Monthly Archives: September 2013

Schools or Prisons?

A note to my fellow students, who are suffering yet another round of budget cuts in higher education. In addition to lobbying for better support of the university system, you can pressure your legislators for prison reform. Think those are two separate things? Guess again. In Louisiana, where I’m attending school, state funding for colleges […]

Henrik gets kinky

The Ibsen section of my modern drama class is coming to a close with The Master Builder. It’s a bit verbose, but still fascinating play about a man who believes god has singled him out, and a younger woman who either wants him, or wants to destroy him. The two lead roles are psychologically complex: Halvard Solness […]

Ibsen’s overlooked heroine

I”m exaggerating a bit. It’s not really appropriate to describe Hedda Gabler‘s Thea Elvsted as a heroine, as she’s really a secondary character. Actually, pretty much everyone is secondary to Hedda herself, though she’s probably more correctly described as a protagonist or anti-hero(ine). But I find Ibsen’s treatment of Mrs. Elvsted to be interesting. Like Hedda, […]

Public enemy #1: Henrik Ibsen

I wrote earlier this year about seeing Ibsen’s Enemy of the People while I was in Dublin. While the topic discussed in the play in science, and I pointed out the relevance to climate change denial in the previous post, it turns out Ibsen was writing about something completely different: himself. In 1881, Ibsen published Ghosts, his […]

Sucking the life out of “Ghosts”

As my Modern Drama class progresses through the Ibsen canon, I’ve been dipping into the BBC Video series, The Henrik Ibsen Collection. Their presentation of A Doll’s House, starring Juliet Stevenson was wonderful, and so this evening, when I saw the cast that had been assembled for Ghosts (Judy Dench, Michael Gambon, Kenneth Branagh, Natasha Richardson, and […]

The Nora Syndrome

When Henrick Ibsen wrote A Doll’s House in 1879, he was reacting to the lack of human rights of women in his time. Their lives were so restricted by society that they could rarely rise to anything beyond being their husband’s plaything and property. Many of the key plot points are taken from the real life […]

Rainwater and Pure Grain Alcohol

The video above has some since behind the scenes information on the making of Stanley Kubrick’s Dr. Strangelove: Or, How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb. I had the pleasure of watching both of them yesterday, as well as the delightful experience of watching a theatre-full of 20-somethings walking out of the cinema […]