A publication of the 1800s with a strong female lead is almost unheard of, but Henrik Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House is an exception.
A Doll’s House, which was hugely controversial when it first came out in 1879, is about the unravelling of a family. Over the course of three acts, the delusion of bourgeois contentment becomes undone, and Nora, the leading lady, comes to the realization that her life is a sham.
Lost Flamingo Theatre Company will bring the once problematic play to life Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m. in Glidden Recital Hall. Doors open at 7:30 p.m. and admission is $5.
If you go:
What: A Doll’s House
Where: Glidden Recital Hall
When: 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday; doors open at 7:30 p.m.
Payton Wilks, a sophomore studying acting and anthropology, was given the opportunity to direct the play.
“Seeing as it’s my first time being the lead director of a production, I think things have gone pretty well,” Wilks said. “It’s been a little stressful juggling people’s schedules, but everything works out in the end.”
A Doll’s House was originally written in Dano-Norwegian and has since been translated into modern English that is more understandable.
“The cast struggles with some of the lines because the translations and language have a type of archaic way about them,” Wilks said. “But so far they are all handling it very well and are very capable of memorizing their lines.”
Nicolas Paredes, a sophomore studying screenwriting and producing, plays the leading man and husband to Nora, Torvald Helmer.
“My character has definitely been a challenge to get into, but I see it as only positive stress,” Paredes said. “Some of the scenes can be difficult to act out since Torvald is this borderline patriarchal and abusive husband, but it’s the good kind of difficult.”
Although Torvald may be a difficult part to portray, Paredes still appreciates being cast as his character because of how monumental and revolutionary A Doll’s House is in terms of the era in which it premiered.
“Every show I’ve ever been in I try and set low expectations for myself so then I’m pleasantly surprised if the performance goes really well,” Paredes said. “But this cast is really great, so I know I can rely on them to have my back no matter what.”
Paredes’ counterpart, Hannah Gang, a senior studying English, plays Nora. Gang has always dreamed of stepping into the role of Nora.
“I’ve always really liked this play,” Gang said. “And this specific role was just one of those parts that in the back of my head was like, ‘Hey, that would be a really cool role to get to play.’”
The role of Nora is a symbol for female actors, both of what is possible and of how much they still have to fight for.
“(A Doll’s House) is such a dramatic shift in the 19th century that I’ve always been interested in,” Gang said. “I’m a little nervous to be playing such a strong female lead, but it helps that this cast has been so amazing and supportive of one another.”
Although the anticipation for the show is nerve-racking for Gang, her excitement is just as great.
“I honestly have the utmost faith that this is going to be a fantastic show,” Gang said.