Pictured: Hillary Clemens
Kansas City Actors Theatre has announced the full cast and design team for Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House,” directed by Darren Sextro.
The production will feature Hillary Clemens, Todd Lanker, Christina Schafer, Tyler Alan Rowe, Brian Paulette, Carla Noack, Aria Smith, and Drew Squire.
The creative team includes set design by Kelli Harrod, costume design by Sarah M. Oliver, lighting design by Shane Rowse, sound design by David Kiehl, properties design by Bill Christie, and technical direction by Kyle Dyck.
“A Doll’s House” catches a pivotal moment in the lives of Nora and Torvald Helmer. Money and blackmail threaten the family in this story of a woman trying to find her place as a decision-making individual among the dutiful roles of wife and mother.
”Kansas City Actors Theatre has wanted to produce an Ibsen play for a long time,” says Sextro. “Ibsen was a benchmark playwright, arguably a first in bringing modernism to theatrical storytelling. With ‘A Doll’s House,’ he told a story that was so unsettling that other producers felt the need to change the story’s ending.”
The alteration to the ending came after its premiere in Copenhagen in 1879 when German producers concluded that Nora’s story needed a conclusion that was more socially appropriate for the time. Ibsen later described this alteration as a “barbaric outrage.” The original script was produced onstage in America in 1883 and opened on Broadway in 1889. Since then, it has numerous Broadway revivals, the most recent being in 1997.
“What I didn’t expect, before digging into the text,” continues Sextro, “was how much heart Ibsen had woven throughout the psychological gamesmanship between Nora and the men standing between her and her ability to stand on her own.”
Following Kansas City Actors Theatre’s production of “A Doll’s House,” Sextro will also direct Lucas Hnath’s contemporary follow-up “A Doll’s House, Part 2,” which will have its regional premiere at the Unicorn Theatre this fall.
Kansas City Actors Theatre’s production of “A Doll’s House” will be presented at the City Stage in Union Station from August 7 to 25.