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Ghosts by Henrik Ibsen: Home

C.A. Roberson Theatre at TCC Southeast

Welcome from the Director of Theatre

Hello,

I want to welcome you to our theatre department!  Our mission at Theatre Southeast is to present a variety of genres and theatrical periods that provide a broad overview of dramatic literature and production.  Our actors and technicians work very hard to take the material from page to stage, and I want to express my appreciation for the long hours they invest.  They are students (like you) who have an interest in the arts, and are participating in this production as a class requirement.  If you would like to get more involved, opportunities exist no matter what level of experience you bring to the process.  Enrolling in DRAM 1120, Theatre Practicum, is the first step.  Every student in that class has a guarantee of either being cast or working backstage on some aspect of the production.  Our department also offers classes in acting and stagecraft, as well as introductory courses in theatre and film studies.  Whether your interest lies in performance, design, or technical theatre, we have a place waiting for you.

Even if you choose not to participate directly in the productions, your role as an audience member is equally important.  Without your support, our performances would not be possible. We truly appreciate all of our patrons!  I hope you have an enjoyable experience at Theatre Southeast, and please feel free to contact me if you have any questions or comments. 

Angela Inman, MFA

Director of Theatre, TCC-SE; Associate Professor of Drama

angela.inman@tccd.edu

Production Information

Fall 2019 Season

Ghosts

By Henrik Ibsen

In 1881, Henrik Ibsen's Ghosts shook the world. Wildly controversial in its time, Ghosts is a family drama dealing with previously taboo topics of marital and sexual secrets, while shining a bright light on the darkly toxic culture of female obedience in a male-dominated world.

This production features an adapted script created by Southeast drama faculty member Drew Hampton.

Performances

  • October 2, 3, 4 & 5: 7:30 p.m.
  • October 4: 1:30 p.m.

Festival of New Plays

A collection of student-written, 10 minute plays. After each show, there will be a post-performance discussion between the playwrights, directors, and audience.

Performances

  • November 13, 14, 15, & 16: 7:30 p.m.
  • November 15: 1:30 p.m.

Scenic Ground Plan by Paul Fiorella

Director's Note by Drew Hampton

ABOUT THE PLAYWRIGHT. Henrik Ibsen’s plays were revolutionary. Born in Norway in 1828 and now internationally considered the Father of Modern Drama, his themes remain surprisingly (if not sadly) relevant today. Ghosts (1881) is closely linked to Ibsen’s best-known play, A Doll’s House (1879). With both works, the playwright shocked audiences with scathing social commentary, propelling theatre-goers into passionate debates – and even fist fights, as they questioned the moral behavior of the characters. One critic labeled Ghosts “a dirty deed done in public.” Such strong responses are a testament to Ibsen’s ability to prick the consciousness of his audiences and to force them to confront their own damaging ideologies.

Ghosts and A Doll’s House share three common themes, all very much entwined, and which seem to reveal the issues Ibsen felt plagued society most:

---Both plays have women as the protagonist (central character). After a life full of female obedience and sacrifice in a male-dominated society, each woman is eventually empowered to do what she believes is right. A fascinating difference is that the younger Nora (in A Doll’s House) doesn’t realize society’s grip on her until the end of the play. Ghosts begins with the older Mrs. Alving having already made that realization (more than ten years prior to the start of the play), but still not knowing quite what to do.

---Both plays hinge on secrets and lies that serve to protect men and to uphold the expected upper-middle class/upper class image of a ‘proper family.’

---Both plays showcase characters motivated by their obsession with public opinion. Ibsen blames the majority of society for accepting mere public opinion as infallible truth, and he shows how the fear of public opinion is often what leads us to lie – both of which lead to tragedy. Ibsen shines a particularly bright light on this epidemic in An Enemy of the People (1882), calling it a ‘a rampant moral disease.’

ABOUT ADAPTING GHOSTS. This has been an incredibly unique process for me. When I chose to direct Ghosts, I had several options for the specific version we could use. Ultimately, I opted for the public domain translation by William Archer because it would allow me more freedom with editing the script. Also, since it was translated in 1889, it preserved a somewhat classical tone, which was important to our Drama department. What started as a simple editing process (trimming a line here, changing a word there) soon became a full on adaptation process. Dedicating roughly an hour per page prior to the start of rehearsals, I searched for ways to make the script more dynamic and accessible for a 2019 college campus. That meant precise, line-by-line changes to vocabulary, phrasing, pacing, relational dynamics, as well as the tone and intensity of specific moments. It meant thinking as a playwright, a director, and an actor simultaneously. It was a ton of work, yes, but the end result? It made me the most prepared I’ve ever been for a rehearsal process, and it’s given TCC-SE a unique adaptation of Ghosts that is OURS!

*Another unique element of TCC-SE’s Ghosts: in Ibsen’s original script, Captain Alving never appears onstage. He does in our production.

-DH

 

TCC-SE’s production of Ghosts features an adapted script by SE Drama faculty member Drew Hampton. The basis for Hampton’s adaptation is an early translation by William Archer in 1889. Archer was a Scottish writer and theatre critic, who spent a great deal of time around the works of Ibsen and George Bernard Shaw. (Ibsen’s original script from 1881 was written in his native language, Danish.) Below is a link to Archer’s translation, beginning with an excellently detailed note about Ibsen and Ghosts.
http://www.gutenberg.org/files/8121/8121-h/8121-h.htm

In 2013, award-winning director Richard Eyre staged a ‘first-rate revival’ of Ghosts in London. As director and adapter of the play, Eyre wrote the below piece for The Guardian. He discusses Ibsen’s ‘authorial presence’ in his works, commonalities between them, the critical response to Ghosts, and the history of the play’s title. (The photo is from the final moments of the 2013 production.)

https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2013/sep/20/richard-eyre-spirit-ibsen-ghosts