University Theatre presents updated version of A Doll's House March 8-11

(courtesy Mark Fukui)

Henrik Ibsen's classic inspires stylish look and contemporary questions

A Doll’s House by Henrik Ibsen, a play singularly controversial in its time, is Pacific University Theatre's spring semester production. 

The four-day run takes place in the Tom Miles Theatre (2115 Pacific Ave., Forest Grove) and will begin on Thursday, March 8 at 7:30 p.m. and conclude with a 2 p.m. Sunday matinee on Mar. 11. Friday and Saturday performances (Mar. 9-10) take place at 7:30 as well. 

Guest artist Elizabeth Klinger, Drammy-award-winning member of Portland’s Staged! Theatre, directs a new translation by local playwright Karin Magaldi.

Notorious in its time for its intimate depiction of a marriage, A Doll’s House is primarily the story of Nora Helmer, a young wife and mother who discovers that she wants more from life just as her husband achieves professional success and financial stability. 

Pacific's production updates the 19th Century classic to a more recent time. Instead of the original setting, this version is set in the early 1960s, with an aesthetic familiar from recent films and television shows like Mad Men. 

“The concept for the show grew out of the translation, which had achieved such a clear update into the American dialect that it allowed this drama to be placed outside its typical period,” says Tal Sanders, faculty member and designer in Pacific University’s Department of Theatre & Dance. 

The couple’s problems should feel complex and recognizable to a contemporary audience, according to Klinger.

“I hope everyone leaves the theatre asking themselves, ‘What would I do if I were faced with Nora's choice?' One of my greatest challenges with A Doll's House is allowing real people to encounter their struggles, rather than focusing on an absolute morality.  The audience gets to decide what choices they value as good or bad; I don't want to do that for them.”

Sanders concurred. “We hope that the community experiences this superb drama in a new light that makes them think not only about issues of equality and personal freedom, but also about how far our society has come—or hasn’t come—on these issues."

A Doll’s House stars Pacific students Katherine Mortemore, Janna Tessman, Valerie Fournier, Jacob Goodyear, Christopher Mikulic, Quinn Ramsay, and Olin Blackmore, as well as young community actors portraying the Helmers’ children. 

A discussion with the cast and crew will follow the opening night performance (Mar. 8).

General admission is $7. Pacific students, faculty and staff are admitted for $5.

Tickets may be purchased in advance by calling (503) 352–2918. 

For more information, please contact Ellen Margolis, chair of Pacific’s Theatre & Dance department at (503) 352-2752 or

Posted by Joe Lang ( on Feb 27, 2012 at 5:34 PM

Edited by Stephanie Haugen ( on May 1, 2012 at 3:53 PM

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