“Hedda Gabler” premiered in Moscow, Russia, way back in 1890, and now students with the University of Idaho Department of Theater Arts have given the play a 21st century twist.
Maiya Corral, who plays the lead role of Hedda, said the class Creation Lab began exploring the Norwegian classic this past semester.
After reading through Henrik Ibsen’s play, Corral said discussions about its strengths were held, and then the play was tailored to be uniquely their own.
Department of Theater Arts Assistant Professor Matt Foss said more than 30 students have worked on the adaptation.
Along with shaking up various dialogue, their novel adaptation features an all female cast, featuring Corral, Lolo Ramos, Lauren Walters, Paige Erbele and Olivia Longin.
At the start of the play, Hedda feels trapped in her marriage and is bored with the life society has prescribed,
Corral said. Hedda has left her husband by the end of the play and has set off on a search for a greater sense of beauty in life.
“She a really smart, interesting, ahead of her times kind of gal,” Corral said. “She’s stuck in a life that doesn’t really honor her or give her any room to be herself.”
Corral said the taboo of women leaving a marriage caused public outrage when the original play premiered.
And just as Ibsen shook things up in the late 19th century, this version of “Hedda Gabler” follows suit, using
unique iteration and an untraditional cast to break conventions.
Corral said using women for the play’s traditional male roles eliminates the inclination to think of how Hedda and the other characters act in a gender context.
“Women’s issues are human issues,” Corral said. “So I think it’s less about a woman in a trapped marriage and more about a person in a trapped world.”
Another aspect solely their own is the use of a live rock band for the play’s music, Corral said.
As for specifics regarding the changes students have made to the plot and dialogue, Corral said she’ll save those for the shows.
If You Go:
What: “Hedda Gabler”
When: 7:30 p.m. today through Saturday and Mar. 35, and 2 p.m. Sunday and March 6
Where: The Hartung Theater, 875 Perimeter Drive, University of Idaho
Cost: $15 for general public, $10 for UI faculty, staff and seniors (55 and older), $5 for children (12 and