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Guthrie Theater announces full company for Rebecca Gilman’s DOLLHOUSE


Previews begin May 22; Opening May 27;

Playing through July 11, 2010, on the McGuire Proscenium Stage

(Minneapolis/St. Paul) The Guthrie Theater today announced that Sarah Agnew (currently appearing as Beatrice in Yale Rep’s production of The Servant of Two Masters) will lead the cast of Rebecca Gilman’s Dollhouse, playing Nora in a modern-day critique of middle-class life in an adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s groundbreaking and controversial masterpiece A Doll’s House (previously seen at the Guthrie in 1996). Wendy C. Goldberg, artistic director of the National Playwrights Conference at The Eugene O’Neill Theater Center, will direct the Guthrie staging of the production, which made its 2005 premiere at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre. Dollhouse begins preview performances on May 22, opens May 27 and continues through July 11, 2010. Single tickets start at $24 and are now on sale through the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224, toll-free 877.44.STAGE, 612.225.6244 (Group Sales) and online at www.guthrietheater.org.

Casting announced today also includes actors Peter Christian Hansen as Nora’s husband Terry, Matt Guidry as their family friend Pete, Norah Long as Nora’s college friend Kristine and Bhavesh Patel as Raj Patel, a bio-engineer with a checkered past and a startling new agenda. George A. Keller will play the family’s nanny Marta and Nora Montanez will play the family’s house cleaner Iris. Rounding out the cast are three pairs of young performers – Alexander Cecena and Zel Weilandgruber as Max, Oralia Cecena and Alaina Lucy Rivera as Skyler, and Piper Gallivan and Emily Marceau as Macey – sharing the roles of Nora and Terry’s three children.
In Dollhouse, Gilman crafts a cleaver and insightful update of Ibsen’s work, looking at relationships, materialism and the consequences of a life built on lies. Set in 2004, at the cusp of the country’s financial meltdown, the play follows Nora, a wife and mother who seems to have it all: a successful husband, three adorable children and a beautiful condo in Lincoln Park. In reality, what looks like the perfect life, however, is woefully incomplete, propped up by dark secrets and bitter betrayals. Living beyond their means, the family is now teetering on the edge of deep debt, as the schemes Nora has pulled to keep her family afloat begin to unravel. Through verbal battles, subtle and not-so-subtle manipulations and moments of shocking clarity, the couple’s marriage is strained to the breaking point, where they find their skyrocketing bills becoming the least of their worries. Gilman’s deft treatment of Ibsen’s iconic play brings its timeless issues into our century, with a sharp eye for social satire and moments of deliciously dark comedy, in a play that explores the shallow materialism of the middle class and the tensions lurking beneath.

Dollhouse marks the first time the Guthrie has produced a play by Gilman. A prolific modern playwright whose well-plotted works explore complex social themes, she is best known for Spinning Into Butter, her 1999 play about race and political correctness that was named one of the year’s best plays by Time magazine, and eventually became the third-most-produced play of the 2000-2001 season, prior to its 2007 film adaptation starring Sarah Jessica Parker, Miranda Richardson and Beau Bridges. Gilman became the first American to win the British Evening Standard prize for Most Promising Playwright for The Glory of Living, which was also recognized as a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize. She currently lives in Chicago and serves on the board of the Dramatists Guild of America.

The artistic team includes Alexander Dodge (Scenic Design), Anne Kennedy (Costume Design), Josh Epstein (Lighting Design), Elisa Carlson (Voice and Dialect Coach), Marcela Lorca (Movement), Carla Steen (Dramaturg), Michele Harms (Stage Manager), Justin Hossle (Assistant Stage Manager) and Ellen Fenster (Assistant Director).

About the Guthrie
The Guthrie Theater, founded in 1963, is an American center for theater performance, production, education and professional training. The Guthrie is dedicated to producing the great works of dramatic literature, developing the work of contemporary playwrights and cultivating the next generation of theater artists. Led by Director Joe Dowling since 1995, the Guthrie opened its new three-theater home on the banks of the Mississippi River in Minneapolis in June 2006.
The Guthrie is located at 818 South 2nd Street (at Chicago Avenue), in downtown Minneapolis. To purchase tickets or season subscriptions call the Guthrie Box Office at 612.377.2224 or toll-free 877.44.STAGE. For more information, or to purchase tickets online, visit www.guthrietheater.org.

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