September 16—October 14, 2018
By Lucas Hnath
★★★★★ “Keeps you hanging on each turn of the argument and twist of the knife. It’s dynamite” —TIME OUT NEW YORK
“The year’s best play!” —LA TIMES
“…delivers explosive laughs while also posing thoughtful questions about marriage, inequality and human rights.” —HOLLYWOOD REPORTER
“So endlessly stimulating…stirs the heart even as it invigorates the mind…” —BROADWAY NEWS
“Smart, funny and utterly engrossing…” —THE NEW YORK TIMES
In 1879, when Nora left her husband and children at the end of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, her door slam reverberated around the world, creating a storm of controversy; much of it focussed on Ibsen’s clarion call for gender equality.
Hnath’s stunning new drama begins with a knock on that same door 15 years later, as Nora returns with an urgent request, confronting husband, daughter and the woman who raised her children.
Layered and very current, A Doll’s House, Part 2 was nominated for the 2017 Tony Award – Best Play.
RUNNING TIME – 90 minutes / no intermission
WHY I CHOSE THIS PLAY
It is simply stunning! The intellectual excitement is palpable, as arguments around gender, marriage and family are turned upside down and inside out. —Michael Shamata
A Doll’s House, Part 2 is generously supported by
You don’t need to know Ibsen’s A Doll’s House to understand and engage with Part 2, but here’s a synopsis just the same…
Torvald, a pillar of society, is a model husband, father, and citizen. His sweet household, with three darling children and Nora – his affectionate little doll of a wife – is the ideal of happy family life.
One of Nora’s earliest acts of devotion to her husband has been the secret raising of money to enable him to spend a year in Italy to restore his health. She persuaded him that the money was a gift from her father, when in fact she obtained it from a money lender named Krogstad. Krogstad refused to make the loan unless her father endorsed the promissory note. This being impossible, as her father was dying at the time, Nora forged his name. The money lender, though not at all duped, knew that forged bills are often the surest to be paid. Since then, Nora has slaved in secret at scrivener’s work until she has nearly paid off the debt.
At this point, Torvald is made manager of the bank, and almost immediately fires Krogstad, who is known as a man of weak moral fibre. Krogstad threatens to expose Nora’s forgery unless she can convince her husband to reinstate him at the bank. When Nora’s pleas on Krogstad’s behalf are unsuccessful, he sends a letter to Torvald revealing Nora’s crime. Nora resolves to kill herself, rather than allow Torvald to destroy his career by owning the crime in order to save her reputation. Instead of pursuing this line of conduct when he hears of the forgery, Torvald flies into a rage and heaps invective on Nora for disgracing him.
Nora realizes that their whole family life has been a fiction: their home a mere doll’s house in which they have been playing at ideal husband and father, wife and mother. She decides to leave him then and there and go out into the world as a single woman to discover who she really is and what life is all about. Nora slams the door behind her – a sound that echoed around the globe. — Michael