Money problems, abandonment, blackmail, deception: “A Doll’s House, Part 2” has it all.
GC’s theatre department presents the Broadway production of “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” a 90-minute play written by Lucas Hnath as sequel to the Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 classic play.
In Ibsen’s original play, after struggling make ends meet, the Helmer family leaves their home in Norway to travel to Italy in hopes that Torvald, the father, will survive his illness.
Nora has secretly been working and collecting money from her father’s forged checks to keep the family on its feet. She realizes she’s made a mistake when Mr. Krogstad, an employee at Nora’s bank, blackmails her. Mr. Torvald eventually finds out about the secret loans and the couple separate.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” picks up 15 years later after the original play ends, upon Nora’s return home.
“I think the message is important,” said Amy Pinney, associate professor of theatre and dance. “It’s certainly swept up in the ‘Me Too’ movement and the ‘Times Up’ movement.”
Nora’s relationships with her husband, children and friends highlight the premise of the play.
This is shown in one scene between Nora, played by sophomore Rachel Fernandez, and her daughter Emmy, played by senior Lillie Chupp. Emmy becomes furious at her mother’s requests to speak to Torvald about the divorce.
“There’s definitely a magnetic aspect to our blocking where we attract and repel depending on what’s going on in the scene,” Fernandez said.
Chupp explained how her two favorite scenes to act out were important and powerful to the plot and her character development.
“The two [scenes] I feel are most ‘Emmy’ is when I say that I’m engaged,” Chupp said. “That’s a big moment, and then the other moment where I talk about how Nora left me.”
Chupp exaggerates her character’s excitement for her engagement, pushing her freshly-ringed finger into Nora’s face.
Nora swallows her frustration and switches her vocal tone, asserting her dominance over her daughter. The tone of her voice fluctuates, adding or subtracting her power over Emmy.
In moments of high tension, characters move to polar ends of the stage, physically dramatizing their relationship.
“The rake stage really helps that, too,” Chupp said. “When we propel up to the top it’s a moment of power.”
GC’s tech team has created a raked stage that resembles one used in the original play,, to effectively emphasize the tense relationships.
A raked stage is one built at an angle sloping upward and away from the front of the stage, mimicking the incline of a hill.
The lighting for indicates changes in the characters’ relationships.
“Any dramatic changes in lighting are meant to highlight a power shift,” said lighting designer Bradley Benton.
Benton said the lighting will be correlated with the costumes each character wears when winning the fight in each scene. Nora will be wearing red, so expect to see red lighting when she wins.
“A Doll’s House, Part 2” will be showing Sept. 26-29 at 7:30 p.m. and Sept. 30 at 2 p.m. at Russell Auditorium.