Nora Returns in “A Doll’s House, Part 2” at Elmwood Playhouse

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DOOR
A framed space that moves
in or out calls for a choice –
Both are a journey

In Henrik Ibsen’s iconic play A Doll’s House, a door closes as Nora Helmer walked out of her house in 1879 leaving her husband and three children. Fifteen years later the door opens again as Nora returns in A Doll’s House Part 2 by playwright Lucas Hnath. Why has she returned? And what has she been up to for the past 15 years. In this imaginative continuation of Nora Helmer’s story, these questions are revealed in provocative, funny and moving ways. There is some unfinished business between Nora and her husband, Torvald, in this bitingly confrontational play which received 8 Tony Award nominations in 2017, including Best Play, Best Direction, and nominations for the entire company, with Laurie Metcalf winning Best Actress for Nora.

Playwright Hnath shows us that behind every ending is a new beginning, and as confrontations escalate, the past and present collide in a taut theatrical showdown that includes not only Nora’s husband Torvald, but also Anne Marie who raised her as well as her abandoned children, and Emmy, her youngest child and daughter, now a young adult with her own perspective on relationships that don’t exactly coincide with Nora’s.

One need not be familiar with Ibsen’s iconic play to enjoy this engrossing continuation of Nora’s story as the theme of exploring power and equality in relationships is just as relevant today. To emphasize this playwright Hnath has the characters speaking in contemporary vernacular while living in the time period of the late 1890s. This aspect of the play not only brings a surprising freshness but also contributes to much of its humor.

A Doll’s House, Part 2 opens July 15th and performs through August 6th and is directed by Michael Edan, whose Elmwood productions have included On Clover Road, The Other Place, Doubt, Proof and The Crucible among others. Edan, a playwright himself, whose most recent full length play A Red Bloom in Winter won the 2020 ACT new play competition and was also a finalist for the 2019 Stanley Prize for Drama, is thrilled to be working with such a talented and dedicated cast and production staff.

Cast members include Elmwood newcomer Kimberley Lowden as Nora, who coincidentally played Nora in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House earlier in her career, and Elmwood veterans Derek Tarson as Torvald, Caroline Goldenberg as Emmy and Rollin Gardner as Anne Marie. Rollin was last seen on the Elmwood stage in its rollicking production of the musical Minnie’s Boys in 2000. The set design is by Bill Mentz and costumes by Janet Fenton, lighting and sound by Mike Gnazzo, Elmwood’s long-time technical wizard. His wife, Kathy Gnazzo, another long-time Elmwood member and director is Producer, and Dana Duff is Assistant director. Properties for the production are designed by Rich Ciero, with stage management handled by Nancy Logan and Debbie Fleckenstein. You’ll want to make sure to secure your tickets for this play which is one of the most frequently produced since it’s Broadway closing.

A Doll’s House Part 2 performs on Friday and Saturday at 8 PM, Sunday matinees at 2 PM and Thursday, August 4th at 8 PM. Elmwood Playhouse is located at 10 Park Street Nyack, NY. Tickets are $24 for seniors and students, $27 for adults, and are available by calling 845 353-1313 or online at http://www.elmwoodplayhouse.com

During performances, all audience members are required to wear masks. Visit http://.elmwoodplayhouse.com/covid19 to read the theater’s current COVID policies and safety measures. Latecomers will be seated at the discretion of house management.

For an interesting interview on the Broadway production with director Sam Gold and cast members Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper with Charlie Rose click on the link: https://charlierose.com/videos/30558

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