Editor/Publisher, Bina Sharif
ARTS INTERNATIONAL covers THEATER, FILM, VISUAL ARTS, CUISINE, AND LITERATURE
Tuesday, May 31, 2016
FATHER BY STRINDBERG AND DOLL'S HOUSE BY IBSEN
"A DOLL'S HOUSE" BY IBSEN
" THE FATHER" BY STRINDBERG
THEATER FOR A NEW AUDIENCE
Directed by ARIN ARBUS
REVIEWED FOR ARTSINTERNATIONAL
Both plays are paired in repertory. Both plays have the same leading actor, John Doughlas Thompson
Awsome, Brilliant and the most powerful classical actor on any stage and god's gift for us, the audience and Maggie Lacey, an actress who is pretty capable and decent to share the stage with Mr.Thompson. "A leapord of passion"
Both plays, "A doll's house" and "The father" are about entrappment in a marriage and not an ordinary marriage either but a 19th century Scandinavian marriage. The subject matter of both plays is the same. Calustrophobia of a marriage within a particular social order.
In "A Doll's house" Nora, (Maggie Lacey) comes to a realization late in the play that she has never been happy and most probably have never loved her husband, Thorwald (Mr. Thompson)
She has done something behind the husband's back out of love for him considering that he would understand if the secret is ever revealed and protect her but the situation turns out to be the most
ferocious and violent reaction by the husband and thats when she realizes that her marriage had been a catastrophe and a prison where she was unable to breath and the time has come where she needs to
free herself. This play by Norwegian Ibsen is considered a monumental symbol for women liberation and feminism and is sympathetic and more sensitive towrds wife's character and is produced all over the world.
"The Father" which came later by the younger Swedish playwright Strindberg who felt that Ibsen wrogfully blamed the husband and was too soft towards women. He wrote, "The Father" as a reaction to Ibsen's "Adoll's house"
to Ibsen's "A Doll's house."
In "The Father" A captain, the husband and his wife Laura have been fighting over the future of their only child, Bertha (Kimber Monroe). The husband wants her to be a teacher and wife wants her to be an artist. Te captain is a man of science and ideas and convictions as solid as un-breakable rocks and certain phobias which leads to immense paranoia about certain convictions such as the proof of paternity of a child. Laura takes advantage of this condition of her husband's and comes up with a Iago like plan and instill the most poisonous doubt in her husband's brittle mind which is at a breaking point already that Bertha might not be his biological child.
She also manipulate the family doctor into believing that her husband has gone insane.
Laure feels justified in destroying her husband because she believes that she has been his prisoner all along. And once the doubt creeps in the captain's mind, there is no going back and this Othello like
Poisonous state of mind is rendered with an un-believably powerful skill and passionate fury by Mr.Thompson who was also the greatest Othello, a few years ago directed by Arin Arbus and produced by theater for a new audience in their old home.
I have never seen a portrait of a devastating collapse of a brilliant but flawed mind better than in the characerization of Mr.Thompson. I can't praise him enough but everytime I see him I am amazed at his ability, his diction, the melody in his voice, the clarity and the power of his passion.
Arin Arbus is also a brilliant director. She loves language and makes sure that we hear every word
uttered by all actors. Her staging is uncluttered and precise. Nothing else is required but the language and the talent. What a delight to watch these great plays done in such a marvelous way.
Congratulations to Theater for the new audience. I have always admired their work.
BINA SHARIF: EDITOR/PUBLISHER