With When We Dead Awaken, Century Center for the Performing Arts' four-year-old Ibsen Series comes to an end. The production of the playwright's final, abstract drama will run June 4-23.
The series, founded by J.C. Compton (who directs Dead), began in 1998. Since then the company has been quietly making its way through all 12 of the Norwegian master's major plays at the tiny upstairs space at the Century Center. The plays were Pillars of Society, A Doll House, Enemy of the People, Ghosts, The Wild Duck, The Lady from the Sea, Rosmersholm, Hedda Gabler, Little Eyolf, The Master Builder and John Gabriel Borkman. Many of them had not been seen on a New York stage for many years.
When We Dead Awaken is perhaps the oddest work in the Ibsen canon. Largely autobiographical, albeit in a metaphysical sense, it looks at Rubek, an artist at the end of his life who is moodily examining his relationship to life and art, finding he failed in both respects. Ibsen called the play "A Dramatic Epilogue."
The cast features a host of Ibsen Series regulars, including Dennis Parlato (The Master Builder), Elisabeth S. Rodgers (Pillars of Society), Tami Dixon (The Master Builder) and Bruce Barton (Rosmersholm).
Tickets are $15. The Center for the Performing Arts is located at 111 E. 15th St. off Union Square. Call (212) 279-4200. —By Robert Simonson