The energy was high at opening night of “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” the university’s latest School of Performing Arts Theatre production. The show performed on Oct. 27-29, and will also perform at 7:30 p.m. on Nov. 3 and Nov. 4, as well as 2 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 5. Performances are in the Frederick Loewe Theatre, located at 1120 Sylvan Blvd. Tickets are $10 for students and faculty and can be bought online or at the door.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” is a sequel to the show “A Doll’s House,” but no prior knowledge of the original show is needed to understand and enjoy the sequel. The show revolves around the main character Nora and her struggles as a 19th century wife. Nora ends up leaving her husband and children at the end of the first show and Part 2 opens with her return 15 years later. “A Doll’s House, Part 2” fills in the blanks, and answers the question of what happened to Nora after the events of the original play. “A Doll’s House, Part 2” runs about 90 minutes with no intermission.
The show features four characters played by U of R undergraduate students. Nora, played by Eden Scrafford, Torvald, played by Jaime Schwartz, Annemarie, played by Cary Goertzel, and Emmy, played by Alec Seiler. The Saturday Nov. 4 show features the understudy cast, with Lara Baden as Nora and Jakob Anderson as Torvald.
Nora, played by Eden Scrafford, has a commanding presence, air of authority and righteousness that start the play off strong. Since her departure 15 years earlier, she has moved up in the world, and has returned only because she wants something from her husband Torvald. Nora is a progressive woman who, at first, seemed to have no issue with abandoning her children, but it later becomes evident that she was tormented by her actions. Torvald has clearly struggled with his wife leaving him so suddenly and is still grappling with it. The show makes the audience question marriage’s role in our society and how women are treated.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” is written by Lucas Hnath, who received a Tony award nomination for writing this show and has also written the award-winning plays The Christians and Red Speedo. He wrote “A Doll’s House, Part 2” in 2017, more than 100 years after the 1879 A Doll’s House. At the U of R, professor Gregory Ramos directs the production of the title.
The New Yorker writer and theatre critic Hilton Als says that “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is “a play about a play, and about men looking at women—though not condescendingly, or with anything approaching lust and, thus, the idea of possession. Although Hnath’s Nora is free, she, like most of us, is still bound to the thing that we can leave behind but never fully divest ourselves of: family.”
Photos by Adelaide Hubble.
Adelaide Hubble is a freshman majoring in environmental studies and minoring in spatial studies. She enjoys writing about club events and any important issues on campus. Adelaide is from Las Vegas and likes to listen to 80s/90s alternative rock and explore coffee shops in her free time.