Varslaren Production Summary
Originally set in 1880s Norway, Ibsen’s play tackles the tensions between news, politics, and public health. This adaptation, Varslaren (The Whistleblower), takes a physical theatre approach to the classic text. Drawing on key elements of Ibsen’s play, theatre students and devising director Genesee Spridco (faculty for the acting program) explore issues such as the destructive power of public corruption, the dangers of faux populism, and the challenges of developing public trust in a context of significant social change.
“It looks at how media and politics and science kind of tango with each other, in some ways making alliances, in some ways breaking those alliances for their own gain. It’s very much a look at who gets to say what the truth is, how do we get truth out to people and what do they listen to,” said Genesee Spridco.
Just as this play was relevant in the 1950s when Arthur Miller adapted it, it has the capacity to speak to current American concerns, and this adaptation updates the original to reflect our own moment in history. The devising process allows faculty and students to work collectively to develop the script and characters, giving students the unique experience of creating theatre using conceptual material and creative collaboration.
Read the full article in the Illinois News Bureau: Adaptation of classic play examines issues of politics, greed, public trust.