Fun Facts: A Doll’s House, Part 2

Lucas Hnath’s A Doll’s House, Part 2 picks up fifteen years after Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. In this audacious, contemporary dramedy, Nora returns years after abandoning her family. Hnath’s daring sequel turned heads and earned eight Tony Award-nominations, including Best Play, in 2017. Here’s a round-up of Fun Facts about our production of the most-produced new play of the season.

Production photo by Tony Firriolo features Steven Lane and Suzanne O’Donnell.

  1. When Nora leaves her home at the end of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, it is often referred to as the door slam heard around the world. So in Part 2 when there is a knock at the same door, it makes sense that Set Designer Stephen Jones choose to make it a visually significant and imposing part of the set. This door is the biggest in Orlando Shakes history! Our A Doll’s House, Part 2 cast looks particularly delicate and doll-like in comparison to the massive front door. The most distinctive feature of the set, the door is 10 feet tall, 4 feet wide, and weighs over 200 lbs.
  2. From siblings to exes… Suzanne O’Donnell and Steven Lane went from playing brother and sister in The Luckiest People in Spring 2018 to separated spouses in A Doll’s House, Part 2. Their relationship may have transformed, but the biting wit has remained intact.
  3. Tony-award nominated playwright, Lucas Hnath, was raised in the Orlando area and is a graduate of Lyman High School.
  4. According to Technical Director James Erwin, building this set presented the unique challenge in that it had to appear clean. All our sets have to fit through a standard double wide door. The set is built in pieces small enough to pass through, and then pieced together in the space. When a set is “dirty”, the seams of these set pieces can be sloppily patched together. In the case of A Doll’s House, Part 2, the team had to be careful to preserve the pristine cleanliness of the set and the clean lines as they puzzled it all together.
  5. The character of Nora was inspired by a real life friend of Henrik Ibsen, Laura Kieler, who falsified documents with the best of intentions, and was ultimately divorced by her husband and committed to an asylum. In his notes on the play, Ibsen wrote, “A woman cannot be herself in modern society with laws made by men and with prosecutors and judges who assess female conduct from a male standpoint.”
  6. For Hnath’s inspiration, it all began with the title: “I wrote the title on a piece of paper and it made me laugh… I kept on telling people, ‘Someday, I’m going to write a sequel to A Doll’s House’ – just because it sounds audacious to do that.”

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