, Edgar Rosales, Ben Ellerbrock, Peri Anderson, Erin Rosenberg and Daniel Fugett.
Students commit 20 hours a week in rehearsals and training in the technical aspects of production including costuming, sets, lighting and sound.
This will be the interns’ first production in the new Clayton Liggett Theatre, which was named for a beloved drama teacher who died in 1995.
“In order for all interns to have the opportunity to play meatier parts, I divided the roles so that one actor plays a major character in the first half of the play, and a second actor in the second half,” said Sean Cox, Intrepid co-founder, artistic director and director of education.
Senior Kristin Perkins, who plays Mayor Peter Stockmann in the second half of the play, has been in the internship program from the beginning.
“When I played Petra in ‘Romeo & Juliet,’ I realized I wanted to do this professionally,” she said. “The rehearsals (with professional actors) are so serious that by the time you get to the production you have time to explore the character in an environment of performing, as opposed to goofing off as is typical in many student productions.”
Senior Edgar Rosales plays Hovstad, the editor of the local newspaper who, Cox explains, is seduced by the power of Mayor Stockmann.
Edgar took an introductory acting class as a freshman at SDA, and regrets that he didn’t continue until this year.
“I never realized till this year that I really wanted to do this,” he said. “It was a turning point, being up there on stage, directed by a professional director, and working with professional actors. This theater is amazing compared to what we had. I at least want to minor in theater next year in college.”
The professional cast is led by Matt Scott as Dr. Thomas Stockmann along with Eric Poppick, Danny Campbell, Rob Biter, Brian Mackey, Antonio T.J. Johnson, Erin Petersen, Brenda Dodge, Aiden Hayek and Sean Cox.
“An Enemy of the People”
Where: San Dieguito Academy 800 Santa Fe Dr., Encinitas
When: Feb. 18 at noon (student performance). Feb. 17, 8 p.m., Feb. 18, 3 p.m., 8 p.m. and Feb. 19, 2p.m., 7 p.m.to 19 (Intrepid Shakespeare Company performance).
Cost: $10 (student performance); $25 general admission, $22 seniors and military, $15 students (Intrepid performance).