A Doll's House (Wilder)

by  Henrik Ibsen, Thornton Wilder

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4m, 4f, 1boy(s), 1girl(s)

An adaptation of Henrik Ibsen's most notable play about a waning marriage and the social constructs between a husband and wife.

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 4f, 1boy(s), 1girl(s)
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Stage & Screen), Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

This is the first published acting edition of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, as revitalized through the lens of American drama master Thornton Wilder. Nora, the wife of a banker, Thorwald, has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature. When her husband is promoted to bank manager, the threat of blackmail threatens to destroy his career and their family life together. As circumstances unravel, Nora realizes the truth of her situation: she accuses her husband and her father before him of having used her as a doll. In one of the most famous scenes ever written for the stage, Nora slams the door on her domestic life as wife and mother until she can learn to be herself. The marriage of Ibsen’s naturalistic style with Wilder’s knack for emotional nuance creates a modern, vigorous acting version of this revered classic drama.
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Reviews

REVIEWS 

"...an adaptation must realize that the real key is not just how accurately they have translated the words in a given line but how accurately they have captured the way the line works. This adaptation [Wilder’s of A Doll’s House] is extraordinary. It is extraordinary." - Scholar David Hammond, Read full interview here

"It is to the credit of this interpretation, Thornton Wilder’s 1937 version, that you feel not only for the painfully enlightened wife but also for the bewildered husband in torment." - The New York Times

"If the familiar Henrik Ibsen scenes unfold with unaccustomed celerity and clarity, thank Thornton Wilder, who dashed off this loose translation in 1937 as a vehicle for Ruth Gordon […] Shorn of Norwegian weirdness (all those animalizing endearments!), the script achieves a more accessible, universal resonance. […] Long before she slams the door, Nora has the makings of a modern woman. She employs every resource at her disposal – from sexual allure to ‘diplomacy’ – to sustain a family life that happens to be a fantasy. Hers is no free ride." - Time Out New York

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Victorian (British and American)
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The home of Thorvald Helmer in Norway in the late 19th century.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

4m, 4f, 1boy(s), 1girl(s)
NORA HELMER
THORWALD HELMER
DOCTOR RANK
NILS KROGSTAD
CHRISTINA LINDEN
ANNA
PORTER
ELLEN
EMMY
IVAR
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Cast Attributes

  • Roles for Children

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Authors

Henrik Ibsen

At age 23, Henrik Ibsen (born March 20, 1828, Skien, Nor.died May 23, 1906, Kristiania) became theatre director and resident playwright of the new National Theatre at Bergen, charged with creating a national drama. He directed the Norwegian Theatre in Kristiana from 1857 to 1863, when the theatre went bankrupt. He then ...

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Thornton Wilder

Thornton Wilder (1897-1975), born in Madison, Wisconsin, and educated at Yale and Princeton, was an accomplished novelist and playwright whose works explore the connection between the commonplace and the cosmic dimensions of human experience.

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Thornton Wilder's acting version of A Doll's House premiered on Broadway at the Morsco theatre in December 1937 under the direction of Jed Harris. 

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