A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 By Lucas Hnath Begins March 23
David Mirvish in a co-production with the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre presents A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 by Lucas Hnath. Starring four outstanding Canadian actors and directed by Krista Jackson, this brilliant and audacious play is performed March 23 to April 14, 2019 at Toronto's CAA Theatre as part of the Off-Mirvish Season.
In the final scene of Ibsen's 1879 groundbreaking masterwork, A Doll's House, Nora makes the shocking decision to leave her husband and children, and begin a new life on her own. This climactic event-when Nora abandons everything in her life; "the door slam heard round the world" as it's come to be known - instantly propelled world drama into the modern age. It also began the discussion in earnest of women's rights in Western society.
As Lucas Hnath proposes in A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2, fifteen years have passed since Nora's exit. Now, there's a knock on that same door. Nora has returned. But why? And what will it mean for those she left behind - her husband, her three children and the maid who raised her and who is now rising Nora's children?
More importantly, has anything really changed in society since Ibsen first wrote about these issues in 1879? Have women been given the equal rights they've always deserved? Has the institution of marriage improved for both partners? Or do women still live in doll houses?
Playwright Lucan Hnath says about his play:
"All of the things that were debated and negotiated in Ibsen's play are still topics that are debated and negotiated now. So one of the first ideas that I had about A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 is it's a play about how much we've changed, and how much we haven't, in terms of thinking about equality between men and women.
I was reading a lot of Charlotte Perkins Gilman, who wrote The Yellow Wallpaper while working on the play. She wrote a great deal of feminist theory and she had a really interesting line saying, when you hear a school teacher, nurse, secretary - she listed a bunch of occupations - the first thing that anybody imagines is a woman. She goes on to say that she's looking forward to the day when you can say one of those titles and a woman is not the first image that pops into the mind. She's thinking about certain limitations in terms of how women are perceived.
At a certain point, I brought the play in conversation with a number of feminist scholars and asked them to take a look at the play and counter-argue anything that gets said in it. One of the questions I asked at one point was, "It was shocking for Nora to leave her children at the end of A Doll's House, but if it were written now, what would be the shocking ending?" The response was, "Well that's still the shocking ending! That's still something that is unthinkable." That was actually very helpful to hear. I think I had gotten quite numb to the shock. And there were a lot of arguments in my play that some of the scholars thought would actually give whatever critique they had of Nora's argument to Anne-Marie and it made the debate better."
A DOLL'S HOUSE, PART 2 premiered in Costa Mesa, California, in 2016. It had its Broadway debut in 2017, winning unanimous praise from critics and audiences, and nominated for seven Tony Awards.
"A smart, funny and utterly engrossing play," said The New York Times. "It delivers explosive laughs while also posing thoughtful questions about marriage, inequality and human rights," added The Hollywood Reporter. The Los Angeles Times named it "the best play of the year," and Time Out said, "It's dynamite. It keeps you hanging on each turn of argument and twist of knife."
About the Cast:
Deborah Hay stars as Nora
Deborah has performed many seasons at the Stratford and Shaw festivals, and in theatres across Canada and the US. Recent work includes Katherina in Stratford's Taming of the Shrew; Goneril in Groundling Theatre's King Lear; Jadis in The Magician's Nephew and Grushinskaya in Grand Hotel at Shaw; and three seasons as Catherine Cardinal on CTV's Cardinal. Some favourites: Billie Dawn in Born Yesterday, Sally Bowles in Cabaret, Eliza Doolitle in My Fair Lady at Shaw; Emilia in Othello and Beatrice in Much Ado About Nothing at Stratford; Canadian Stage's production of London Road. She'll return to Shaw to play Roxanne in Kate Hennig's adaptation of Cyrano this summer.
Kate Hennig stars as Anne-Marie
Kate is an actor, playwright, teacher, director, and the Associate Artistic Director of the Shaw Festival. She has performed on Broadway, with the Royal Shakespeare Company, with the Stratford and Shaw Festivals; for Mirvish Productions, she starred in Billy Elliot at the Ed Mirvish Theatre and Margaret Thatcher in The Audience at the Royal Alex, and in major theatres from Vancouver to PEI. As a playwright, her plays, The Last Wife and The Virgin Trial, have enjoyed critical and popular success, and Mother's Daughter, the next in the series, premieres this summer at Stratford. Also, this summer, Kate's translation/adaptation of Cyrano de Bergerac premieres at the Shaw.
Paul Essiembre stars as Torvald
Paul has previously performed with Mirvish Production in The Heart of Robin Hood, The Audience, and Stuff Happens. He spent four seasons at the Stratford Festival, and has performed in over 60 productions across Canada. Some favourites include Shakespeare in Love and A Few Good Men (Citadel/Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); The Man Who Shot Liberty Valance and Unnecessary Farce (RMTC); The Duchess of Malfi and The Odyssey (Stratford); The Normal Heart and The Overwhelming (Studio 180); Butcher and The Best Brothers (Prairie Theatre Exchange); Le Dîner de Cons and Le Bourgeois Gentillhomme (Théâtre français de Toronto); and Picasso at the Lapin Agile (Centaur).
Bahareh Yaraghi stars as Emmy
Bahareh was most recently seen playing the role of Mrs. Cheveley in An Ideal Husband at the Stratford Festival. Other credits include: Shakespeare In Love (Citadel Theatre/The Royal MTC), Julius Caesar, The Aeneid (Stratford), Salt-Water Moon (Why Not Theatre/Factory), Death of the King, Blood Wedding and Hallaj (Modern Times Stage Company); Le Placard and Les (Theatre Français deToronto); Unholyand HER2 (Nightwood); Kiss (Canadian Stage/Theatre Smash/ARC); Moment, Pomona and Bea (ARC); Minotaur (YPT); The Kite Runner (Theatre Calgary/Citadel Theatre). Bahareh is a six-time Dora Mavor Moore Award nominee and she is a resident artist at ARC in Toronto.
The Creative Team:
Playwright Lucas Hnath
His plays include The Christians (2014 Humana Festival), Red Speedo (Studio Theatre, DC), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney (Soho Rep), Nightnight (2013 Humana Festival), Isaac's Eye (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Death Tax (2012 Humana Festival, Royal Court Theatre), and The Courtship Of Anna Nicole Smith (Actors Theatre of Louisville). His new play, Hillary and Bill, is now in previews on Broadway and officially opens on April 18, 2019. Lucas has been a resident playwright at New Dramatists since 2011, and is a proud member of the Ensemble Studio Theatre. Lucas is a winner of the 2012 Whitfield Cook Award for Isaac's Eye and received a 2013 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award Citation for Death Tax. He has also received commissions from the EST/Sloan Project, Actors Theatre of Louisville, South Coast Repertory, Playwrights Horizons, New York University's Graduate Acting Program, and The Royal Court Theatre. Lucas holds a BFA and an MFA from New York University's Department of Dramatic Writing.
Director Krista Jackson
Krista is the Associate Artistic Director of the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre and Artistic Director of zone41 theatre. She has received the Gina Wilkinson Prize and the Stratford Festival Jean Gascon Award. Directing credits include: Dancing at Lughnasa (Shaw Festival); Sense and Sensibility, Morning After Grace, Private Lives, The Seagull, (Royal MTC); The Lion in Winter, Fly Me to the Moon (Grand Theatre); Associate Director: All My Sons (Stratford Festival).
Set and Costume Designer Teresa Przybylski
Teresa Przybylski is an architect and a theatre designer. Companies she has designed for include: Stratford Shakespeare Festival, Shaw Festival, Canadian Opera Company, Opera Theatre in Saint Louis, Blyth Festival, Tarragon Theatre, Factory Theatre, Buddies in Bad Times Theatre, Native Earth, Volcano Theatre, Theatre Smith-Gilmour, Canadian Stage and others. She has been awarded five Dora Mavor Moore Awards her work in the theatre and two Gemini Awards for production design in film and television. She is a member of The Royal Canadian Academy of Arts and The Associated Designers of Canada. Teresa is teaching stage design at York University while continuing her career as a scenographer.
Lighting Designer Michael Walton
Michael Walton is a Canadian lighting designer currently based in Stratford, ON. Recent designs include: Così Fan Tutte (Canadian Opera Company); Tartuffe (Canadian Stage); The Rocky Horror Show, The Music Man, The Tempest, Guys and Dolls, Hamlet, A Chorus Line, Oedipus Rex, Othello, Fiddler on the Roof, Henry V, Twelfth Night, Macbeth (Stratford Festival); The Full Light of Day (Electric Company); Jenufa, Maria Stuarda (Pacific Opera); Chimerica (RMTC & Canadian Stage); Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots (La Jolla Playhouse). Michael will be travelling to Tel Aviv to remount his design of Cosi Fan Tutte for the Israeli Opera in the spring.
Sound Designer Michael Wright
Michael is a Winnipeg-based sound designer. Credits include Sense and Sensibility, Morning After Grace, The Humans, Bittergirl: The Musical, Black Coffee, Million Dollar Quartet, Billy Elliot the Musical, Seminar (with Mirvish), Late Company, Private Lives, The Secret Annex, The Seagull, Venus in Fur, The Penelopiad, August: Osage County, Romeo and Juliet, The Seafarer, The Last Five Years (all for Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre); I Dream of Diesel, North Main Gothic, The Monster Trilogy, The Elmwood Visitation, Age of Arousal (Theatre Projects Manitoba); Everything is Coming Up Roses (Gearshifting Performance Works); Hedwig and the Angry Inch Atrocity Tour 2004 (Rose Tinted Productions, UK).
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