Picking up right where Ibsen left off

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WESTON — It's said that the classics never go out of style, and Lucas Hnath's recent Broadway hit based off Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" is no exception.

"A Doll's House, Part 2" will make its Vermont premiere at the Second Stage at Walker Farm in Weston next Thursday night.

The play is written by Hnath, who picks up Nora Helmer's story fifteen years after Ibsen left it in his classic three-act play set in Norway. Hnath explores marriage, family and traditional gender roles through Nora. She returns to her family, years after rejecting her domestic life, for a specific purpose she aims to fulfill.

Although Ibsen's original play premiered in 1879, the subject matter remains relevant nearly 150 later, according to award-winning director Mary B. Robinson.

"All the issues the characters grapple with are extremely contemporary, especially with the [2016 presidential] election and the #MeToo Movement," she said.

The play focuses on issues with how the world views women and how women respond to those views. Hnath examines the roles of women of all stages of life and from all perspectives in an incredibly funny and entertaining way, Robinson added.

"A Doll's House, Part 2" has a dream cast loaded with Broadway talent. The play stars Kathleen McNenny as Nora and her real-life husband Boyd Gaines as Torvald.

"You wouldn't know they're married [on stage]. They are exceptionally good actors. It's very moving to watch them work together, and it adds another layer to it all," Robinson said.

They couple is accompanied by Lizbeth Mackay as Anne Marie and Margo Seibert as Emmy.

The stage at Walker Farm provides an intimate setting for "A Doll's House, Part 2."

"It's going to be wonderful for the audience to see [the phenomenal acting] up close and personal," Robinson said.

"A Doll's House, Part 2" runs from August 2-26 at Weston Playhouse at Walker Farm (705 Main). Show times are at 7:30 p.m. on Tuesday-Saturday, 2 p.m. on Wednesday and Saturday and 3 p.m. on Sunday. To reserve tickets, call the box office at 802-824-5288 or visit westonplayhouse.org.

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