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Ibsen masterpiece, Hedda Gabler at campus theatre

    By Meaghan Bush. April 8, 2013 - 12:03 pm


The performance filling HPU’s Paul and Vi Loo Theatre this spring is Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler. 

When asked why this play was chosen, director Joyce Maltby explained, “It’s a really great play … I’ve always wanted to do an Ibsen play, and I haven’t in my twenty years here.” 

The production was quite successful on opening night April 5, with an almost full house and a pleased audience by the end of the performance.

The stage is detailed to appear as an 1890s sitting room.

Pictures hanging from the walls and a portrait over the piano give the set a warm touch of home life.

Before the lights dim, the audience waits in patience while piano music is played over the speakers.

It is an intimate theatre, giving the audience the sensation of being almost on stage themselves.

Although the play takes place in one room, it is creatively displayed and utilized, leaving no viewer uninterested.

The craftsmanship of the actors is equal to that of the set creators.

Gestures, exclamations, and dialogue are carried through with great energy and passion.

After the performance, audience member Stan Jacobs said, “It’s very well done. I’m surprised by how much emotion is brought up for me.”

One can blandly judge the characters based on the surface impression, and see them as dull, predictable creatures.

However, it is difficult to view them in this way through the portrayals shown on this stage.

Each of the personas acted out has shown depth and meaning in their words and actions, leaving every audience member with the ability to sympathize with at least one of these character.

Hedda Tesman (Julia Ubrankovics), who can easily be represented as simply a selfish woman manipulating others for her own gain, has been exposed as a victim striving for control over her life.

 “It’s been very exciting for me to work with Julia because she is such an instinctive actor that brings such energy to each production,” said Maltby. “The rest of the cast is wonderful too.”

What should you take away from this play? A sense of understanding.

Maltby said, “I hope that it gets [the audience] thinking and talking about how this play was written in 1890, takes place in 1890, but is still relevant today. Because with really great writers, it doesn’t matter what time it takes place, people are people.”

It is certainly a show you don’t want to miss.

Photo by:Malia Leinau Photography