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A Doll's House
A Doll's House

A Doll's House
Raven Theatre
Thru - Mar 8, 2020

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Raven Theatre

  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Sun Times- Recommended

"...Wallace finds an effectively casual smarminess in Torvald's infantilizing proclamations. You buy that he thinks of Nora as his most prized possession, but he isn't fully conscious of the fact that he doesn't see her as an equal until Nora has her own quiet breakthrough, telling him calmly that she's never really been happy - "only cheerful.""
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Kris Vire

Chicago Reader- Highly Recommended

"...While the adaptation succeeds in modernizing the dialogue and emotional peaks of this story, originally penned in 1879, Nora's unspeakable crime, a forged loan document, feels somewhat dated by comparison. Perhaps the stakes could be raised to a more relatable and resonant type of wrongdoing. That would make Nora's final transformation, a complicated arc Danan plays with grit and subtlety, that much more satisfying."
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Marissa Oberlander

Around The Town Chicago- Highly Recommended

"...Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" is one of the most performed plays today. The current production at the Raven Theatre is directed by Lauren Shouse and based on an adapted script by Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey and Kirsten Brandt."
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Julia W. Rath

Chicago Theatre Review- Recommended

"...In this dramatic production, the audience is given a chance to lose themselves in a new adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s classic, 19th century feminist play. Translated and co-adapted by Anne-Charlotte Hanes Harvey and Kirsten Brandt, this version of the play could do well with some generous editing, particularly in the final scene. In revisiting Ibsen’s classic drama, however, audiences will be reminded how, while strides have been made in women’s rights since the play first opened in 1879, this play is still appropriate today. Lauren Shouse’s direction is wise, filled with empathy and spiked with energy. She gives life to the story of Nora, Tovald’s smothered little songbird, who he’s locked in their colorless, rambling house. When she makes the difficult decision to become her own person, the audience erupts in approval."
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Colin Douglas

Third Coast Review- Recommended

"...Shouse’s direction makes the rich texture of Ibsen’s story and the new adaptation come alive. Both Danan and Wallace portray their characters with skill, but one never feels any chemistry between them. My description of the play doesn’t mention two admirable cast members. Mike Dailey plays the old family friend, Dr. Rank, and Kelli Walker is the children’s nurse, Anne-Marie. The small children are heard, but not seen."
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Nancy Bishop

Chicago On Stage- Somewhat Recommended

"...Still, even in the play’s coda, which finds a newly free Nora standing with no clue where to go in a snowfall made of cut-up paper (an effect that didn’t help), all I could see was her posturing and acting; I could not see the real character change that Ibsen wanted us to see. I can blame myself for this, but ultimately I can’t make an unequivocal recommendation of this production."
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Karen Topham

Picture This Post- Recommended

"...These tour de force performances duly noted, and with a supporting cast on par, the curious aspect of this play and production may be how little it feels to speak to the zeitgeist of our day. Though set in 1870's Norway, it's no wonder that this play had a memorable Broadway revival just as the fledgling women's movement was turning divorce laws and gender role expectations on their head in the 1970's. Circa now, a half century later, and with the mores of today's Fundamentalist families notwithstanding, you too may experience this play more as an exercise in classical theater than the marker in feminist debates it had played in the past. That's a plus perhaps, giving those of us who love more serious theater, the same night out of escapism that a fun-filled musical might be expected to deliver."
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Amy Munice

Rescripted- Recommended

"...Despite the disjointedness of certain plot lines, Shouse’s A Doll’s House is still a moving retelling of Ibsen’s classic which aptly emphasizes the mental strain of a woman trapped in a role that she can no longer play—a feeling that still resonates into 2020, where sexism plays out far more subtly than in the 19th century. Unlike Ibsen’s women, we can vote, we can get a divorce, and we do not depend on marriage for financial security. However, we still must face a more pervasive sexism: like Nora, today’s women are confronted by people (not to mention political institutions) who seek to check our freedoms ostensibly for our own good. Like Nora, some women must cleave to warped standards—of behavior, of beauty, of opinion—out of self-preservation. Like Nora, women still struggle to carve out a place in male dominated spaces simply because we are not given as many opportunities to try, let alone to succeed."
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Alisa Boland