A bold and unprecedented retelling of Henrik Ibsen's timeless classic, A Doll's House, will open Axial Theatre's 2015-2016 season on Nov. 6.
A stage stalwart around the world, Ibsen's play is a profoundly influential masterwork both theatrically and socially.
Written in the late 19th Century, it presents the thenshocking transformation of an oppressed wife, Nora, who defiantly declares her independence from a narcissistic husband, Torvald, after years of being treated as a mindless plaything.
What sets apart Axial's A Doll's House is the unique vision of director John Michael DiResta, who places the audience in the middle of the action and has transported the story almost a century ahead to the 1950s.
This Doll's House takes place in an historical period fraught with the character assassination, lies, and alienation of McCarthyism.
The time shift allows Mr. DiResta to invest those core themes with greater relevance for today's audiences.
"The 1950s in America is a time right before the water boils," he explains. "It's post-war but also right before the point everything boiled over in the 1960s."
Though Ibsen was interested in feminism, the Norwegian artist was "a humanist first," says Mr. DiResta.
"This isn't about witch-hunting, it's about conformity, about sacrificing one's individualityand not being allowed to develop to one's fullest potential.
"A Doll's House asks what happens when societal structure demands you be stripped of yourself, encouraged to erase yourself for the supposed good of the many."
The director is certain that the themes will resonate with members of the audience as they "find themselves in the play."
To create a fully immersive experience, spectators will be surrounded by a sprawling set that depicts the Helmer household, creating the illusion they are guests inside the couple's home.
WHO'S IN THE CAST OF ‘A DOLL’S HOUSE’
Laura Credidio has been with Axial Theater Company since 2008 and last appeared on the Axial stage in Clifford Odets’ Awake and Sing. In 2011, she directed Taking Off, featuring plays by Ward Riley and Linda Guiliano. She is an alumna of the Lincoln Center Theater Directors Lab. A native of Somers, she now lives in Brooklyn.
Dan Walworth was a student of the Howard Meyer Acting Program before joining the Axial Company as an Apprentice Member in 2015. His most recent performances include Axial's production of The Seagull in 2014 and Twisted Valentine earlier this year. Dan is a resident of South Salem, where he resides with his wife and two children. He is a graduate of Yale University and Northwestern University.
Carlos Dengler will appear in the role of Nils Krogstad, who becomes a nemesis of Nora's husband. Dengler was an original member of popular New York City indie rock band Interpol, which he left in 2010 to pursue an acting career.
Gail Greenstein of Katonah, also an Axial Company member, is cast as Anne Marie, the housekeeper. She last appeared in Axial's Dead Man's Cell Phone by Sarah Ruhl.
Others in the cast are Sophie Sorensen as Christine, Frank Von Puten* as Dr. Rank,
and Carly Waldman as Emmy.
*actor appearing courtesy of Actor's Equity Association