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L.A. Beat

Auditions for Playgoers of Lethbridge’s A Doll's house this week

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Juanita DeVos is excited to direct Playgoers of Lethbridge’s Feb. 8-11 production of Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House.”
 She already has most of her backstage crew in place, the next step is auditions, which take place, Dec. 9 and 10 at Casa.
 If  you are interested in trying out for the play, book an audition time for Dec. 9 and 10 by going to
DeVos will get back to you, if those times don’t work she will do her best to accommodate your schedule.

“The people who have booked times will be able to audition at that time and we’ll fit in people who drop in around those times,” DeVos said, noting she is excited to work with Playgoers veteran Eric Low.

“ I worked with him  for Noises Off and wanted to work with him again,” she said, noting Low was originally planning to direct “A Doll’s House,” but had to back out  due to health issues.

“But he already did a lot of research in to the characters and the production, so he will be our dramaturge,” DeVos enthused.

 The play requires a cast of four men and four women plus two children — a boy and a girl.

Playgoers is using a 1936 Thornton Wilder acting version of the play, which is about “Nora, the wife of a banker, Thorwald, has a secret debt, incurred with good intentions and a forged signature. When her husband is promoted to bank manager, the threat of blackmail threatens to destroy his career and their family life together. As circumstances unravel, Nora realizes the truth of her situation: she accuses her husband and her father before him of having used her as a doll. In one of the most famous scenes ever written for the stage, Nora slams the door on her domestic life as wife and mother until she can learn to be herself. The marriage of Ibsen's naturalistic style with Wilder's knack for emotional nuance creates a modern, vigorous acting version of this revered classic drama.” The original  play premiered in 1879.

“ It’s a very short rehearsal period so it puts a lot of pressure on the cast and crew, so I hope to have a cast by the end of the week,” she said.

“ On the surface, this play centres around Nora, who is this picture perfect wife from a picture perfect family living in a picture perfect house, which couldn’t possibly be real. But throughout the play reality behind the facade becomes apparent so we brace ourselves  for the clash between reality and pretend,” DeVos described, noting the set and costume  design will emphasize the two realities.

“Below the surface this play is about most everybody and the face we show the public and we come to believe our masks. It was written in the nineteenth century, but is as applicable today as when it was written,” she added.
 She noted the talents of  cast are more important than their actual ages.

“There can be a range. Nora has been married for eight years, so she could have been married at 16.,” she said adding she is excited to work with children again as she has a background in working with children.
“ They have to be at least eight years old or  can play eight. Costumes will help convey age,” she continued.

“ I don’t think we can change the script, so they have to be a boy and a girl,” she said.
“A Doll’s House,” is often presented as a feminist play, however DeVos plans to stay away from that angle.
“ I won’t approach it that way because it is about the relationship between a husband and wife and how they both live a fantasy,” she said.
 Auditions are  on Friday, Dec. 9 from 6-9 and Saturday from  12:30-4:30 p.m.
Go To to audition.
A Doll’s House will run Feb. 8-11 at the Yates Theatre.

— by Richard Amery,L.A. Beat Editor
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