Theatre Presents Hedda Gabler
A classic work for theatre,
Hedda Gabler, by Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen,
tells the story of Hedda, who, returned from her honeymoon,
finds that her new life may not offer all she had hoped.
Løvborg, a recovering alcoholic with whom she used to share
intimate secrets, has returned, and threatens her husband’s
academic career. Her best friend, Judge Brack, seems to want
more from her than she is prepared to offer. As her world
threatens to fall apart, Hedda tries to take control of her
own future, no matter what it takes.
Smith theatre will open its
production of Hedda Gabler, directed by Daniel Elihu
Friday, Dec. 2, with performances December 3 and 8 through
10 at 8 p.m. in Hallie Flanagan Studio Theatre. The play
was adapted by Jon Robin Baitz. For tickets ($8 adults, $5
students, and $3 Smith students) calling
413-585-2787 or email .
Published in 1890, Hedda
Gabler premiered in 1891 in Germany to initially negative
reviews. Since its premier, the play has gained recognition
as a classic of realism, 19th century theatre, and
The character of Hedda is considered
by some one of the great dramatic roles in theatre—a “female
Hamlet.” She has been seen in turns as an idealistic heroine
fighting society, a victim of circumstance, a prototypical
feminist, or a manipulative villain. “A
more repellent personality would be hard to imagine, and
yet Hedda Gabler is one of the eternal fascinators of the
world stage," noted the New York Times. "Since
she sprang from the imagination of the Norwegian playwright
Henrik Ibsen in 1890, this coldhearted anti-heroine has maintained
a tight grip on the attention of audiences across the globe.”
Of his presentation of the
play, Kramer says, “It's
exciting to come at this play fresh. It can get a little
buried under the mothballs of being a 'classic.' Critics
used to like to debate whether Hedda is a victim, a villain,
or a heroine. It's so much more interesting to see that she's
human. We're staging the play with an intimacy that I hope
brings audiences into Hedda's world."
Elihu Kramer teaches directing,
acting and film studies at
Smith. His play Pride@Prejudice was produced in
2011 by Chester Theatre Company, and was originally commissioned
and produced by Available Light Theatre, where it won multiple
awards as best new play in 2010. His first feature film,
Kitchen Hamlet, a contemporary setting of Shakespeare's Hamlet,
won multiple awards as an official selection at film festivals
throughout the U.S. He received a 2007 Elliot Norton Award
for Outstanding Production for A Midsummer
Night's Dream at Boston Theatre Works. In 2008, his production of The
Pillowman at the Contemporary American Theatre Company received awards
for Best Production and Best Direction.
Kramer is an Artistic
Associate at Chester Theatre Company, where his directing
credits include The Turn of the Screw (2011) and Gulf
View Drive (2010). At Smith, he has directed
Henry V and Polaroid Stories.
an MFA in Directing from Yale School of Drama and a BA from
Haverford College, and is a member of the Society for Stage
Directors and Choreographers (SDC) and the Dramatists Guild.
He has been Artistic Director of Salt Lake Shakespeare, Associate
Artistic Director of Spiral Stage, and Assistant to the Artistic
Director of Circle Repertory Theatre.