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Step 1: Explain your vision of the play (i.e., pick a theme)
Choose one of the following themes to ground your interpretation of the play and complete the following sentence, “A Doll’s House is best understood as…
an argument for the importance of self-knowledge.”
an argument for the importance of freedom.”
a critique of repressive social roles.”
a critique of materialism and social markers of achievement like reputation and wealth.”
Write a 2-3 paragraph justification for why you think this is the most compelling reading of the play. You must use evidence from the play to successfully support your choice.
Step 2: To update or not to update?
Decide whether you’d stage the play in its original time and place (1879, Norway) or if you would relocate your play to another time and/or place. Justify your choice and clearly explain how it fits within the overall vision of the play you described in Step 1.
Two important notes:
You CANNOT set the play earlier than 1879!
Aside from changing the year/place, you CANNOT change any other aspects of the play (the plot, the number of characters, etc.).
Step 3: Set Design
For this step, you’ll develop and describe your set design for the Helmer’s household. Use descriptive words and explain how your design choices reflect setting (Step 2) and the theme (Step 3) you’ve selected. A Doll’s House takes place entirely within the Helmer’s home; you can use inspiration images for the drawing room, bedrooms, kitchen, etc.
Find at least 4 inspiration images that you would provide your set designer that illustrate your ideas and include them.
Your inspiration images CANNOT be of other stage designs.
Your images should reflect your other choices and the overall vision of the play.
You CANNOT repeat the stage design from the production we screened for this class.
Step 4: Cast your production
Cast actors all the following characters: Nora, Torvald, Kristine, Krogstad, and Dr. Rank.
Explain your casting choices. These explanations must include the following:
why you selected each actor for each role
how you envision them in the role and how you would direct the actor to perform in the role
include an image of each actor
Some important notes on casting:
Your choice in actors must fit the characters they are playing, so think about things like the age of the characters and the acting style that will fit with the other choices you’ve made for your production.
The actors must be currently working. You can use IMDB.com for help in finding actors to cast your production.
Remember that the production screened for this class was cast using non-traditional or “blind” casting, which means the actors were chosen regardless of whether their racial or ethnic identity matched the identity of the character they played. Dr. Rank was played by a Black British actor in the production, but the character is a Norwegian man. You may use non-traditional casting in your own production, but your choices need to be explained and be consistent with your overall vision. And while Morgan Freeman is an excellent actor, avoid casing him as Dr. Rank, since he has been strangely overused in the past.
Step 5: Costuming
Develop and describe your costuming choices for Nora. Use descriptive words and explain how your costuming choices reflect and support your other choices. You must include a description of her costume for the following scenes:
the fancy-dress party (tarantella)
the last conversation she has with Torvald
Find at least 3 inspiration images (one for each scene) that you would provide your costume designer that illustrate your ideas and include them.
No outside research is permitted.