If all the world’s a stage, then the Arcadia University Theater is taking every opportunity to perform in creative spaces around campus– including Grey Towers Castle.
For Hedda Gabler, which will run from March 28 to 31, they’re transforming the lobby, Dining Room, and Rose and Mirror rooms into the home of the play’s main character, Hedda. Audiences will be transported into the scenes, as they follow a violinist through the performance (and from room to room).
“I’m excited about working in an environment that underscores the luxuriousness of this production,” said Director Maura Krause, noting how everything in the play also has a touch of luxury– from the elaborate costumes to the stylish furniture. “Hedda's high fashion does nothing to alleviate her misery, and the setting emphasizes this.”
A classic production by famed playwright Henrik Ibsen, Hedda Gabler hasn’t been done like this before. Jacob Verga ’19, sound designer for the show, is taking the drama and shocking revelations of the play and transforming it into original music that will transition audiences between acts and location, performed live by violinist Adriana Hernandez ’19.
“It’s a unique show,” said Verga. “It’ll be a challenge. Sound carries really well in the Castle, for good or bad. I’ve been doing sound all four years I’ve been here, but this is the only show I’ll design. It’s nice that my college career will culminate in this show.”
In addition to the use of creative spaces and original, live music, the cast is also getting a changeup. Playing the sharp-eyed and morally bankrupt Judge Brack is Emmie Parker ’19– placing the usually male role in the hands of a woman.
"Hedda Gabler is a play about people trapped by social expectation, which is something we continue to struggle with today," said Krause. "Making Judge Brack a woman brings the play into the 21st century, and creates a more complex foil to Hedda by making Brack an example of the limited ways a woman can gain power in a patriarchal society."
Tickets are on sale for the production. Students, faculty and staff are admitted for free– although a ticket is required. Seniors and Arcadia alumni can purchase $10 discount tickets, and general public tickets are $15.
Seating will be limited in each room. Attendees who require seats will be accommodated, but the seating is otherwise on a first-come basis.