University Theatre to perform Hedda Gabler

Release Date: 1/30/2008

Clarksville, Ark. --- The University Theatre at University of the Ozarks will perform Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen's classic production Hedda Gabler at 7:30 p.m., Feb. 20, 21 and 22, in the Walton Fine Arts Center on the U of O campus.

General admission tickets are $8 and senior citizens tickets are $6. Tickets can be purchased at the box office prior to the performance or by calling 479-979-1453.

The play is directed by Ozarks Theatre professor Pat Farmer, who said, “I view University Theatre as a living library of dramatic works.  Educational theatres have a responsibility to present plays from all periods of dramatic literature, so that new generations may discover the vibrancy and immediacy of great theatrical literature from the past. The characters in Hedda Gabler are not so different from modern individuals. We all have desires, strive for our success, and are frustrated by the limitations society places on us. Hedda Gabler helps us put our lives and our world into perspective.”

The cast includes Annie Mitchell as Hedda Gabler, Kristina Davenport as Thea Elvested, Phillip Perez as George Tesman, Danielle Stover as Aunt Julia Tesman, Andrew Charles Heim as Judge Brack, Josh Tarvin as Eilert Lovborg, and Grace Harnish as Berthe.

The crew includes Ozarks Theatre Professor Bruce B. Brown as set, lighting and graphic designer and technical director; Lacey Kennedy as costume designer and wardrobe crew supervisor; Leah Short as makeup designer and dresser; Erin Fuller as sound designer and light board operator; and Jena Moreau as stage manager.

Written in 1891 by Ibsen, Hedda Gabler is the psychological study of a woman born before her time. Mrs. Hedda Gabler Tesman is the most intelligent citizen of her provincial Norwegian town. Beautiful, and blessed with a quick and incisive mind, she is limited in her life choices by her gender. With marriage and motherhood the only opportunities available to her, Hedda chafes under the strictures and limitations of her Victorian world. Her marriage to a promising university professor offers her only boredom and stupor. Her struggle to assert herself, to find her place in the world, and to make a significant contribution to society, results in an ending that has shocked audiences for many years.

This 2008 University Theatre production is the third presentation of the play in Ozarks’ history. The first, in the late 1930s, featured student Susie Maude Poyner Pittman in the title role. Mrs. Pittman later taught theatre for many years as a member of the Ozarks faculty. The second production, in the late 1960s, featured student Ardith Morris as Hedda. Dr. Morris is now the Director of Theatre at Arkansas Tech University.