MCCC Theatre Students Unleash
Angels and Demons of Henrik Ibsen Nov. 14-23

10/27/08


From November 14-23, the MCCC Theatre Program will stage Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll House" and "Hedda Gabler," considered two of the most influential and lasting plays of the modern theater. Performed in repertory, both plays will showcase Mercer students and alumni under the direction of professional artists. Together they make up "IbsenREP," the first of two main stage events in the 2008-09 season of "Angels and Demons," the Theatre Program's most ambitious season yet. Dates and show times for "A Doll's House" are Nov. 14 and 22 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 15 and 23 at 2 p.m.; dates and show times for "Hedda Gabler" are Nov. 15 and 21 at 8 p.m., and Nov. 16 and 22 at 2 p.m. All performances take place at MCCC's Studio Theatre, located next to Kelsey Theatre on the college's West Windsor campus at 1200 Old Trenton Road.

Written in 1879 and considered shocking in its day, "A Doll House" tells the story of Nora Helmer, a carefree wife and mother who is suddenly threatened by a scandal that could destroy her family. Years before, when her husband, Torvald, was very ill, Nora forged her father's signature to borrow money for Torvald's recovery. The loan has now come due, but the lender, Krogstad, wants more than money. As Nora desperately plots to hide the truth from Torvald, the play builds to a dramatic conclusion that reveals the price of living with lies and deception in an era when women had few choices and little power.

Cast members for "A Doll's House" include Stephanie Landau as Nora Helmer, Tommy Searl IV as Torvald Helmer, Sarah Lightman as Helene/Anne-Marie, Jillian Langdon as Mrs. Linde, Ben Knight as Dr. Rank, and Michael Mitchell as Nils Krogstad. The show is directed by Louis Wells.

First performed in 1891, "Hedda Gabler" is a decidedly less angelic lead character than Nora. The daughter of a military general, Hedda is a restless woman of high society and even higher expectations. Trapped in a stifling marriage with nothing but her father's old pistols to keep her company, Hedda shifts her sights to human targets, manipulating them into an explosive battle of betrayal and revenge. Only one man from her past holds the key to Hedda's heart, but when she discovers his ties to another woman, he may well become Hedda's ultimate sacrifice.

Leading ladies in "A Doll's House" and "Hedda Gabler" are Stephanie Landau, left, as Nora Helmer and Deena Jiles as Hedda Gabler.
Male cast members in MCCC's IbsenREP include,
left to right,Tommy Searl IV, Ben Knight, Solomon
Mason, Alex Hernandez (seated), and Michael Mitchell.
Female cast members include, left to right, Jillian Langdon (seated), Sarah Lightman, Tamara Ramos, Stephanie Landau (seated), Abena Ofori-Atta, Deena Jiles (seated) and Kelsey Anne Baker.

Featured in "Hedda Gabler" are Tamara Ramos as Aunt Julianna, Abena Ofori-Atta as Berta, Solomon Mason as George Tessman, Deena Jiles as Hedda Tessman, Kelsey Anne Baker as Mrs. Elvsted, Alex Hernandez as Judge Brack, and Keith Harper as Eilert Lovborg. The show is directed by Jody P. Person, coordinator of the MCCC Theatre Program.

Using definitive translations by Rolf Fjelde, the MCCC productions of "A Doll House" and "Hedda Gabler" combine tradition with elements of surprise. Under Wells' direction, "A Doll House" balances theatrical realism with a heightened emphasis on the "doll-like" qualities of the characters through a cast of fresh-faced young performers. In "Hedda Gabler," Person assembles a racially-diverse cast that adds a tapestry of American colors and cultures to the production. Both Wells and Person are widely recognized for their talent as directors. Wells was recently featured in the Star-Ledger for his work with the "elegant and evocative" Terra Firma Dance Theatre. Person has been praised by The Village Voice as a director of "nuanced and powerful" theater, and his production of To Be Loved at the 2007 New York International Fringe Festival was singled out by the New York Times as "one of the most talked about entries" in the festival.

Tickets for either "A Doll's House" or "Hedda Gabler" are $12 for adults, $10 seniors/students, and $5 for MCCC students, faculty, and staff. Tickets are available in person at the Kelsey Theatre Box Office, by calling (609) 570-3333, or online. (Click on "Buy tickets now.")

Learn more about Fine Arts degree programs at Mercer County Community College by visiting:

Theatre Program
Dance Program
Entertainment Technology Program
Photography Program

For more on arts events at MCCC visit:

2008-09 Kelsey Theatre Season
Exhibits at the MCCC Gallery

Directions to MCCC

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