A Doll’s House is a play by Henrik Ibsen written in 1879. It was highly controversial and is thought to be one of the sparks that set off the women’s rights movement. This is the famous scene where Nora is telling her husband she must leave their marriage to find herself.
By day, Jess Garrett is a voice over actress, educator, author and climate activist. By night she’s Super Mom to her darling young son. She has taught both in public schools and at MIT, and has just co-authored a hilariously slimy book for 8-12 year olds, called Oh Ick! 114 Science Experiments Guaranteed to Gross You Out!
From Jess: “In the play, “A Doll’s House,” Nora goes from being a silly, child like doll-wife, to realizing she needs to figure out who she is, and that to do that she must leave her overbearing, patriarchal husband who wants to keep her limited and obedient. In the play, you can watch this whole arc unfold, and see what her husband does to make her so angry, but finding more than just that one emotion in a short piece took uncovering all the ways Nora might actually want to stay. All the ways she hopes her husband will join her in a real marriage of equals so that she can find herself without having to slam the door. Wren helped me find emotional nuance in a scene where I could have played it all anger and that gave me much more to work with. As my scene partner and I performed across from each other, speaking into microphones, seeing the pitiful, confused look on my “husband’s” face as he realized it was over helped me feel as conflicted as Nora must have been.”
Chuck Holleman is a Boston area voice talent and part time actor who has appeared on stages throughout Central Northeastern Massachusetts – and once in Boston itself! (that was in 1776 – the musical, not the year).
From Chuck: “A Doll’s House” was a ground breaking piece of theater in it’s day, and a little scary to approach even now 130+ years later with regard to doing justice to the work. There is a temptation to modern eyes to look at Torvald and make him a melodramatic cartoon villain. But in this case to give in to the bias of modernity would drain much of the emotional power of the event. This is supposed to be a heartbreaking dilemma we are witnessing, and we can only achieve that as performers if we can get the audience to care about our characters, no matter how flawed they may be. Wren’s guidance helped us to make that work.”