We moved to Fort Collins in 2011 after having been active in the theatre scene in the San Francisco Bay area for 12 years. My first show in town was "The 39 Steps" at OpenStage for the 39th season. I’ve been in a total of 10 OpenStage productions since then and previously directed "The North Plan." Directors always want to cast me as their romantic lead, but I have been firm with them as I tell them “No- the character parts are the best… Please use me there!"
At OpenStage, what does community and family mean to you?
Kate and I are parents of two kids AND are ‘theatre people’… I.E. people who willingly choose long hours of little to no pay outside of their regular jobs for the sheer joy of it. OpenStage means a great deal to us as we balance the need to be involved parents and also fulfill our creative outlets. So many other people who work here are in the same boat, which means they ‘get it’ when it comes to a work/theatre/parent/life balance that is so difficult for the essential time commitment. Ultimately, I think it makes us better parents and citizens for being part of the creative community that is OpenStage.
How does today’s social climate influence the direction of this production in comparison to Part 1?
Part 2 has something for all the characters. Every perspective gets to air their grievances with the event of Part 1 and how it impacted their life. In 1879 it was a bit of a miracle for a playwright to be taking into consideration Nora’s perspective enough to have her leave her family. This episode not only includes her but her housekeeper and her daughter. Today’s social climate is far more sympathetic to all perspectives than it would have been in the past.
Is there another classical production that could use a contemporary Part 2 sequel?
Very much along the "A Doll’s House vein," I think "Pygmalion" could use some redemption with some modern eyes. “Pygmalion: The Revenge of Eliza,” there is musical potential there!
Where do you hope your work fits amongst 50 seasons worth of storytelling?
This particular play is making the rounds in regional theatre now and we are attempting a different take on it through our use of movement from various sources. We are exploring something that our local audiences aren’t used to with a non-dance choreographed show. This is the perfect show for the Ectercera season as we veer off the normal path of naturalism and it is a great fit for OpenStage's 50th season as it displays bravery in trying new things.
What makes you excited about "A Dolls House, Part 2?"
When I read this, I was struck by a relatively cerebral play with excellent characters in a single room with virtually kinetic action. This piece lends itself to being expressed in movement and I’m excited for audiences to see this and experience something new that they perhaps haven’t seen before.
Who is someone you’ve leaned on during this process?
Heather Johnson. No question. She is the source of the movement work.
In one word how would you describe your production?
By Lucas Hnath
Directed by David Austin-Gröen
February 24 – March 15, 2023
Performing at the Lyric in the Tiki Theatre, 1209 North College Ave, Fort Collins
“It is perceptive, funny and intelligent, but smarts like a slap in its portrayal of gender roles and the expectations of what it is to be a woman.” —DC Theatre Scene
Come see "A Dolls House, Part 2" opening on February 24!
With a knock at the door, Nora Helmer is launched back into a household she helped burn to the ground 15 years before, and even after all this time, family ties not only bind, they strangle. Confronting the family she devastated takes more courage than she expected, but, for Nora, it is also an opportunity for a new beginning. This bitingly funny sequel to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 revolutionary masterpiece asks provocative questions about the roles we choose to play, the responsibility of the family, and questions how much has really changed for women in over 100 years.