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Ibsen's Classic "A Doll House" Performed at SUNY

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01/25/2003

NEW PALTZ -- Perhaps no other work of modern drama has so clearly crystallized the struggle between duty to family and duty to self as "A Doll House" by Henrik Ibsen. The Department of Theatre Arts at SUNY New Paltz is presenting this groundbreaking classic between Feb. 27 and March 9, 2003.

The story of Nora, whose secret past suddenly forces her to wrestle with a long-unquestioned identity as wife and mother, has galvanized audiences ever since Ibsen published it in 1879. In the space of three days, the heroine is transformed from a flibberty-gibbet into a woman on her own. Her final declaration of independence spurred such a wave of controversy and social change across Europe that fellow playwright George Bernard Shaw, termed this culminating moment "the door slam heard round the world."

SUNY director Beverly Brumm believes the play's central themes of self-determination and personal choice are as relevant today as they were a century ago. "There's still a struggle for a woman to be absolutely herself," Brumm says, "to live her life uninfluenced by society's expectations of what she should be."

Though the play is most commonly referred to as "A Doll's House," Brumm's production dispenses with the possessive. A Doll House, says the director, is a more accurate translation of the original and underscores Ibsen's basic message that everyone within the household, not only Nora, is living a pre-programmed, "doll-like" existence.

SUNY's script was translated from the Norwegian by noted Ibsen scholars Rick Davis and Brian Johnston.

Tickets for "A Doll House" go on sale Feb. 17. Prices are $14 general admission; $12 seniors and students. The production runs February 27 through March 9, 2003, at 8 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Sundays.

All performances take place in Parker Theatre, which is wheelchair accessible and equipped with an infrared listening system. To purchase tickets, call the box office at 845-257-3880.

Images - both high and low resolution are available at http://www.newpaltz.edu/news/images/doll1-02-03.html

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