Austin College Presents Hedda Gabler

Hedda GablerThe Austin College Theatre program will present Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler in Ida Green Communication Center’s Ida Green Theatre October 29 through 31 at 7:30 p.m.  Admission is $8 per person or free with a valid Austin College ID. Tickets may be purchased at the box office before each performance. Note: the production includes simulated gunfire.

Following the performance on Friday, October 30, the Austin College Improv Troupe will offer a short program in its first show of the season. Audience members are welcome to attend Saturday’s Halloween performance in costume.

The character of Hedda Gabler has been described as mean and repulsive but also as one of the most fascinating in theatre. The fascination will continue as Austin College brings its production to life, in a new translation by Anna Jensen. Secured by special arrangement, the Austin College production constitutes this translation’s world premiere.

Kirk Everist, Austin College associate professor of theatre, directs the production, which he says challenges its audience with familiar characters doing unfamiliar things—pursuing their passions just a little farther than normally allowed, putting characters in situations a little more extreme than we would on our own. He explained that Ibsen composed characters with sufficient depth and reality that even Sigmund Freud sometimes mistook them for living people, speaking in alarmingly familiar language about things that everyday people care about.  “And, in the case of this particular play, a set of characters that cover a range of attitudes toward common sense and decency, and who—like real people – often act in ways that are difficult to explain, for reasons that sometimes stay hidden or unknown,” Everist said.

Lindsey Womack of Austin, Texas, leads the cast as Mrs. Hedda Tesman, nee Gabler. Other cast members are Jayden Stumbaugh of Denison, Texas, as Eilert Lovborg; Reed Cook of Owasso, Oklahoma, as Judge Brack; Marissa Wilkinson of Portland, Oregon, as Thea Elvsted; Travis Kannarr of Richardson, Texas, as Jorgen Tesman; Kaitlyn Casmedes of Sherman, Texas, as Berta; and Caitlin Osborne of Wylie, Texas, as Miss Juliene Tesmen.

Stage manager for the production is Caroline Hodge of Carrollton, Texas, with assistant stage managers Jacob Dowell of Little Rock, Arkansas, and Emma Grundy of Wichita Falls, Texas. Technical director is Ida Green Theatre technical coordinator Dan Pucul, an alumnus of the College. Light designer is assistant professor of theatre Liz Banks. Costumes are designed by Johanna Hunter of Whitewright, Texas, with assistance from Audrey Rose of Round Rock, Texas. Props are handled by Marissa Brown of Grayslake, Illinois; sound by Kelvin Lane of Plano, Texas. Tech crew includes Rebekah Urban of Whitesboro, Texas, as a dresser, and Tanner Bierdstedt of Freer, Texas, at set arrangement. House manager is Tabatha Keton of Baytown, Texas.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with more than 36 percent of students representing ethnic minorities. A residential student body of 1,250 students and a faculty of more than 100 allow a 12:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. The College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates and inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter.