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ICONIC CLASSIC DRAMA A DOLL’S HOUSE BY HENRIK IBSEN, ADAPTED BY BRYONY LAVERY, AND DIRECTED BY MELIA BENSUSSEN BEGINS FRIDAY, JANUARY 6 AT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY

PRE-PRODUCTION PHOTOS NOW AVAILABLE & FULL CASTING ANNOUNCED

A Doll’s House, by Henrik Ibsen, adapted by Bryony Lavery, and directed by Boston favorite Melia Bensussen (Awake and Sing!, Luck of the Irish, and Circle Mirror Transformation at the Huntington) began rehearsals on Monday, December 12. During the meet and greet, director Melia Bensussen said, “I am going to encourage all of us to look at this as a brand new play. This is a very vibrant play that is bringing this conversation of how we can live with other people while being true to ourselves. Ibsen made no villains. If there’s a villain, it is society. I am interested in exploring how the characters in A Doll’s House stay authentic and keep a genuine sense of self when the world might be telling them to behave otherwise.”

Pre-production photos are now available for download in the Huntington’s press room. Photos from the A Doll’s House meet and greet are also available online. A Doll’s House performances begin on January 6, 2017 and run through February 5, 2017 at the Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre.

ABOUT THE ARTISTS
Andrea Syglowski (Elliot Norton Award winner for Venus in Fur at the Huntington) plays Nora Helmer, a seemingly happy wife and mother of three children. Sekou Laidlow (Father Comes Home from the Wars at the ART) plays Nora’s husband, Torvald Helmer. Nora’s childhood friend Christine Linde is played by Marinda Anderson (A Life and Far From Heaven at Playwrights Horizons) and Torvald’s colleague, Krogstad, is played by Nael Nacer (Bedroom Farce; The Seagull; Come Back, Little Sheba; Awake and Sing!; and Our Town at the Huntington). Jeremy Webb (Private Lives at the Huntington and The Visit at Signature Theatre and on Broadway) plays Nora and Torvald’s good friend, Dr. Rank, Adrianne Krstansky (Come Back, Little Sheba at the Huntington and 365 Days/365 Plays Off Broadway) plays the Helmer’s nanny, Anne-Marie, and Lizzie Milanovich (That Time the House Burned Down at Fresh Ink Theatre) plays the Helmer’s maid, Helene. Nora and Torvald’s children will be played by Kinsaed Damaine James, Zoë Adams Martin, Gavin Walker, and Elise Walker. John Tracey is the understudy.

Henrik Ibsen (Playwright) is often considered the father of modern drama. Ibsen is held to be the greatest of Norwegian authors and one of the most important playwrights of all time, and after Shakespeare, his works are more frequently performed than any other playwright in the world. His plays were considered scandalous to many of his era, when Victorian values of family life and propriety largely held sway in Europe and any challenge to them was considered immoral and outrageous. Ibsen’s work examined the realities that lay behind many facades, possessing a revelatory nature that was disquieting to many contemporaries. Ibsen largely founded the modern stage by introducing a critical eye and free inquiry into the conditions of life and issues of morality. His best-known works include A Doll’s House (1879), Ghosts (1881), An Enemy of the People (1882), and Hedda Gabler (1890). Many of Mr. Ibsen’s plays are realistic, issue-driven dramas that focus on social criticism. A Doll’s House was Mr. Ibsen’s international breakthrough. His later plays shift to psychological and symbolic drama. His final dramatic works include The Master Builder (1892), Little Eyolf (1894), John Gabriel Borkman (1896), and When We Dead Awaken (1899). His “dramatic epilogue,” When We Dead Awaken, was thus and appropriately the last dramatic work that he wrote. In all, Mr. Ibsen wrote 26 dramatic works and some 300 poems.

Bryony Lavery (Adapter) is a British dramatist, known for her successful and award-winning 1998 play Frozen. Early in her career she founded a theatre company called Les Oeufs Malades with actor Gerard Bell, and she also founded Female Trouble, More Female Trouble, and served as artistic director of Gay Sweatshop. In addition to her original plays and adaptations, she has authored translations of foreign works such as her 2007 version of Chekhov’s Uncle Vanya. Additionally, she adapted Treasure Island, the novel by Robert Louis Stevenson, into a play which was first performed on the Olivier Stage of the National Theatre in London in 2014. In addition to her work in theatre, she has also written for television and radio. Her books include Tallulah Bankhead and The Woman Writer’s Handbook. She has also taught playwriting at Birmingham University.

Melia Bensussen (Director) is the recipient of an Obie Award for Outstanding Direction. Her Huntington credits include Awake and Sing!, Luck of the Irish, and Circle Mirror Transformation. Her directing credits include work with Merrimack Repertory Theatre, Actors’ Shakespeare Project, La Jolla Playhouse, Baltimore Centerstage, Hartford Stage, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, New York Shakespeare Festival, MCC Theater, Primary Stages, Long Wharf Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, and People’s Light and Theatre Company, where she received a Barrymore Award nomination for Best Direction, and many others. She has received two directing awards from the Princess Grace Foundation, including their top honor, the Statuette Award for Sustained Excellence in Directing. Her edition of the Langston Hughes translation of Garcia Lorca’s Blood Wedding is published by Theatre Communications Group. She is featured in Women Stage Directors Speak, by Rebecca Daniels, and also in Nancy Taylor’s Women Direct Shakespeare. Her essay on The Merchant of Venice was also published by TCG in Jews, Theatre, Performance in an Intercultural Context. Ms. Bensussen is chair of the performing arts department at Emerson College.

A Doll’s House features set design by James Noone (Choice, The Corn is Green, and She Loves Me at the Huntington); costume design by Michael Krass (A Confederacy of Dunces and Awake and Sing! at the Huntington); lighting design by Dan Kotlowitz (Circle Mirror Transformation, Nixon’s Nixon, and The Winter’s Tale at the Huntington ); sound design and composition by Rob Milburn and Michael Bodeen (Good People , Private Lives, and How Shakespeare Won the West at the Huntington); vocal coach is Amelia Broome (Sunday in the Park with George at the Huntington); fight direction by Ted Hewlett (Bedroom Farce and A Confederacy of Dunces at the Huntington); movement consultant is Misha Shields (Milk Like Sugar at the Huntington); and casting direction by Alaine Alldaffer (Grey Gardens, Clybourne Park and Circle Mirror Transformation at the Playwrights Horizon).

The Huntington’s 2016-2017 Season is sponsored through the generosity of Carol G. Deane, Sheryl and Gerard Cohen, and J. David Wimberly.

Photo credit: Sekou Laidlow and Andrea Syglowski in A Doll’s House; photo: Nile Hawver/Nile Scott Shots.

ABOUT A DOLL’S HOUSE
Nora and Torvald Helmer are living their dream life: happily married with children and security. When Nora risks her reputation to save her husband’s life, the consequences test the limits of their love. In an acclaimed new translation by Bryony Lavery, Ibsen’s powerful, groundbreaking classic about marriage, money, and equality remains as compelling and relevant as ever.

Henrik Ibsen is considered the father of modern drama and one of the most important playwrights of all time. A Doll’s House was Ibsen’s international breakthrough hit and the show is still widely regarded as a landmark production. Bryony Lavery is an award-winning British dramatist who has written over 20 plays, including the prized play Frozen. The London Telegraph calls Lavery’s adaptation of A Doll’s House, “an undoubted masterpiece. Lavery’s subtly modern version gets to the heart of the matter.” 

“Melia Bensussen is a great interpreter of classic plays and has the ability to tell intimate family stories that connect with our shared human experience,” says Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “Plus, she has assembled a sexy group of actors to shake the dust off of an iconic story we think we know. Is it hot in this theatre or is it just this cast?”

“I am thrilled to be back at the Huntington working on a play that so brilliantly exposes the challenges of marriage and speaks with surprising eloquence to us,” says director Melia Bensussen. “Ibsen is not only writing about a woman's need for independence, but about how we all struggle to be our genuine selves while meeting the needs of our society and our relationships. In Bryony Lavery's adaptation, the marriage of Torvald and Nora reflects our contemporary liaisons, with their challenges and compromises.” 

ABOUT THE HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY
Celebrating its 35th season, the Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. The Huntington is the recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and was named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit huntingtontheatre.org

PHOTO DOWNLOAD INSTRUCTIONS
To download high-resolution (or smaller) photos of A Doll’s House:

  1. Visit huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo-library/2016-2017/a-dolls-house/
  2. Click on the thumbnail and let the image load in your browser on the Flickr site.
  3. Click the " . . . " button in the lower right-hand corner of the window and select View All Sizes.
  4. Select the size you wish to download from the choices listed across the top of the image.
  5. Click the "Download the ___ size of this photo..." link at the top. The image will download to your computer. 

PRODUCTION INFORMATION AND CALENDAR
WHEN

January 6 – February 5, 2017
               Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm
               Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
               Days and times vary; see complete schedule below.
Press Opening: Wednesday, January 11, 7pm. RSVP online.

WHERE
Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

TICKETS
Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at huntingtontheatre.org;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

 Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $10 off: subscribers and BU community (faculty/staff/alumni)
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)

SPECIAL EVENTS IN CONJUNCTION WITH A DOLL’S HOUSE:
POST-SHOW AUDIENCE CONVERSATIONS
After select Fri. – Sun. evening, Wed. matinee, Sat. matinee, and Sun. matinee performances throughout the season
An opportunity for audience members to discuss what they have just seen. Led by members of the Huntington staff.

35 BELOW WRAP PARTY
Friday, January 6, following the 8pm performance

Join us for a Winter Wonderland party, complete with a special hot cocoa bar! 35 Below post-show parties are for young patrons aged 35 and below, featuring backstage access, free refreshments, and live entertainment. Mingle with members of the cast, creative team, and Huntington staff. Plus, meet other young theatre lovers in Boston!

35 Below tickets are available at all performances to patrons 35 and under for just $30.

COOLIDGE CORNER SCREENING OF SCENES FROM A MARRIAGE
Monday, January 9 at 7pm
Tickets: coolidge.org/films/scenes-marriage (Huntington subscribers receive discount with code)
Scenes from a Marriage chronicles the many years of love and turmoil that bind Marianne (Liv Ullmann) and Johan (Erland Josephson) through matrimony, infidelity, divorce, and subsequent partners. Shot in intense, intimate close-ups by master cinematographer Sven Nykvist and featuring flawless performances, Ingmar Bergman’s emotional x-ray reveals the intense joys and pains of a complex relationship. After the film, join us for a post-screening conversation with Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland and A Doll’s House director Melia Bensussen.

ACTORS FORUMS
Thursday, January 19 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, January 26 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, February 1 after the 2pm performance

Meet participating members of the cast of A Doll’s House and ask them your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

STUDENT MATINEE
Thursday, January 19 at 10am

Recommended for students in grades 9-12. Tickets: $15. Includes pre-show in-school visit, curriculum guide, post-show Actors Forum, and Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call Manager of Education Operations Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558 for more information.

AMERICAN SIGN LANGUAGE-INTERPRETED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, January 19 at
10am (student matinee)
Friday, January 27 at 8pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for the Deaf and hard of hearing at designated performances.

Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $20 for each Deaf patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558.

AUDIO-DESCRIBED PERFORMANCES
Thursday, January 19 at 10am (student matinee)
Saturday, January 28 at 2pm

The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for blind and low-vision patrons at designated performances.

Tickets are $20 for each patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at mobrien@huntingtontheatre.org or 617 273 1558.

HUMANITIES FORUM: A CONVERSATION WITH BOSTON GLOBE’S ROBIN ABRAHAMS (“MISS CONDUCT”)
Sunday, January 29 after the 2pm performance
Boston Globe Magazine columnist Robin Abrahams (aka “Miss Conduct”) will lead a conversation about the relationships in A Doll’s House. Huntington dramaturg Charles Haugland will moderate the conversation after the 2pm performance on Sunday, January 29. Humanities Forums are presented in conjunction with all Huntington productions.

Robin Abrahams writes the popular “Miss Conduct” social advice column for the Boston Globe Magazine, and is the author of the book Miss Conduct’s Mind Over Manners, a guide to social life in 21st century America. She works as a researcher at Harvard Business School and has co-authored articles in the Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, and The Wall Street Journal. A Cambridge resident with a PhD in research psychology from Boston University, her previous jobs include theatre publicist, organizational-change communications manager, editor, stand-up comedian, and professor of psychology and writing. Ms. Abrahams is married to Marc Abrahams, publisher of the Annals of Improbable Research and creator of the Ig Nobel Prizes, which are awarded annually for achievements that first make people laugh and then make them think. robinabrahams.com.

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