Life is not tragic. Life is ridiculous, and that cannot be borne. —Henrik Ibsen
Hedda Tesman returns from her honeymoon to the brutal banality of domestic life: an antagonizingly bland husband; a living room full of dying flowers; and a house that is too large, too cluttered, too bourgeois for the once unstoppable Hedda Gabler. Both tormented and merciless, she is caught between her appetite for sensation and acute awareness of public perception. Mark O’Rowe’s stunning contemporary adaptation is a mesmerizing study of power, control, and self-deception and a nuanced portrait of one of the most fascinating figures in modern drama.
Runtime: This performance will run approximately two hours and twenty minutes with one intermission.
Environmental Warnings: This production contains gunshots and smoke effects.
Hedda Gabler is generously underwritten
by an anonymous donor.
Born in 1828 in the shipping town of Skien, Norway, Henrik Ibsen initially worked as a resident playwright for two theatres in Norway, turning out a series of idealistic historical dramas. When Norway abandoned Denmark in their war against Prussia in 1863, his idealistic nationalism collapsed and Ibsen took a twenty-seven-year exile from his native country.
He wrote his first significant plays of his career in Rome, including Brand (1866), the mythological-historical epic Peer Gynt (1867), and The League of Youth (1869)—which reflect his complicated feelings about the political trajectory of Norway and its implications for Norwegian citizens. Moving to Munich in 1875, Ibsen produced some of his most critically acclaimed works, including The Pillars of Society (1877) and A Doll’s House (1879).
In 1880, invigorated by Émile Zola’s essay “Naturalism in the Theatre,” in which Zola scathingly condemned the barren wasteland that European drama in the 1870s had become, Ibsen embarked on a decade-long outpouring of stunning creativity: Ghosts(1881), Roshersholm (1886), and Hedda Gabler (1890), among others. Drawing on private life as the encapsulation of all that was wrong with public life, Ibsen created characters with whom the audience could identify: a common dramaturgical tactic today, largely thanks to Ibsen’s pioneering approach, but one that shocked Ibsen’s audience.
Ibsen returned to Norway in 1891, and his last four plays — The Master Builder (1892), Little Eyolf (1894), John Gabriel Borkman (1896), and When We Dead Awaken (1899) — show Ibsen at the height of his powers, as do his back-to-back nominations for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1902, 1903, and 1904. He died in 1906, and received a state funeral from the Norwegian government
Mark O'Rowe was born in Dublin in 1970 and grew up in Tallaght. His hugely successful play Howie the Rookie won the George Devine Award, the Rooney Prize for Irish Literature and an Irish Times/ESB Irish Theatre Award for Best New Play in 1999. The Abbey Theatre's 2007 production of Terminus went on to win an Edinburgh Fringe First in 2008. He was appointed joint writer-in-association at the Abbey for the 2004 centenary. Mark O'Rowe was also the recipient of an IFTA Award for his screenplay for John Crowley's film Intermission in 2003, and further collaborated with Crowley on the BAFTA-winning Boy A in 2007. He lives in Dublin.
(As of July 2014)
Matt Torney is entering his fifth season as Associate Artistic Director at Studio, where he has previously directed If I Forget, Translations, The Hard Problem, MotherStruck!, Hedda Gabler, Jumpers for Goalposts, The New Electric Ballroom, and The Walworth Farce. Prior to his work at Studio, Matt served as the Director of Programming for Origin Theatre in New York, an Off Broadway company that specializes in European new writing. His New York credits include Stop the Tempo and Tiny Dynamite at Origin Theatre (Drama Desk Award nominee), The Twelfth Labor at Loading Dock, The Dudleys at Theatre for the New City, The Angel of History at HERE Arts, and Three Sisters and A Bright Room Called Day at the Atlantic Theatre School. Regional credits include Brighton Beach Memoirs at Theatre J (nominated for two Helen Hayes Awards), Sherlock Holmes and the Crucifer of Blood and Observe the Sons of Ulster Marching Towards the Somme at Pittsburgh Irish and Classical Theatre, and Improbable Frequency at Solas Nua (Helen Hayes Award nominee for Best Choreography). International credits include Digging for Fire and Plaza Suite with Rough Magic (National Tour), Angola workshop at the Abbey Theatre, Paisley and Me at the Grand Opera House Belfast, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot at Making Strange (Irish Theatre Award nominee for Best Director), and Woyzeck at Rough Magic (Best Production nominee at the Dublin Fringe Festival). Originally from Belfast, Matt holds an MFA from Columbia University.
(As of August 2019)
Julia Coffey makes her Studio Theatre debut in Hedda Gabler. New York credits include Perfect Arrangement at Primary Stages, and London Wall (Drama Desk Nomination) and The Widowing of Mrs. Holroyd (Drama League Nomination) at The Mint Theater. Regional credits include Rosalind in As You Like It at Baltimore Center Stage; Arcadia, Maple & Vine and Once in a Lifetime at American Conservatory Theater in San Francisco; The Beaux Stratagem and Portia in Merchant of Venice at Shakespeare Theatre Company; Tales from Hollywood at The Guthrie Theater; Juliet in Romeo and Juliet at Chicago Shakespeare Theater; and various productions at Pittsburgh Public, St. Louis Rep, Santa Cruz Shakespeare, Barrington Stage, Playmakers Rep, and Signature Theatre.
(As of April 2016)
Avery Clark returns to Studio after appearing in Moment and Hedda Gabler last season. Locally he has performed in Measure for Measure, The Tempest, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Shakespeare Theatre Company. New York and regional credits include Romeo & Juliet, Cymbeline, and The Count of Monte Cristo at Alabama Shakespeare Festival; Arcadia and the original cast of Coronado (written by Dennis Lehane, Invisible City); The Pillowman at APAC; A Christmas Carol at Cincinnati Playhouse; Hamlet, Henry V, and The 39 Steps at Arkansas Repertory Theatre; Journey’s End at Alley Theatre; The Heidi Chronicles at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; A Midsummer Night’s Dream at Pennsylvania Shakespeare Festival; Three Days of Rain at Oldcastle Theatre Company; and The Shape of Things at Premiere Stages. Television credits include Guiding Light on CBS and American Genius on National Geographic.
(As of October 2016)
Kimberly Schraf has appeared in a number of Studio Theatre productions in her 30 years as a Washington actor, including all four of the Apple Family plays (That Hopey Changey Thing, Sweet and Sad, Sorry, and Regular Singing), The Women, Skylight, The Bacchae, Frozen, and Crestfall (by Hedda Gabler adaptor Mark O’Rowe). Other area productions include The Laramie Project, Our Town, Sabrina Fair, and The Carpetbagger’s Children at Ford’s Theatre; Ah, Wilderness!, The Women, and Molly Sweeney at Arena Stage; Measure for Pleasure (Helen Hayes Award nomination), The Gigli Concert, Freedomland, and Watbanaland at Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company; Show Boat (Helen Hayes Award nomination) and Angels in America, Parts I and II at Signature Theatre; The Sisters Rosensweig, After the Fall, Mikveh, and Hannah and Martin at Theater J; The Misanthrope, Better Living, and A Prayer for Owen Meany at Round House Theatre; and Proof, You Can’t Take It With You, Going to Saint Ives, and Light Up the Sky at Everyman Theatre. Her television credits include Homicide: Life on the Street. In the fall, Ms. Schraf will appear in The Diary of Anne Frank at Olney Theatre Center.
(As of April 2016)
Michael Early makes his Studio Theatre debut in Hedda Gabler. He most recently appeared as Robert Lawery in the world premiere of Katherine’s Colored Lieutenant at Geva Theatre Center. He understudied and performed the titular role in Satchmo at the Waldorf at the Westside Theatre. Mr. Early is an Associate Artist with Classical Theatre of Harlem, where he has appeared in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Henry V, The Trojan Women, Mother Courage, and Dream on Monkey Mountain. Other stage work includes The Public, Signature Theatre, Prospect Theatre, The Shakespeare Theatre of New Jersey, Yale Rep, McCarter Theatre, Cleveland Play House, Great Lakes, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Berkshire, Center Stage, and Shakespeare Theatre Company. Television appearances include Forever, Royal Pains, Damages, Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, Early Edition, All My Children, and One Life to Live. Mr. Early is currently on the faculty at Sarah Lawrence College and is a graduate of the Yale School of Drama.
(As of April 2016)
Kimiye Corwin makes her Studio Theatre debut in Hedda Gabler. Most recently she was in The Changeling with Red Bull Theater in New York City. Other theater credits include Ars Nova, McCarter Theatre, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Syracuse Stage, Hartford Stage, Shakespeare Festival St. Louis, and TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. Ms. Corwin has also choreographed for productions at Oregon Shakespeare Festival and Dallas Theater Center. Her film and television credits include Five Dances (directed by Alan Brown), The Family, The Following, The Michael J. Fox Show, and One Life to Live. Ms. Corwin is a graduate of the Brown University/Trinity Rep Graduate Acting Program and holds a BFA in Dance from Juilliard.
(As of April 2016)
Shane Kenyon makes his Studio Theatre debut in Hedda Gabler. A Chicago-based actor for almost a decade, his credits include Buzzer (Goodman Theatre); If There Is I Haven’t Found It Yet (Steep Theatre; Jeff Award recipient, Best Supporting Actor); Shining City, The Seafarer, and Shadow of a Gunman (Irish Theatre of Chicago, Ensemble Member); Hushabye, Where We’re Born, and Betrayal (Steppenwolf Theatre); The Who & The What (Victory Gardens); Things You Shouldn’t Say Past Midnight (Windy City Playhouse); Season On The Line (The House Theatre); Transpotting USA (Book & Lyrics); Big Love (Strawdog Theatre Company); Jailbait (Profiles Theatre); Mary’s Wedding (Rivendell Theatre); and Hamlet, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, and A Midsummer Night’s (Lakeside Shakespeare Theatre). Film and television credits include Empire (FOX), Chicago P.D. (NBC), Olympia (30 Pictures), Jessica (Folded Rose Productions), Mind Games (ABC), and Chicago Code (FOX). Mr. Kenyon received his BFA in Theatre Performance from the Chicago College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University.
(As of April 2016)
Rosemary Regan previously appeared at Studio Theatre in Animal, The Cripple of Inishmaan, The Desk Set, Conversations with My Father, and Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead. For Studio 2ndStage, she performed in Terrorism, Mad Forest, Hot Fudge, Terrence McNally: Five Short Plays, and Muzeeka. Other recent local appearances include Middletown (NextStop Theatre), Mary Stuart (Folger Theatre), and Optimism! or Voltaire’s Candide (Spooky Action Theater, Helen Hayes Award nomination for Best Ensemble). She has also appeared at Signature Theatre, Virginia Shakespeare Festival, Theater Alliance, and Solas Nua, among others.
(As of April 2016)
Luciana Stecconi’s previous designs for Studio Theatre include The Effect, Cloud 9, Hedda Gabler, Bad Jews, An Iliad, Lungs, The History of Kisses, In the Red and Brown Water, The Year of Magical Thinking, Amnesia Curiosa, Souvenir, Contractions, and Crestfall, among others. She has designed for Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Round House Theatre, Signature Theatre, The Kennedy Center Theatre for Young Audiences, Mosaic Theater, Theater J, Everyman Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, Contemporary American Theatre Festival, Georgetown University, Catholic University, American University, Imagination Stage, and many more. She’s the Assistant Professor in Scenic Design at Emerson College. Stecconi holds an MFA in design from Brandeis University and is a member of USA Local 829.
(As of December 2018)
Murell Horton makes his Studio Theatre debut with Hedda Gabler. Mr. Horton’s most recent work in DC was The Critic and The Real Inspector Hound at Shakespeare Theatre Company. The production moved to the Guthrie Theater in February. Mr. Horton is the recipient of the 2007 Irene Sharaff Young Master Award for costume design. He has been nominated for seven Helen Hayes Awards for Outstanding Costume Design, all for work produced at the Shakespeare Theatre Company. These productions include a number of world premieres and the David Ives’ trilogy of The Liar, Heir Apparent, and The Metromaniacs, all directed by Artistic Director Michael Kahn. Upcoming productions include The Liar at Classic Stage Company, NYC; School for Lies at Shakespeare Theatre Company; and a new dance piece in Havana, Cuba. Mr. Horton has worked in New York City and across the East Coast. Other credits include New York City Opera, The Juilliard School, Houston Grand Opera, The Guthrie Theater, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and The Denver Center.
(As of April 2016)
Scott Zielinski has created designs for over 300 productions of theatre, dance, and opera throughout the world. He has worked extensively in New York and at regional theaters throughout the U.S. including Arena Stage, The Kennedy Center, Shakespeare Theatre Company, Signature Theatre, and previously at Studio Theatre. Internationally he has designed in Adelaide, Amsterdam, Avignon, Berlin, Bregenz, Edinburgh, Fukuoka, Gennevilliers, Hamburg, Hong Kong, Istanbul, Linz, Ljubljana, London, Lyon, Melbourne, Orleans, Oslo, Ottawa, Paris, Reykjavik, Rouen, St. Gallen, Seoul, Shanghai, Shizuoka, Singapore, Stockholm, Stuttgart, Sydney, Tokyo, Toronto, Vienna, Vilnius, and Zurich.
(As of November 2017)
Fitz Patton is currently represented on Broadway with The Father, The Humans, Blackbird and Act of God. His other Broadway credits include It’s Only a Play, Airline Highway, The Other Place, I’ll Eat You Last: A Chat with Sue Mengers, Outside Mullingar, Casa Valentina, The House of Blue Leaves, Brighton Beach Memoirs, and Broadway Bound. Mr. Patton’s many Off Broadway credits include this season’s Prodigal Son (New York City Center), When the Rain Stops Falling (Lincoln Center Theater, Lucille Lortel and Drama Desk Awards), and The Other Place (MCC Theater, Lortel nomination). His symphony credits include The Holy Land. Mr. Patton is the founder of Chance Magazine, a theatre design magazine.
(As of April 2016)
Adrien-Alice Hansel is the Literary Director at Studio, where she has dramaturged the world premieres of Queen of Basel, The Remains, No Sisters, I Wanna Fucking Tear You Apart, Animal, Laugh, Red Speedo, Dirt, Lungs, and The History of Kisses as well as productions of Cry It Out,Translations, Curve of Departure, The Effect, Wig Out!, Straight White Men, Cloud 9, Hedda Gabler, Constellations, Jumpers for Goalposts, Bad Jews (twice), The Apple Family Plays, Invisible Man, Sucker Punch, The Golden Dragon, and The New Electric Ballroom, among others. Prior to joining Studio, she spent eight seasons at the Actors Theatre of Louisville, where she headed the literary department and coordinated project scouting, selection, and development for the Humana Festival of New American Plays. She also served as production dramaturg on roughly 50 new, contemporary, and classic plays there, including premieres by Naomi Wallace, Gina Gionfriddo, Kirk Lynn and Rude Mechs, Rinne Groff, The Civilians, Anne Bogart and SITI Company, Jordan Harrison, and John Belluso. She is the co-editor of eight anthologies of plays from Actors Theatre and editor of eight editions of plays through Studio. Adrien-Alice holds an MFA from the Yale School of Drama.
(As of April 2019)
Anthony O. Bullock returns to Studio Theatre after previously being the Resident Stage Manager for two seasons. Prior Studio credits include The Hard Problem, Cloud 9, Hedda Gabler, Moment, Between Riverside and Crazy, Chimerica, Jumpers for Goalposts, and Laugh. Additional DC area credits include Signature Theatre, Arena Stage, Baltimore Center Stage, and Theater J, where he will be their new Resident Stage Manager for the 2019-2020 season. Other regional credits include McCarter Theatre Center, Barrington Stage Company, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Passage Theatre, and Shakespeare & Company, among others. He toured with The White Snake by Mary Zimmerman in association with the Goodman Theatre, as part of the Wuzhen Theatre Festival in Wuzhen, China. Anthony received his BFA from Oklahoma City University. He is also on the board of The Stage Managers’ Association as the Eastern Regional Director. He is a proud member of AEA.
(As of April 2019)