Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Hedda (Gabler)

Written by Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Matt Minnicino
Directed by Joseph Mitchell Parks
Produced by Wandering Bark Theatre Co. in association with IRT Theater

Nominations:  Outstanding Costume Design, Jason E Frey

Photos by Jeff Farkash

About the Company:  Wandering Bark Theatre Co. is a New York City based group founded in 2011, dedicated to exploring and adapting classical theatre, highlighting the universality of its themes with bold and experimental productions, often incorporating live music, multi-media design, original text, and stylized physicality.

About the Production: Sealed in the coffin of a big house, a convenient marriage to a boring husband, and a ded-end existence as a woman in a man’s world, Hedda can do nothing but dream and decay. But when an old flame flickers back under her palm, her hungry heart ignites a blaze of lust, deceit, and manipulation that could consume more lives than just her own.

Producer Valerie Redd and Nominee Jason E Frey share their insights about staging this piece about a giving in to desires.


What first attracted you to this project?

Jason: The time period attracted me at first.

What was your favorite part of working on this production?

Jason:  Seeing how relevant the story line is still today, even after all these years.

Valerie: It was thrilling to tell a story that puts a complex, powerful, dangerous, flawed woman at the forefront- a female anti-hero is a rare thing.

What was the most challenging part of working on this production?

Jason: Balancing working in television and theatre at the same time. The hours of each can be very challenging. Who needs sleep right?

Valerie: The epic scale and depth of the character's histories and relationships was a huge challenge to explore. It's a spider web of secrets and there are lots of decisions that need to be made and agreed upon between the actors to make the story work.

Did you learn anything new from your experience of working on this production? 
Jason: I learned that there is a little bit of Hedda in all of us, if we were honest with ourselves. And I learned that zippers were invented the year we set the play, so I was able to use zippers in my costumes.

What did you want the audience to walk away with after watching your production?

Valerie: Our goal was to break the story and characters free from the audiences' expectations and preconceived notions. The script was very contemporary and relatable, which removed the distance sometimes felt between the audience and these characters. Hedda Gabler is a play that takes place entirely in a private house's sitting room, and we wanted our audience to feel like they had a seat in that room and a view into the characters' most private, vulnerable, dangerous, and complicated moments.

What was it like working with Wandering Bark?

Jason: By far the people are the best; it is like working with family. We may fight like family, but most of all we love like family.

Make sure to follow Wandering Bark Theatre Company on Twitter @WBarkTheatreCo

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