A Doll House – L.A. Theatre Works

This month L.A. Theatre Works moves to its new venue at the James Bridges Theater on the campus of UCLA. They’re opening their 2011-12 season with Henrik Ibsen’s classic play A Doll House* (translated by Rolf Fjelde) which is playing for six performances, this weekend only.

One hundred and thirty years ago Ibsen’s domestic drama was revolutionary in tone, content and message. Central protagonist Nora Helmer has everything a young housewife could want: beautiful children, an adoring husband, a bright future…. But when a carelessly buried secret rises from the past, Nora’s well-calibrated family ideal starts to crumble. Blackmail and innocence, love and hypocrisy collide in A Doll House, one of the most celebrated plays in theater history. Ibsen’s masterpiece is as fresh today as it was when it first stormed the stages of 19th-century Europe.

Nora Helmer has a delicious secret that saved her husband’s life, but if he finds out what she’s done, it might destroy their marriage. Blackmail and innocence, love and hypocrisy collide in A Doll House, one of the most celebrated plays in theater history.

“The opportunity to do an audio recording of a classic play in front of a live audience is not just a unique and interesting experience for me personally,” explains Flockhart. “It also pleases me that radio plays have the capacity to reach individuals who otherwise may not have the resources or convenience to experience live theater.”

A Doll House was the first successful play of its era to affirm a married woman’s right to her own individuality – although Ibsen insisted that he did not consider himself a campaigner for women’s rights, but rather for “human rights.” Groundbreaking when first published in 1879, A Doll House challenged the conventional norms of playwriting. It remains one of the most controversial plays about love and marriage ever written, and still retains the power to shock an audience a century after its lead character opened a door to freedom.

All performances will be recorded to air on L.A. Theatre Works’ syndicated radio theater series, which broadcasts weekly on public radio stations nationwide and can be streamed on demand hereL.A. Theatre Works will stage and record this weekend’s six performances, under the direction of Rosalind Ayres. The cast features Calista Flockhart, JoBeth Williams and Tim DeKay.

L.A. Theatre Works is a unique company in that they stage radio theater productions of a wide range of plays, from contemporary to classic theater. The performances are rehearsed for three days and then performed in front of a live audience, minus sets and costumes, and captured by radio mikes. Alongside the actors on stage is a foley artist who creates live sound effects.

L.A. Theatre Works is recording A Doll House for future radio broadcast, to air locally on 89.3 FM KPCC and also on public radio stations across the country.  There will be six performances, all in front of an audience at the James Bridges Theater.

All six performances are recorded, and the best takes of each night get edited together to form the final broadcast CD. The CD will also be available for purchase through L.A. Theatre Works’ Audio Theatre Collection, and the plays can also be streamed on demand here.



*Please Note: Although popularly known as A Doll’s House, translator Rolf Fjelde felt that the non-possessive use of ‘doll’ was more in-line with Ibsen’s original intention for the title.



A Doll House

James Bridges Theater

on the campus of UCLA School of Theatre, Film, Television


235 Charles E. Young Drive
Los Angeles, CA 90095
Located in Melnitz Hall
Enter UCLA from Hilgard Av., near Sunset Blvd.

Park in Lot 3 – Visitor’s Section.



Thursday, September 22 at 8pm

Friday, September 23 at 8pm

Saturday, September 24 at 3pm & 8pm

Sunday, September 25 at 2pm & 7pm



Box Office:

Purchase tickets here or call Box Office (310) 827-0889




L.A. Theatre Works’ syndicated radio theater series, which broadcasts weekly on public radio stations nationwide. L.A. Theatre Works’ radio theater series can be heard locally in Southern California on 89.3 KPCC every Saturday from 10 pm to midnight, and can also be streamed on demand at their official site.

L.A. Theatre Works can also be heard on the following stations (check local listings for broadcast times): 89.7 WGBH, Boston; 91.5 FM WBEZ, Chicago; 94.9 KUOW, Seattle; 90.1 WABE, Atlanta; 94.1 KPFA, Berkeley; 91.1 KRCB, North Bay (San Francisco); and many other stations nationwide.



Pauline Adamek

Pauline Adamek is a Los Angeles-based arts enthusiast with twenty-five years' experience covering International Film Festivals and reviewing new Theatre, Film and Restaurants.

1 comment

  • hello!

    just wanted to say THANK YOU for putting this into Arts Beat so I was able to know about this wonderful opportunity- immediately bought a ticket for opening night!

    go team arts beat!
    go pauline!


Follow us

Follow ArtsBeat LA on social media for the latest arts news.