Campus Life

Classical theatrical drama gives historical understanding

The UCA Theatre department showcased a 19th century Norwegian drama in its latest production “A Doll’s House.”

Henrik Ibsen wrote the play. The three three-act play premiered in Denmark in 1879.

UCA’s production of “A Doll’s House” is based on Ibsen’s original script. UCA Associate Professor of Theatre and Academic Director Kevin Thomas Browne is directing the production.

UCA’s production consisted of two acts with a 15-minute intermission in between, running for about two and a half hours. Liz Parker, theater program business and production manager, described the play as a classic theatrical drama.

Nora Helmer, the leading female character in “A Doll’s House,” struggles with the consequences of forging a signature to get money for a trip she claims helped save her husband’s life.

Her husband, Torvald Helmer, worries about his family’s public image and his power while Nora tries to find her place in her own life. As their day-to-day actions unfold and they speak to their friends and enemies, the truth about each of them is uncovered.

Senior Hannah Moulder played Nora and senior Schafer Bourne played Torvald.

Bourne said it has been a great experience.

“It’s my third show with Dr. Browne and my last show as a student at UCA, and I’m glad for it to be ‘A Doll’s House,’” he said. “We have a really great cast too, all of whom I’ve worked with before, so we already have a great rapport with one another. All in all it’s been a fantastic rehearsal process and I think we’ve had two really good shows, so here’s to three more, and I think we have the cast to do it.”

The cast required eight actors. Senior lighting designer Josh Anderson said plans for the play started in December 2013 and rehearsals began earlier this spring.

Anderson described the play as being far from a musical.

“It’s definitely not a comedy,” he said. “It’s a strange play. There’s no music.”

Senior Keith Hudson said the play allows for a historical understanding of families in the late 1800s.

“I think what this play offers with its wonderful script is a window into a patriarchal family,” he said. “Once a normality for its time, but [it]differs greatly from our present day view of working families.”

The costumes, set and dialogue were all accurate and suitable for the time frame. The play is set in the living room of Nora and Torvald’s Norwegian home around Christmas are visible.

There are no scene changes throughout the play, but there are costume changes to suggest different days and events.

Most of the play is centered on Nora’s actions, so the majority of scenes take place with her in the room speaking with another character.

Fantasy qualities are not present in the production, and it is based around average family situations of the time period.

Together there are five production nights. The play opened April 10 and continued April 11.

“A Doll’s House” continues April 16, 17 and 18.

Each production starts at 7:30 p.m. in Snow Fine Arts Center Bridges/Larson Theatre.

Tickets are $10 for the public.

UCA students can receive two free tickets with their UCA student ID.

Reservations are encouraged for this production but are not required. They can be made by calling (501) 450-3265 or through UCA Ticket Central, located at Reynolds Performance Hall.

People of UCA: Blake Eiermann

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