Mauckingbird Theatre Company artistic director Peter Reynolds directs the engagement that began performances Jan. 10 and will run through Jan. 29 at the Adrienne Theatre's Second Stage.
The cast of the reinvented Ibsen work includes Jessica DalCanton (Mrs. Thea Elvsted), Jennie Eisenhower (Hedda Tesman), Matthew Lorenz (Judge Brack), Kristen O'Rourke (Berta, servant at the Tesmans), Sarah Sanford (Miss Eilert Lovborg), Dito van Reigersberg (George Tesman) and Cheryl Williams (Aunt Julia Tesman).
In Kava's Hedda Gabler, press notes state, "rising scholar George Tesman, has just married the beautiful, dangerously intelligent and much desired Hedda Gabler. The newlyweds' lives are thrown into disarray and their livelihood is threatened with the unexpected return of Miss Eilert Lovborg, Tesman's rival and Hedda's true love. Hedda becomes consumed with jealousy as she watches Lovborg live her life with abandon, dressing in men's clothes and openly seeing other women. Dissatisfied with conventional life and trapped in an unfulfilling marriage, Hedda wrestles with her own desires while manipulating those around her in a cruel game."
"Ibsen characterized Hedda as the archetypal trapped woman, and while Caroline Kava's adaptation is primarily faithful to the original text, the new storyline generated by Lovborg's simple gender twist adds an additional layer to Hedda's feelings of isolation and societal entrapment," said Mauckingbird artistic director Peter Reynolds in a statement. "Hedda expresses genuine grief about her desire to be with another woman, in a time when it was inconceivable to engage in same-sex affairs. Ultimately, her search for identity escalates to a fever pitch, climaxing in tragedy."
The Hedda Gabler production team includes costume designer Marie Anne Chiment, dramaturg Jennifer Jacobs, set designer Cory Palmer and lighting designer Maria Shaplin. Tickets, priced $20, are available by phoning (215) 923-8909 or online at MauckingbirdTheatreCo. The Adrienne Theatre's Second Stage is located at 2030 Sansom Street in Philadelphia, PA.