Last season it was G.B. Shaw’s “Pygmalion.” Now Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”
In its recent non-Shakespearean forays, Seattle Shakespeare Company seems to be following the trajectory of Victorian-era European theater’s contribution to the struggle for female autonomy. Or as Shaw wrote of Ibsen’s play, “The revolt of Nora is the end of a chapter in human history.”
While Nora, the desperate Norwegian housewife in “A Doll’s House,” may seem a somewhat antiquated figure today, the play is still a theatrically potent vote for personal liberation — when the right actors and director find the living dramatic pulse in it. In the new SSC production, that challenge falls largely to the show’s veteran director, Russ Banham; Banham’s actress wife, Jennifer Sue Johnson, as Nora; and Michael Patten as Nora’s husband, Torvald (Johnson and Patten are shown here.)
“A Doll’s House” plays through Jan. 27 at Center House Theatre, Seattle Center; $22-$45 (206-733-8222 or www.seattleshakespeare.org).
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Misha Berson, Seattle Times theater critic