CORVALLIS - Henrik Ibsen's classic drama about a young woman's struggle with her tyrannical husband gets a new treatment, when Oregon State University students present the play, "A Doll's House," May 12-14 and May 19-21.
Curtain time in the Withycombe Hall main theater is 7:30 p.m. for the performances, which contain mature subject matter. Tickets are priced at $9 for general, $6 for seniors and $5 for students.
OSU's new treatment of Ibsen's drama places the characters in Dallas, Texas, in the mid-1950s instead of late 19th-century Scandinavia. The Cold War setting matches not only the political climate but the fragile marriage of Nora (Amy Edwards) and Torvald (Paul Pistey), whose relationship begins to disintegrate when a disreputable loan shark named Niles Krogstad (Jason Craig) enters the scene.
"Placing 'A Doll's House' in a modern environment makes the play not only more accessible to the actors and audience, but the cultural and interpersonal issues should appear disturbingly familiar," said director George Caldwell, a faculty member in the University Theatre program.
The play is considered by some critics to be the first feminist play of contemporary theater and is a favorite among university and regional theater programs. One reason, Caldwell says, are the issues that still resonate today.
"It's no secret to divulge that Nora walks out on Torvald in the end, since the play's concluding action was so controversial (at the time) that it was known by critics as 'the door slam heard around the world," Caldwell said. "Perhaps most poignant and controversial is Nora's decision to leave her children.
"To this day, Nora's complete refutation of her former life stands as an area for strong debate."
Tickets may be reserved by calling the box office Monday through Friday at 541-737-2784, or before the performance.