By Nora Weiss
Arts & Entertainment Writer
The Theatre Lab Performance class’ production of “Hedda Gabler”, written by nineteenth-century Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen and directed by Professor Laura Standley, premiered last night and runs through Saturday in Venable Theater. There will also be a matinee on Saturday at 2 p.m.
The Theatre Lab Performance class was assigned “Hedda” at the beginning of the semester to research and eventually put on. The students were to understand the time period, assign roles, and manage the production of the overall show.
“It’s separate from Maintsage,” Assistant Director Tyler Prendergast said. “We work all semester with the text and the process of research.”
Pendergast explained the complexity of looking at a play as more of project than a basic performance. He mentioned the amount of time that he and his peers spent on dramaturgy work where students analyzed the time period of the play itself; studying everything from the costumes to the values of society within the setting.
“We’re also going to have the play in exhibition style,” Prendergast said. “Audience members can walk around the set, peer into windows, and sit around the stage.”
Hedda Gabler itself is a play about different views, specifically Hedda, a young woman in the late 1800s who comes back from her honeymoon with a man she married for all the wrong reasons. Jorgen, Hedda’s husband, is a determined academic whose priorities leave his young and passionate wife on the back burner. We see Hedda’s lust for life and live foil her boring husband’s goals for academic success when Jorgen’s rival Ejlert enters the scene as a reformed alcoholic with a bright creative side.
The role of Hedda, commonly referred to as the “female Hamlet”, is a coveted role due its complex nature.
“There are so many layers to her,” Prendergast said. “It’s about struggling with society.”
The role of Hedda is played by Elizabeth “Lily” Cardaropoli, Jorgen is played by Jimmy Dunn, and Ejlert is played by Erik Dabrowski.
All MCLA students get in free, as well as Undergrad Research Conference attendees on opening night who present their ID badges. General Admission is $8 and faculty admissions is $3.