Tony winner Sam Gold (Fun Home)—also a 2017 Tony nominee—has made a name for himself both on Broadway, most often with revivals of classics, and Off-Broadway, usually with premieres of new American plays. This season, both aspects of his extensive résumé are represented on the Great White Way with the Sally Field–led revival of The Glass Menagerie (currently running at the Belasco, co-starring Joe Mantello, Madison Ferris, and Finn Wittrock) and Laurie Metcalf as Nora in Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2, now at the Golden Theatre.
“Glass was a dream project,” Gold says over the phone a few weeks into previews of A Doll’s House, Part 2. “It was a really special project I’d been working on for a long time. [Producer] Scott [Rudin] put Sally and I together like matchmaking. And we started working on it; it was a long and very personal process.”
Field, who has wanted to play Amanda all her life, agrees, calling Gold’s take on the material “incredibly volatile and emotional and raw.” In the meantime, Rudin had also read Hnath’s script for ADHP2, fallen in love with it, and decided to open it straight on Broadway. “It was one of the easiest things I’ve ever put together,” Gold says, adding that they offered roles to Tony winner Jayne Houdyshell, Academy Award winner Chris Cooper, and Tony nominee Condola Rashad, all of whom said yes. The time between Gold first reading the script and the announcement that the show would open on Broadway was “a matter of a couple weeks.”
But though an oft-revived classic of the American theatre and a sequel to Ibsen’s A Doll’s House that returns Nora to her home and family—for reasons that gradually become clear—seem like opposite ends of the dramatic spectrum, Gold is quick to point out the biggest overlap. Both feature legendary characters, and both afforded him the opportunity to work with actors at the peak of their powers. And now, both women have earned Tony nominations for Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Play.
Take a Look at Laurie Metcalf and Chris Cooper in A Doll's House, Part 2
“This has been my year of great stage actresses,” Gold says. “[Sally and Laurie] are really cut from the same cloth. They both kill themselves for the part, they spend 24 hours a day thinking about it, nothing else. They are never satisfied. Won’t give up finding more, looking for more, trying to find the truth. I was with Sally [in rehearsals], thinking, ‘I don’t know how you’re going to make it through these months. You’re giving so much of yourself to this part.’ And then I met Laurie, and I felt the same way about her. This is a year of indefatigable women.”