From the press release:
Banned in scores of European cities when it first appeared, Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House was condemned for “failing to respect the sacred ties of marriage.”
The takes up the challenge of producing a Norwegian play written in 1879 when Artistic Director Eric Inman reimagines the timeless story of a failed marriage by setting it in Upstate New York in 1961.
A Doll’s House runs at the Willows Mainstage in Concord, July 23 through August 18, and features Lena Hart as Nora and Mark Farrell as her husband, Torvald. Farrell was last seen at The Willows as lawyer Billy Flynn in Chicago. Lena Hart was featured as Florence Vassy in The Willows production of Chess: the Musical.
This adaptation of Ibsen’s play uses the translation by Irish playwright Frank McGuinness, which premiered in London in 1996 and opened on Broadway in 1997, where the production won four Tony Awards.
Synopsis of A Doll’s House
The women of “Mad Men” would fit perfectly into the world of A Doll’s House. Nora Helmer, wife of Torvald and mother of three children, appears to be living the life of a pampered, indulged child. But as her economic dependence becomes brutally clear, Nora’s acceptance of the status quo undergoes a profound change. To the horror of the bewildered Torvald, himself caught in the web of a conservative society that demands he exert strict control, Nora comes to see that the only possible true course of action is to leave the family home. Henrik Ibsen’s play is a landmark of the modern stage, and Nora’s “I’m out of here” scene contains the most famous door-slam in theatre history.
The Director’s Vision
Director Inman shifts the story to a modern time “to focus specifically on Nora’s journey of discovering her true voice. We are departing from the usual presentation of Doll’s House as a soap box for women’s rights to concentrate on what it means to be an individual who, through circumstance, never had an opportunity to discover who she truly is.”
“In an age where identity is a huge focal point, with FaceBook changing the way we present ourselves, this story is extremely relevant.” Inman says.
A Doll’s House has thrilled American audiences intrigued by Nora’s “desperate housewife” dilemma for over a century. At least nine major Broadway revivals have starred such luminaries as Ethel Barrymore, Ruth Gordon, Claire Bloom, Liv Ullmann and Janet McTeer. Claire Bloom and Jane Fonda also starred in film versions of the play.
In staging the McGuinness version, The Willows plans to present what Time magazine called ”a thunderclap of an evening that takes your breath away."
The Cast of The Willows Theatre Production of A Doll’s House
Nora Helmer Lena Hart*
Torvald Helmer Mark Farrell*
Kristine Linde Kendra Oberhauser
Nils Krogstad Aaron Murphy
Dr. Rank Dale Albright
Anne-Marie Nancy Sale
Helene Amy Bryan
The Messenger Daniel Maher
Bobby Helmer Joey Keane
Emmy Hermer Zoe Larkin
Ivan Helmer Ralph Dukke
*Member, Actors Equity Association
Show Times and Dates
Previews: July 23-25, 7:30 p.m.
Opening Gala: Friday, July 27, 8:00 p.m.
Runs: Wednesdays, Aug. 1, 8, 15 at 3:30 p.m.; Thursdays, Aug. 2, 9, 16 at 8:00 p.m.; Fridays, Aug. 3, 10, 17 at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays, Aug. 4, 11, 18, at 2:00 p.m., Saturdays, July 28, Aug. 4, 11, 18 at 8:00 p.m.; Sundays, July 29, 5, 12 at 3:00 p.m.
Closes: August 18, 8:00 p.m.
The Willows Mainstage is located at 1975 Diamond Boulevard (in The Willows Shopping Center) in Concord. Tickets $18-30 at www.willowstheatre.org or 925-798-1300.