Actors’ Mission production of ‘A Doll’s House Part 2’ opens Thursday

Lucas Hnath's award-winning play was chosen to celebrate 150 years of Wyoming Women's Suffrage

Actors’ Mission cast members of “A Doll’s House Part 2” practice their lines Tuesday at dress rehearsal, Pictured from left are Jasmine Weaver, Ann Maria Mattila, James Gustafson and Julia Eaton. (Wyo4News photos/Ann Jantz)

Photos and story by Ann Jantz,

Rock Springs, Wyoming — The Actor’s Mission opens its 66th production on Oct. 10 at the Broadway Theater in Rock Springs with “A Doll’s House Part 2,” Lucas Hnath’s 21st-century response to an Ibsen classic.

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The play is directed by Rebecca Frost Mayer.

Jasmine Weaver as Nora returns to the home she left 15 years before.

“I love this play,” she said about the production. “Everyone in the audience will have a different opinion about each character.”

The play begins when Nora, who had famously slammed the door on her marriage to Torvald 15 years ago, returns. She is confronted by her former husband, nanny Anne Marie, and daughter Emmy.

The story takes place in Norway in 1894. The questions it raises about feminism, marriage, family, divorce, and motherhood are still relevant today, making “A Doll’s House Part 2” the perfect play to celebrate 150 years of Wyoming Women’s Suffrage.

“It’s a good show to open the season and to celebrate 150 years of suffrage in our state,” said Brad Russell, scenery and lighting designer for the show. “In fact, all the shows this season will have strong female roles in honor of Wyoming Women’s Suffrage.”

Nora, played by Jasmine Weaver (left), shows her disdain for the criticisms her former nanny Anne Marie, played by Ann Maria Mattila, levels at her.

“A Doll’s House Part 2” has received critical acclaim for its Tony award-winning Broadway run as well as for professional, community and college productions. Based on Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 realistic drama “A Doll’s House,” American playwright Lucas Hnath with his 2017 sequel asked the question, “What would happen if Nora did return … 15 years later?” This play gives the audience one possible answer — and even more questions.

Actor’s Mission veteran Jasmine Weaver stars as Nora Helmer. Rounding out the cast are James Gustafson, Ann Maria Mattila, and Julia Eaton. Costumes are designed by Gwendolyn Quitberg; sound by Erik Hamm; hair and makeup by Dani Barnett; assistant director Joseph Haber; assistant lighting designer Shane Westfall; and crew member John Hiltner.

Ann Maria Mattila as nanny Anne Marie updates Nora about the household since her departure.

Performances are Oct. 10, 11, 12, 17, and 19, with curtain time at 7 p.m. each night. A matinee performance is also planned at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 20. Admission is free, and a complimentary meal is served one hour prior to curtain time.

In addition to the show, Actors’ Mission is launching a sustaining membership drive at each performance and will continue online at the organization’s new website, Russell said.

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How it works: Bring your bank account information to one of the performances and Actors’ Mission members will get you signed up. In return you will receive a free tote, a membership card, and a discount card that can be used at downtown merchants.

Torvald, played by James Gustafson (right), explains why he returned home from work early, seemingly unware of Nora’s return. At left are fellow castmates Jasmine Weaver and Ann Maria Mattila.

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