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OSF's World-Premiere Translation of Ibsen's Hedda Gabbler A Must See


Lively Translation by OSF Artistic Director Emeritus Jerry Turner
Makes This 1890 Classic a Must-See

Ashland, Ore.— Classic dramatic writing, contemporary language, great characters and a riveting psychological drama make this production of Hedda Gabler a must-see.
      The Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler at 8 p.m. on Saturday, April 26, 2003 in the Angus Bowmer Theatre. This commissioned translation by Dr. Jerry Turner is directed by Bill Rauch, who gave OSF audiences last season’s powerful production of Robert Schenkkan’s Handler.
     One of the great plays of Western literature, Hedda Gabler is the tale of a 19th-century woman born into a world of enviable opportunities, but who advances her own interests through clever and cruel acts, undoing others’ good fortune and ultimately destroying herself.
     “Most theater artists, myself included, have Ibsen’s masterpiece at the top of their short list of plays that they hope to someday tackle,” said Mr. Rauch, who is the Artistic Director and co-founder of Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles. “The mystery of the title character’s motivations is at the heart of the play, and is what both seduces and challenges; we don’t easily ‘get it,’ or more to the point, don’t easily get her. We’ve been honored to have Jerry Turner’s adaptation as our text; straightforward and eminently speakable, this brand new version charts the play’s complex journey with crystal clarity.”
     Dr. Turner has translated and staged at OSF Ibsen’s Peer Gynt, Ghosts, An Enemy of the People, Brand, The Wild Duck and Rosmersholm. Another of his translations, The Master Builder, was directed at San Jose Stage by Libby Appel.
     In an interview, Dr. Turner explained Ibsen’s draw as a classical playwright: “Ibsen wrote in an obscure European language for an age of bustles and antimacassars but speaks to us in vibrant tone and brilliant insights across the thousand or so crises and changes of the last hundred years …. Why do classics?” he asks rhetorically. “To find that humanity in theatre, to have to go through the language of great poets to find our own humanity and the recognition that, ‘Hey look, we’ve come through, we’re in this together.’”
     Dr. Turner received the St. Olav’s Medal in 1996, bestowed by King Harald of Norway, to honor individuals who have made special endeavors to extend the knowledge of Norway around the world.
     Long-term colleagues of Mr. Rauch have created a physically vibrant and surprising design for this production. Sets are by Rachel Hauck, costume design is by Shigeru Yaji and lighting design is by Geoff Korf. OSF Resident Composer and Music Director Todd Barton is creating the music.
     The cast features Robin Goodrin Nordli in the title role, Jeffrey King as George Tesman, Eileen DeSandre as Miss Juliana Tesman, Terri McMahon as Mrs. Thea Elvsted, Richard Farrell as Judge Brack, Jonathan Haugen as Eilert Lovborg, Margaret Schenck as Berte and James Edmondson as General Gabler.
     Previews are at 8 p.m. Wednesday, April 23 and 1:30 p.m. Friday April 25. Opening performance is at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, April 26. Tickets are available by calling (541) 482-4331. Check ticket availability at

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