See a Sequel to Ibsen’s Iconic Play

Lucas Hnath offers an update on Nora Helmer at the Berkeley Rep.


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Photo by Kevin Berne / Berkeley Repertory Theatre

Written by Tony Award nominee Lucas Hnath, A Doll’s House, Part 2 picks up where Henrik Ibsen’s famous 1879 play left off. Well, 15 years later, that is.

After walking out on her family years before, Nora Helmer, now a successful feminist novelist, has returned to finalize her divorce papers with Torvald. However, she’s being blackmailed by a judge and needs her former husband’s help. But, unsurprisingly, the family she abandoned has a bone to pick with her first.

Having opened on Broadway last spring, the Tony-nominated play is now coming to the Berkeley Rep. This smart, funny exploration of the rules of society and gender brings a 21st-century eye to Ibsen’s iconic play, and investigates the consequences of one woman’s liberation. Leave your husband, sure — but what happens to the young children, and even the servants, you also leave behind?

A Doll’s House, Part 2 is not a feminist play so much as a sincere attempt at reconciling with the consequences of a moment of catharsis. Hnath’s sequel reminds us that grand, dramatic gestures make good theater, but they’re never as simple as they seem.

Thu., Sept. 6 through Sun., Oct. 21, 8 p.m., Berkeley Repertory Theatre, 2025 Addison St., Berkeley, BerkeleyRep.org.

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