QUOTIDIAN THEATRE COMPANY PRESENTS A FRESH TAKE ON IBSEN’S CLASSIC “HEDDA GABLER”
Washington, D.C. — Following a season that included a best-selling production of “The Iceman Cometh”, the critically acclaimed three-person storytelling drama “Faith Healer”, and the highly successful US premiere of internationally renowned playwright Conor McPherson’s “The Veil”, Quotidian Theatre Company opens its 17th season with a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s “Hedda Gabler”, updating the action of the play to the socially relevant climate of 1963 Georgetown. Quotidian’s production runs October 24 – November 23 at The Writer’s Center in downtown Bethesda.
1963: Civil rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have a Dream” speech, U.S. president John F. Kennedy was assassinated, and feminist Betty Friedan wrote about housewives’ dissatisfaction in her book “The Feminine Mystique”.
“Hedda Gabler” revolves around a woman who has recently married for security instead of love. When Hedda’s old flame returns to town with a new woman, Hedda lashes out against the restrictions society has placed on her. Audiences the world over have long been fascinated by the play’s controversial central figure, who’s both victim and oppressor; and Ibsen’s critical examination of how women are treated in modern society remains relevant to this day.
Michael Avolio, who made his directorial debut with last season’s highly praised production of “The Iceman Cometh” at Quotidian, directs his new adaptation of Ibsen’s Norwegian play from 1890. “The idea was to update the piece to make it clearer and more relevant to a modern audience while retaining all the complexity, sexuality, and vitality found in Ibsen’s script,” Avolio says. His fresh adaptation set in a time of social and political upheaval gives a “Mad Men” style spin to a play rife with attempted affairs, sexual politics, and plenty of drinking. “Our approach should appeal to those who’ve seen the play many times over as well as an audience completely new to the play,” says Avolio.
The cast includes Katie Culligan as the magnetic and mysterious Hedda, Brian McDermott as her new husband George, Sarah Ferris as their former classmate Thea Elvsted, Francisco Reinoso as family friend Judge Brack, Christian Sullivan as Hedda’s former love Elliott Lovborg, Laura Russell as George’s Aunt Julia, and Kecia Campbell as the household maid Berta.
“Subtle oppression is a theme everyone can relate to,” says Avolio. “There’s obviously a one-for-one comparison — while women have greater freedom today than in 1963 or 1890, the battle for equal rights has not yet been won. But even beyond that, we’ve all felt stifled by communities we’ve been a part of, whether the restriction comes from our workplace colleagues, our school classmates, our religious group, our circle of friends, or our family.” Quotidian’s production promises to give audiences a new angle from which to engage with Ibsen’s enduring masterpiece. “As a dynamic study of human nature in all its frustrating complexity,” Avolio says, “‘Hedda Gabler’ is timeless.”
Quotidian Theatre Company presents
by Henrik Ibsen
October 24 – November 23, 2014
The magnetic and mysterious Hedda, stifled by society’s conventions, has captivated audiences since she sprang from Ibsen’s imagination in 1890. Her perplexing machinations find the perfect home in Washington, D.C.’s politically-charged Georgetown of 1963 in this new adaptation by Michael Avolio.
This production, directed by Michael Avolio, features Katie Culligan as Hedda, Brian McDermott as George, Sarah Ferris as Thea, Francisco Reinoso as Judge Brack, Christian Sullivan as Elliott Lovborg, Laura Russell as Aunt Julia, and Kecia Campbell as Berta.
All performances are held at The Writer’s Center: 4508 Walsh Street, Bethesda, MD.
The venue is a short walk from the Bethesda Metro Station. There is free parking on Saturdays and Sundays.
Tickets are $30, or $25 for seniors and $15 for students. Ticket information can be found at www.quotidiantheatre.org/tickets.htm.
Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 2pm, with one additional 2pm performance on Saturday, November 22.
Quotidian Theatre Company season subscriptions are available through October 31 at a substantial discount: $60 to see all three plays. Quotidian’s season includes “Hedda Gabler”; “Lettice and Lovage”, a gentle comedy from Peter Shaffer, the playwright of “Amadeus” and “Black Comedy”; and an early Conor McPherson storytelling drama called “This Lime Tree Bower”. Subscription information can be found online at http://www.quotidiantheatre.org/season.htm.
ABOUT QUOTIDIAN THEATRE COMPANY
Quotidian Theatre Company’s mission is to find truth and beauty in the everyday, presenting plays in an understated and impressionistic style, relying on piercingly truthful acting and no-frills storytelling. By providing realistic situations and dialogue, Quotidian lets audiences witness events as if over a backyard fence or through an open window, thus illuminating the depth and dignity of ordinary human experience.
“Quotidian hasn’t chosen its name by accident; it produces plays in which God is in the details.”
(D.C. Theatre Scene)
“Let us now praise Quotidian Theatre Company, which dedicates itself to classics and crafts performances so good they remind us why the works are considered classics in the first place.”
(MD Theatre Guide)
Est. 1998 by Jack Sbarbori and Stephanie Mumford in Bethesda, MD outside Washington, D.C.
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