Sunday, March 06, 2016

A Doll's House at Loyola

I went to see Ibsen's A Doll's House in a production at Chicago's Loyola University. I'm a fan of Ibsen, but it had been a long time since I read or seen the play, and there were some striking parts that I didn't remember. So even though I knew how the final scene would play out, some of the subplot kept me guessing.

I liked Jessie Ellingsen as Nora and Rodrigo Arreola as Dr. Rank.

I can't tell you whose translation it was. That information didn't seem to be in the program. At least, it wasn't prominent.

As for the direction, I guess I would say I mostly liked it.

But the director has qualms about dramatic realism. She's concerned about criticisms that realism is sexist and homophobic and so forth. I guess for this reason she added some nonrealistic touches, most of which didn't distract me too badly. But right at the end she decided to pile the nonrealism on - right in the middle of Nora's big explanation of why she's walking out on her family. Her explanation is a classic Ibsen - with strong "individual vs. society" overtones. And what did the director do? She had "offstage" actors repeat some of Nora's more striking lines, even though the characters those actors are playing would probably not agree with Nora's bold declarations.

I think that Nora's words,
Should be her words alone.
Every time the cast chimed in,
I felt an inner groan.

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