A Doll's House essay

Submitted By ruairig
Words: 1574
Pages: 7

As a director of A Doll’s House, outline the effect you wish to create for your audience in the closing scene of the play? Explain how you would stage the section of the play in order to achieve your aims.

As a director shaping the finale of “A Doll’s House” I would want to remain true to Ibsen’s intentions by keeping within the naturalistic style that Ibsen favored. I believe that naturalism is appropriate as Ibsen was “the father of realism”, and it is the most appropriate style in order to provoke equal sympathy for both Nora and Helmer. My main aim is to show that being human is more important than being male or female. Therefore I hope that the audience will understand Nora’s decision to leave and not view her as selfish or uncaring. I would stage the performance on a proscenium arch stage as it is traditionally connected with naturalistic theatre. This decision will help to create a distant relationship between the actors and the audience, allowing them to feel as if they are looking through a picture frame. This is almost like the interior of a dolls house thus highlighting Nora’s oppressive situation. Ultimately bringing in the themes of freedom and change to convey that a person must be able to make decisions of their own and create their own image for themselves.
I would want the atmosphere of this last act to feel very different from the first two. The room should feel like a place of shadows, overheated and claustrophobic. This will create a tense mood and reinforce that things are starting to change in the Helmer household. The stage should be lowly lit with the main source of light coming from a small lamp on the table. This lamp acts as a metaphor the illumination that will dawn on Nora and Helmer before the end of the play. The dark wooden table will stand center stage with nothing else on it which will emphasize that there is no warmth to this household. I would dress the actress playing Nora in a plain, solemn dress to suggest her human metamorphosis from a doll like wife to an independent woman. I would instruct her to stand very still in the door way with a blank facial expression and deliver the line “Yes, Torvald. I’ve changed” in a very measured and controlled tone of voice. This will imply to the audience that Nora has suddenly become enlightened about the reality of the playroom that she lives in. I would want to see the contrast between Nora and Helmer at this point in the play. Therefore I would want the actor playing Helmer to look more disheveled than previously in act one and two. This will show his metamorphosis from the master of everything he surveys to a needy and insecure man. With Stanislavski’s inner tempo theory in mind I would encourage the actor playing Helmer to use a fast pace during this exchange with Nora to emphasize how far apart they have drifted. I would instruct the actress playing Nora to walk with purpose over to the table and take a seat whilst saying the line “Sit down” in a commanding tone. I would then encourage the Helmer to look at Nora with furrowed eyebrows which will show that in the Nineteenth century this would have gone against common etiquette for a woman to sit down at the table without her husband’s assistance. I would then want the actor playing Torvald to run his hands through his hair whilst performing the line, “you alarm me Nora” to show that Nora’s behavior would have been difficult for a male to comprehend with at this time. This will encourage the audience to feel slightly sympathetic towards Torvald as it will show them that he is as much as a victim of the society that he lives in as Nora. He would have only been familiar with the normal nineteenth century patriarchal structure which prevailed at this time.
During the conversation with Torvald about the happiness of their marriage I would intent to elicit sympathy for Nora from the audience. I would instruct her to deliver the line “You have always been very kind to me” in…