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Tampa Repertory Theatre Presents A DOLL'S HOUSE PART 2 at Stageworks

Performances run November 3-20, 2022 @ Stageworks.

Tampa Repertory Theatre Presents A DOLL'S HOUSE PART 2 at Stageworks

In the season opener for TampaRep, freedom, choice, and responsibility are on display. Playing four shows a week through Nov 20, 2022 A Doll's House Part 2 by Lucas Hnath will open wide the door to Nora, who famously left her husband and children in the original play by Henrik Ibsen. One doesn't need to know "Part 1" to enjoy this funny and compelling new look at divorce in the modern age.

A special Opening Night celebration will take place on Friday, November 4th, with a pre-show open bar, catered bites, and a meet & greet with the cast and creatives.

This production will be a celebration of top Tampa Bay Artists finally coming together in a relevant and well-crafted sequel to the 1879 play by Ibsen. Award winning playwright Lucas Hnath delves deep into the aftermath of Nora's harrowing decision. She took her future into her own hands during a time when wives were under direct supervision of their husbands. According to TampaRep Producing Artistic Director Emilia Sargent, "The sequel is rife with fast-paced, intelligent humor and thought-provoking questions about gender inequality, marriage, and human rights, as well as the conflicting ideas of personal freedom and responsibility."

Director Stephanie Gularte, former Producing Artistic Director of American Stage in St. Petersburg, has been fascinated by Ibsen's plays for years. So much so that she wrote her own adaptation of A Doll's House, set in the post WWII era. That is why she is excited to encounter A Doll's House Part 2 with all its fresh truths about the realities of committed relationships. "The psychology of the characters is so intelligently crafted - Hnath has keyed into it so well." Gularte sees the characters as human beings being human beings, in all their strengths and weaknesses.

This collaboration has been a long time coming since these artists have been "circling each other for years," says Gularte. She is excited to be directing longtime collaborator L. Peter Callender, the Artistic Director of San Francisco's African-American Shakespeare Company, in the role of Torvald. Additionally, this extraordinary cast includes two other regional arts leaders who also tread the boards as actors. Emilia Sargent will play the famed independent Nora, and Karla Hartley, Artistic Director of Stageworks, will play the trusted nanny, Anne Marie. Rounding out the cast is newcomer Bria Matthews as Nora and Torvald's intelligent daughter, Emmy.

"I am thrilled to be able to bring together this incredible team of artists and creatives for the first time at TampaRep. A Doll's House Part 2 kicks off TampaRep's exciting season exploration of responsibility: social, familial, and individual. The Elephant Man by Bernard Pomerance will run February 2 - 19, 2023 at HCC Ybor City, followed by Arthur Miller's All My Sons at USF Tampa June 1 - 18, 2023. These plays are a celebration of our capacities, our vulnerabilities, and the challenges of being human - together," says Sargent.

The creative team consists of renowned local artists. Stephanie Gularte will direct, Steve Mitchell designs the set, costumes by Trish Donnelly, lights by Joe Oshry, sound by Matt Cowley, original music composed by Igor Santos, and stage management by Heather Krueger.

The cast of A Doll's House Part 2 includes professional regional actors Emilia Sargent, L. Peter Callender, Karla Hartley, and Bria Matthews.

For this season's first production, TampaRep is thrilled to partner with another esteemed company in the Bay Area's thriving arts scene, Stageworks. The Season Sponsor is The Gobioff Foundation and the Production Sponsor is Frank Taylor. Supporting Sponsors include Hal Freedman & Willi Rudowsky, Alfred T. May, Brian Reale & Fred Wilcox, Andrea Graham, and Chris & Briget Hart. Ticketing Sponsor is Russell Buchan, Opening Night Sponsors are Victor & Sharon Gardner and Hal Freedman & Willi Rudowsky, and the Artist Sponsors are Gail & Bob Hetler, in honor of L. Peter Callender.

As a door slams in 1879 Norway, a young wife and mother leaves behind her family, freeing herself from the shackles of traditional societal constraints. Now, 15 years later, that same door opens to reveal Nora, a changed woman with an incredibly awkward favor to ask the people who she abandoned. Lucas Hnath's bitingly funny sequel to Ibsen's revolutionary masterpiece unfolds in a series of bristling stand-offs that reveal in Nora's world, much like our own, behind every opinion there is a person, and a slamming door isn't just an end, but also the chance for a new beginning.

Review: THE NIGHT BEFORE is the Perfect Gift at FreeFall Theatre Company Photo
Allow me if you will a little indulgence as I set the scene. The year is 2020, the Global Pandemic that has riddled the world, and the country as we know it to shutter/ shelter in place. Like many Performing Arts Organizations, the folks at freeFall Theatre, known for their motto “Just escape awhile...” and their inventive way of producing live theatre, was struggling to find the best outlet to keep producing, while safely doing so for both performers and patrons alike. Producing Artistic Director Eric Davis and Director Matthew McGee began discussions about how to safely produce a Christmas Show that was full on Christmas versus just taking place around Christmas. In the past freeFall has produced works such as Peter & The Starcatcher, and The Lion in Winter that work for Christmas shows, but are not necessarily Christmas shows. They have also in the past produced A Christmas Carol, but being inventive, Eric Davis and company wanted to shake things up a little, and if any theatre is well known for doing just that, its freeFall. So you can say the show itself was born out of a challenge, and freeFall delivered ten-fold. The Night Before was such a hit, freeFall decided to bring it back this season for the second year in a row, with some new adaptations and new characters.

Yes, the Holiday Season is once again upon us. Time for merriment, gathering with friends, family, chosen family, and what have you to enjoy the sights, the sounds, and the food of the season. Amidst all of the hustle and bustle of the times, the Straz Center’s Carol Morsani Hall brings a different fable and tale of love, hope, and the courage to survive against all odds to its patrons following the close of Thanksgiving weekend, and ushering in the first week of December. Unlike Ghosts of both Past, and Present, patrons of the Straz Center are plunged head-first into a dark tale based on figures found in Greek Mythology, and the tale itself seems all too relevant and perfectly placed in our current climate. The Broadway Smash Hadestown takes the stage by storm and leaves no prisoners in its wake. I for one am thankful for this time, the time to sit in a sacred space and experience the undeniably beautiful event that is live theatre, and the Straz Center is the Gift that keeps on giving, not only during the holiday season but all year long. Their 2022/2023 Bank of America Broadway Season is one of the absolute best yet!

Previews: SANTAS ZOMBIE APOCALYPSE at Straz Teco Theatre Photo
Twenty-two Patel Conservatory students, ages 10 to 18, perform in this action-packed holiday play, assisted by eight apprentices. The student apprentices design most of the show, from full costumes to the colorful video-game-influenced set.

Review: Kander & Ebbs Brilliant, Terrifically Terrifying CABARET at the Asolo Rep Photo
It's a technical marvel from all aspects, with an outstanding cast beautifully directed by Josh Rhodes.

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