This is the American premiere of Mike Poulton's adaptation of the Norwegian play about idealism vs. tradition. The Off-Broadway staging, directed by Elinor Renfield at New York City Center Stage II, marks the first major Equity run of the play since 1977. It last played Broadway in 1935.
Performances continue to Dec. 19.
According to Pearl notes, "Written in 1886 in the middle of his career, and regarded by some as Ibsen's masterpiece, the play focuses on a free-thinking crusader named Rebecca West [Margot White] and a former priest, Johannes Rosmer [Bradford Cover], presiding owner of the Rosmersholm estate and a prominent figure in the community. Rosmersholm presents social and political idealism at odds with a traditional ruling class and an accompanying opportunistic culture."
Ibsen, regarded as the father of western drama, wrote Hedda Gabler, A Doll's House, Ghosts, Peer Gynt and more. Poulton's version of Rosmersholm was first seen in 2008 at the Almeida Theatre in London.
Rosmersholm features four members of the Pearl's resident acting company: Robin Leslie Brown (Mrs. Helseth); Bradford Cover (Johannes Rosmer); Dominic Cuskern (Peder Mortensgaard); and Dan Daily (Ulrik Brendel). Joining The Pearl's company members are two guest actors: Margot White (Rebecca West) and Pendleton (Doctor Kroll), who is widely known for his work on stage (Fiddler on the Roof) and in film, as well as the director of such productions as The Little Foxes on Broadway with Elizabeth Taylor (1981), and The Pearl productions of Toys in the Attic (2007) and Vieux Carre (2009), among many others. The production team includes Harry Feiner (scenic designer); Niki Hernandez-Adams (costume design); Stephen Petrilli (lighting design); Toby Jaguar Algya (sound design). The stage manager is Dale Smallwood and the dramaturg is Kate Farrington.
In addition to Ibsen, Mike Poulton has adapted works by Chekhov, Strindberg, and Euripides, among others. Poulton's work has been seen in the West End and at the Royal Shakespeare Company, as well as two productions on Broadway. His 2002 production of Fortune's Fool received a Tony nomination for Best Play.
Director Renfield is currently the chair of the Graduate Directing Program at The New School for Drama and has directed extensively in New York and regionally. Her credits include Open Admission on Broadway at the Music Box Theatre, A Tree Grows in Brooklyn at Goodspeed Opera House, The Seagull at Circle Rep, Passion Play at the Minetta Lane Theatre and Suddenly Last Summer at Barrington Stage Company. Renfield began directing professionally in 1976 with The Sorrows of Frederick by Romulus Linney, a production that featured Austin Pendleton.
The play will run Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday at 7:30 PM; Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday at 2:30 PM. It will perform one Thursday matinee performance at 2:30 PM on Dec. 2.
For subscription tickets and information, contact Audience Services at (212) 598-9802 or visit www.pearltheatre.org.
Single tickets can be purchased through New York City Center by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or at www.nycitycenter.org, or by visiting the City Center box office (131 W. 55th Street between 6th and 7th Avenues).