Sponsored - The following content is created on behalf of Virginia Repertory Theatre and does not reflect the opinions of Gray Media or its editorial staff. To learn more about Virginia Repertory Theatre, visit https://va-rep.org.
Virginia Repertory Theatre presents A Doll’s House, Part 2, the riveting contemporary play which is a sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s famous A Doll’s House, a revolutionary 1879 portrait of marriage as a woman’s prison. It ended with Nora Helmer walking out on her husband and their three young children, slamming the door behind her.
Set in 1894, it explores Nora’s return home after 15 years away. She’s now a career woman, having become a successful and controversial writer, but her husband, Torvald, never divorced her, so she must confront him. The mood is lifted by humorous and emotional moments with her daughter, Emmy, and the Helmer family’s nanny, Anne Marie.
“It is fitting that Hnath’s play begins with a door knock,” says director Sharon Ott. “Ibsen’s play is all about personal freedom and the need to know oneself. Hnath is interested in looking at the cost of Nora’s quest for freedom on those she left behind.” Ott adds that Hnath’s script is “crisp and contemporary and contains surprising and refreshing humor — something even people who love Ibsen would have to say is lacking in the original.”
“Patrons don’t need to have read or seen Ibsen’s original work to appreciate the drama and humor of A Doll’s House, Part 2, which was the most-produced play in the country in 2019,” she added.
Richmond-area audiences will remember the 2018 TheatreLAB production of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, in which actress Katrinah Carol Lewis portrayed Nora, the woman who famously slams the door on her family life, leaving audiences to wonder what will become of her and the family she abandons. Lewis reprises her role in the Virginia Rep production of A Doll’s House, Part 2, in which playwright Lucas Hnath explores that very question.
Although this Nora is fueled by the version Lewis played in 2018, she agrees with Ott: “Ibsen’s piece is a drama, while Hnath’s is a comedy, so this allows for the opportunity to explore a different tone in the saga of Nora.”
“In A Doll’s House Part 2 Nora says– ‘I am not the person who left through that door – I’m a very different person,’ which is an interesting concept to navigate for me as an actor since I am not approaching the character solely from this point in her life, 15 years after she boldly walks out of her marriage. The Nora that we crafted for TheatreLAB’s 2018 production of A Doll’s House is still in my body, mind, and spirit, so that will fuel the work in Part 2,” she said.
“As I work on developing Nora for this production, I am exploring the growth that she speaks of and embodies in the text while maintaining the essential essence of who she was as defined by the original play. Hnath’s piece moves quickly and leans into the anticipation that we have about what will happen when these characters face off after so much time. So, in Part 2 the exposition is fun and clever because we are discovering if what we imagined about Nora after Ibsen’s piece ended is true,” Lewis stated.
Lewis adds, “I see quite a few similarities between the two Noras. She is playful, manipulative, smart, full of herself, verbose, charismatic, and cunning in both pieces. The new Nora has a confidence and a boldness that comes from the experiences she has after leaving her marriage. The biggest difference to me is that in Part 2, she is her own woman, she has discovered an authenticity in herself and her own unique and possibly controversial way of thinking that she is not afraid to share.”
“The language in Hnath’s work is fresh and contemporary, which you’d think would be different from Ibsen, however the translation that I did in 2018 was also contemporary in language, so there is another similarity in the pieces – the contemporary language in a period piece,” she adds. “One of the most exciting differences is that Ibsen’s piece is a drama, while Hnath’s is a comedy, so this allows for the opportunity to explore a different tone in the saga of Nora.”
About The Playwright
Playwright Lucas Hnath’s most recent play, Dana H., was at the Vineyard Theatre in New York. Lucas received a 2017 Tony Award nomination for Best Play with A Doll’s House, Part 2. Hnath’s other plays include Hillary and Clinton, The Thin Place, Red Speedo, The Christians (which was co-produced in Richmond, VA by Virginia Rep and Cadence Theatre Company), A Public Reading of an Unproduced Screenplay About the Death of Walt Disney, Isaac’s Eye and Death Tax.
He has been produced on Broadway at the John Golden Theatre and Off-Broadway at New York Theatre Workshop, Playwrights Horizons, Soho Rep and Ensemble Studio Theatre. His plays have also premiered at the Humana Festival of New Plays, Victory Gardens and South Coast Repertory. He is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect, a member of Ensemble Studio Theatre and an alumnus of New Dramatists. Awards include: Whiting Award, Guggenheim Fellowship, Kesselring Prize, Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Play, Obie Award for Playwriting, Steinberg Playwright Award and the Windham-Campbell Literary Prize.
The creative team and cast list is below.
Direction & Design
- Direction - Sharon Ott
- Assistant Director - Cam Nickel
- Scenic Design - Katherine Field
- Costume Design - Sue Griffin, Marcia Miller Hailey
- Lighting Design - BJ Wilkinson
- Sound Design - Jacob Mishler
- Stage Management Shawanna Hall
- Nora - Katrinah Carol Lewis
- Torvald - David Bridgewater
- Anne Marie - Catherine Shaffner
- Emmy - Katy Feldhan
- Nora Understudy - Donna Marie Miller
- Torvald Understudy - David Watson
- Anne Marie Understudy - Lisa Kotula
- Emmy Understudy - Sharaia Hughes
- Box Office: 804-282-2620
- Tickets range from
- Discounted Group Rates and Rush tickets available.
About Virginia Repertory Theatre
Virginia Repertory Theatre is a regional professional theater headquartered in downtown Richmond, and one of the largest performing arts organizations in Central Virginia. Virginia Rep stages four seasons annually: the Signature Season at the Sara Belle and Neil November Theatre, Virginia Rep’s Children’s Season, the Hanover Tavern Season, and the Theatre Gym Season produced in partnership with Cadence Theatre Company. Virginia Rep also tours, both virtually and live, and provides educational programming to schools throughout Virginia and to major performing arts centers throughout 32 states.
The E. Rhodes and Leona B. Carpenter Foundation, The Virginia Commission for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, The Shubert Foundation, CultureWorks and Altria.