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Students Present Ambitious Ibsen Drama 'Hedda Gabler'

Students Present Ambitious Ibsen Drama 'Hedda Gabler'

Posted: September 27, 2016

Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama Hedda Gabler premiered in 1891 in Munich, Germany. More than a century later, its themes of marital discourse, alcoholism, love triangles, and suicide remain timely.

Buffalo State’s Casting Hall Productions is presenting its version of the four-act play in the Savage Theater and Communication Building’s Flexible Theater from Wednesday, September 28, through Saturday, October 8.

“This is a play I’ve always wanted to do,” said director and associate professor of theater Donn Youngstrom. “To me, it’s about a twentieth century woman caught up in the nineteenth century. She lives in a society that is like a cage to her.

“When I was a college student, I remember being knocked out seeing Glenda Jackson playing the title role in the film version,” he said. “I’ve also seen Kate Burton on Broadway performing in the Jon Robin Baitz adaptation that we’re using.”

This marks the first Ibsen play the college has produced. And it’s an ambitious one.

“Our diverse cast of three men and four women is composed of some of our strongest students,” Youngstrom said. “This has been a challenging opportunity for them. Aqueira Roberts, who plays Hedda, is a sophomore and this is her first major role.”

Ibsen, who is probably best known for A Doll’s House, questions marriage and traditional roles for women in many of his plays.

“Ibsen was not big on presenting solutions, but was big on presenting problems facing middle class and upper middle-class individuals,” Youngstrom said. “And this included railing against the expectations that society placed on women to behave a certain way. Hedda Gabler didn’t, and that’s when it really gets interesting.”

Performances will be held September 28–October 1 and October 5–8 at 8:00 p.m. with additional 2:00 p.m. matinees on October 1 and October 8. Tickets are $15 for the general public; $10 for seniors; $10 for Buffalo State faculty, staff, and alumni; and $6 for Buffalo State students. High school students with ID will be admitted for free, based on availability.

Tickets can be purchased online, through the Performing Arts Center at Rockwell Hall box office or by calling (716) 878-3005.


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