Doll’s house vision has regularly struck me as an overly simple play. To some way, it is a serious reductive play. It removes much of the complexity from the play and even its power and mystery. The play does not appear as an emancipation of women or even a social comedy revealing the desire to change in a patriarchal middle class. Indeed, the play is by contrast seems a tragedy. Indeed, Nora has much commonality with Antigone or Oedipus compared to what she has with the Goodbye girl or even the Major Barbara. Therefore, her exit is self-destructive assertion of her ever-powerful ego that is uncompromising (Ibsen & Haldeman-Julius, 2008). The latter is a significant expression of her request for freedom but not a cleverly insight on how she can learn to do things as a person amid an oppressive and conforming society. Nevertheless, the current paper is a proposal explaining the best approach for staging the play Doll’s House and discusses any changes of time, location and other features deemed good that should be chosen for making the play. In addition, the paper will put into consideration the background of the play, play write, the concept and slant taken and the envisioned artistic aspects of production such as scenery, lighting and costumes.
Background of the play
The play Doll’s House reveals a secret that shocks every one. In the play, some of the dolls do not play their roles the way they are supposed. For instance, Nora Helmer is trapped in the house. The condition of Nora is not discovered because most part of the play takes part inside her room. The husband who demands her to do her motherly and wifely duties under appearance and moral guidelines has repressed her. Nora realizes that she has her own will. Indeed, at length, Nora gets to understand that she has one path that can lead to her identity, which starts outside the house (Geras & Greener, 1994).
Doll’s house is a drama that depicts the nineteenth century cultural conflict. With its controversial and shocking ending, the play marks the historic and monumental shift in the role played by theatres. The play remains a masterpiece for the art of theatre. With the play’s emphasis on personal costumes, character and individual prop like the tarantella dress and macaroons of Nora, the play changes the conventions of the common stage into prognostic vision of a new generation of the society. A society where people, both women and men are not restrained in playing roles that is predetermined
Approach For Staging the Play
The play Doll’s House comprises three acts. It is more of a typical housewife who is dissatisfied and disillusioned by her husband who is usually condescending.
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The scene should be set around Christmas time. It should start with Nora getting to the stage, which is her home and seems happy as she enjoys life in her home. Mrs. Linde, an old widow who used to be her friend stops by trying to see if she could get a job. Mrs Linde is lucky because Nora’s husband has recently been promoted. Therefore, Nora gets her a job easily. Linde explains how she has been challenged by life. Nora acknowledges that her life has been filled with challenges too.
Nora illustrates discreetly how a few years ago the husband was ill. She had to forge the signature of her dead father to get a loan. Indeed, from that time she pays the loan secretly. (She fears that it would upset her husband if she told him how she acquired the loan).
Nils Krogstad, a bank employee who is always bitter is the one involved with collecting the debts. This is quite unfortunate for Nora because with the knowledge of her husband’s promotion, he tries using the knowledge of forgery to blackmail her. The idea of the debts collector truly upsets her. She however hides the truth to the husband and Dr. Rank who is an old friend of the Helmers. In fact, she distracts herself through her three kids. She however, feels desperate and trapped towards the end of the act.
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In the whole of the second scene, Nora looks for means to concoct means of hindering Krogstad from revealing her secret. She tries deceiving her husband by asking him to allow Krogstad proceeds with the job. Helmer on the hand wants to fire him because he believes that he has been committing many crimes. He insists on firing Krogstad.
Nora wants to see if Dr.Rank would help, but she becomes discouraged when Dr. Rank become flirtatious and claims that he cared for both the husband and her equally. Later in the play, the Helmers prepare a play a holiday ball. Torvald lookout how Nora plays the traditional folk dance and is upset by how much she had forgotten the tricks he had taught her. The husband patronizes the wife as though she was a kid and it is in this scene when the audience gets aware of what is happening between the two.
At length, Mrs Linde lets Nora know about her romantic attachment to Krogstad in the past. She explains how she could persuade the husband to relent. This does not change the position of the husband. Towards the end, as it appears, the husband will know the truth and the possibility of this happening makes Nora feel disrupted. In fact, she contemplates jumping into a river.
In this scene, Krogstad meet Mrs. Linde for the first time after many years. The scene is ironical because at some point had indicated how he would take care of Nora in case something bad happened to her to prove his love for her. However, in act three he denounces her and claims that he will only keep the name alone and no romantic connection between them.
Nora wakes at this scene and realizes that she had been caged. She now understands that her husband is not loving the way she thought. She now realizes that their marriage was a lie. At this point, she plans to leave the children and the husband for her to find out her identity. The husband nags her to remains behind but bangs the door as she gets away. There is little hope of getting back.
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The Artistic Aspects of Production
The play will be played with a composite set or a box. The box set can be a composition of scenic flats. It will be a representation of one single room, doll’s house. The scenery does not need to be there. Instead, boxes, platforms may be used to depict various locations, and use of lighting to change the appearance. For the scene changes, which are quick, stage trucks can be used to which are already set with props and furniture. The pantomimes and the music should have different settings. The stage for the performance will be a thrust stage with some of the acting area projected to the audience. The scenic factors will therefore, be upstage area to represent the various exterior and interior locations.
The setting needs doors. Use of yellow colour in scene one to show cheerfulness as Nora get to stage. The stage should have limited red colour to avoid tiring the audience. Different facets such as a peasant costume, an audio tape that has a sound of a slamming door will be needed. The latter will be used at the end of every scene to show close of curtains. A masquerade mask and a box of macaroons will also be imperative.