“The character of Nora has fascinated me for a long time but I felt that the play, in the form I knew, was too dated. I would not have been interested in accepting the part in the Archer version, because the lines were too stiffly artificial and lacked conviction. The Thornton Wilder adaptation, however, has restored life and credibility to a drama, which is still one of the finest efforts in our theatrical literature.” –Ruth Gordon, Cincinnati Times-Star, October 27, 1937
“It’s a thrill to encounter this collaboration between these two pioneers of modern theater. Wilder has created a brilliant version of Ibsen’s great play, which is taut, conversational and pulsing with life nearly eighty years after it was written. Of course, Wilder worked on A Doll’s House while writing Our Town. There are incredible echoes between Nora and Emily—two young women who poignantly confront their own mortality and must say good-bye to life as they know it.” –Arin Arbus, director, A Doll’s House, Theatre for a New Audience, May 1, 2016
Not staged until 2016, since its record-breaking Broadway premiere starring Ruth Gordon in 1937, this is the first publication of the adaptation of Ibsen’s classic drama as revitalized through the shrewd lens of American drama master Thornton Wilder. With clarifying dialogue, Wilder uproots this classic from Norway and funnels it through an American lens. The marriage of Ibsen’s naturalistic style melds with Wilder’s knack for emotional nuance to create a demonstrative edition of the revered A Doll’s House.
Henrik Ibsen is often referred to as the father of modern realism. He is most well known for his plays Hedda Gabler, Ghosts, The Master Builder, The Wild Duck, Peer Gynt, and An Enemy of the People.
Thornton Wilder is considered to be one of the most accomplished American playwrights and novelists of the twentieth century. He received three Pulitzer Prize Awards for Our Town (1938), The Skin of Our Teeth (1943) and The Bridge of San Luis Rey (1928). His novel The Eighth Day received The National Book Award in 1968. Our Town is the most-produced American play in the world.