Michael Langham's production of Ibsen's A Doll's House, which runs to Nov. 9 at Minnesota's Guthrie Theatre, will be taped for posterity the night before closing by the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts. The tape will become part of the Lincoln Center-located archive, along with 2,800 other titles in the Lucille Lortel Viewing Room. (The tapes are available to theatre professionals and students, though not, per se, to the general public. Tapes must be screened at the library and may not be borrowed or rented.)
On Nov. 8-9, as part of the Philadelphia Theatre Initiative, artistic leaders from over twenty Philadelphia theatres will catch the Minneapolis show and meet with Guthrie staffers "to discuss artistic planning and process." The Guthrie was chosen for the initiative because "it was identified as a model of artistic excellence."
Michael Langham (former Guthrie Artistic Director), Helen Burns (play director) Douglas Hughes (Director of Artistic Planning) and Michael Lupu (senior dramaturg) will hold a group workshop on the process of making "theatre." The idea is to provide support to Philadelphia theatres so they can "move to a higher level of artistic achievement." Among the theatres participating are Arden Theatre Company, Walnut Street Theatre, Philadelphia Theatre Company and Wilma Theatre.
In A Doll's House, Nora Helmer's comfortable domestic world is shaken when she forges a signature to borrow money to care for her ailing husband -- only to have her creditor blackmail her. When, in 1879, the first Nora slammed the door on her marriage and young child and left the house, Europe was scandalized by this affront to male/female societal roles.
Although A Doll's House is a familiar play on the regional scene, this is the first Guthrie production of the Ibsen marriage drama in the theatre's 33-year history. Tickets for the production, which opened Oct. 16, range from $15-$36. For information call (612) 377-2224. -- By David Lefkowitz