Why This Play? - Culture Essay Sample

Published: 2021-08-11
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University of California, Santa Barbara
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Literature review
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The script, play and song writers have a massive impact on bringing out the acceptable moral lessons in a given community. Brockett & Oscar (pg. 78) describe that a message is clearly conveyed through music or plays (either live or recorded in form of movies) as compared to other means of disseminating the message. It is therefore crucial that when coming up with plays, scripts or song, the authors and producers should consider the main themes first before letting them into the society. The themes in such writings and productions must be clear and relevant to the specific historical times and turn of events in the target community or nation at large. In the 1960s to 1970s, the plight of women in the American society was set to take a new turn following the American feminist movement that was fueled by how women were treated and perceived in the society. During this particular period, women were expected to do a lot for men and their families which turned out to be unjust. Early marriages, job limitations, lower salaries amongst the female employees and full family obligations were some of the factors that lead to the feminist movement. Henrik Ibsen, as an author and a play writer, therefore, saw it right to come up with a relevant play matching the current situation in the country. He brings out the plight of women in the society by using various characters in the play; A Dolls House.

The question why this play now, can be answered in the 1960 to 1970s context, where, strong women in the society were trying to fight for their rights and justice. Henrik uses some characters like Nora who portrays a true character of a feminist in various instances of the play. Nora, in one of the instances of the play, slums the door in front of her husband telling her off after she expected him to support her but instead he did not. She refuses to stay with him anymore and to call him her husband. A feminist in a society can be any woman or female who advocates for her rights as well as those for other people. Nora plays a character of such kind of a woman in the society. A Doll's House is, therefore, was relevant play in the 1960s and 1970s since it helped to bring out Cleary the role and plight of women in the American society to the target audience. It is evident that this play has been played in many theatres since it was scripted and produced. Through the acting, the audience is able to understand the different roles of each character and determine the goals of the director and the play writer in coming up with such a play. The play was therefore necessary for production during that period of time as it also supported the women in their advocacy for justice and equity. Through the characters like Nora, the audience could clearly understand why men have been unfair to their women in the society. The play also justifies the reasons for such revolution movements where feminist who know their rights fight without tiring on their behalf and others. Henrik Ibsen also brings out a theme of freedom and liberation through the same character, Nora. This is as well relevant with this period as most communities were fighting for their rights and equity as well in America. Even though not widely pronounced, a theme of freedom portrays itself when Nora decides to walk out of her husband to go and be independent. Such themes in the play make the production more relevant during the period of the 1960s to 1970s in the American societies.

Tag line

Looking at the major themes revealed in this play, the most appropriate tag line should be the one that tends to cover all the themes. Nora slums the door as she walks out of her husband and family is appropriate for a tag line in this play as it catches the attention of the perceived audience.

Vivid description of the play

While reading a particular written play, a certain picture is captured in one's head and is able to imagine how the characters intercut as the plays go on. According to the readings of this play, any audience can say that the world with which the plot of the play revolves around is a modern professional world since professional terms like doctor and banker are mentioned in the play. This as well helps in creating a professional picture of the costumes of the characters. Doctors are expected to put on aprons while bankers are always in ties and suits. A clear picture of the world and costumes is therefore drawn to the audience or readers by the play. Alongside the professional terms used, it can also be derived from the words spoken like applying for a loan and going for a trip that the plot revolves around a modern world (Brockett & Oscar, pg. 90). When producing this play, the lights should be changing to show differences in the various locations, for instance, it is always bright in a living room thus when Nora and her husband are speaking, a bright light should be used to symbolize this. Sounds should be changing when acting to bring out different expressions and emotions in a play, for example, a high tone when Nora and her husband are quarreling. Using varying lighting, sounds and background effects help convey a certain message and put emphasis as well when the characters are speaking. Tonal variation brings out a clear difference of turn of events in the paly. Facial expressions and visual aids help in making the message clearer to the audience. Characters who engage the audience also keep them lively and monotony is broken during the play.

Theatre space

In order to bring out the theme of this play, the most appropriate theatre should a traditional proscenium stage where the audience is seated on one side of a hall while the other space is left for the stage set up and the players preparation. This kind of theatre is appropriate since the stage can be set up to bring out any form of picture relevant to the play. For this particular play, for instance, the stage can be set up with chairs and all the characters that characterize a living room where Nora and Torvald communicate. A traditional proscenium stage is normally enclosed thus bringing up the best idea of the places where the plot of the play revolved around. The play was majorly in a sitting room or a hospital thus this kind of theatre will be the most appropriate. This kind of space is as well the best since it provides a perfect room for interaction between the audience and the characters on stage. Communication will be easy and the characters will be audible as well.

Preferred actors

Some of the major roles in the play include that of Nora, Torvald, Krogstad and the doctor. These characters require the most captivating, interesting and creative actors. Lupita Nyongo, an Oscar award-winning actor is one of the best-known actors today in playing a role of strong women in the society. When selecting actors, I can prefer Lupita to play the role of Nora since she can be very aggressive and resistive while playing this character. Her ability is well revealed in the movies she has acted playing such roles, for instance, the film; Thirty Years a Slave. Chris rock, on the other hand, can play a role of Torvald since he is always ignorant and least considers the feelings of others. Since he is comical well, he can be entertaining to the audience to break the monotony even though the play is not comical. I would prefer other actors as well regardless of their colors in order to bring out the theme of unity and togetherness in the American societies as well.

Why the play should be funded

Today, the world is still facing same challenges it used to face in the previous decades even though not as pronounced as there were in the previous years. Factors like racism, gender imbalance, and quest for independence still are heard in the American societies and across the world as well. This play thus is still relevant even today and therefore should be funded for it to be produced and be played in various theatres in the country to bring out the plight of women in the society. There are some areas still, where women are now appreciated and treated badly by their husbands for instance which should be advocated against. Through this play and many more plays relevant to this, the actors can be able to fight such issues that face societies. It is thus important that this play is funded and produced to advocate more for the female rights and justice in the society.


Source: https://www.pinterest.com, 2017

Above is an image showing strong women in the earlier decades in the USA who were the pioneers of the feminism movements fighting for the rights of women. This picture is relevant in terms of theme and periodization of the play.

Source: http://pixabay.comThis is a picture of a lady who is strong, loving, caring and sacrificial as represented by the things she is carrying. This reveals how women, especially mothers in any society are, thus plight of women in the society.


Brockett, Oscar G., et al. The essential theatre. Cengage Learning, 2016.

Ibsen, Henrik, and Non Worrall. A Doll's House. A&C Black, 2008.

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