North Springs is known for its superb visual arts programs, especially the theater program headed by Joel King. This year’s production of Henrik Ibsen’s Hedda Gabler did not disappoint. The show starred junior Carolyn Friedman as Hedda Gabler, senior Will Harrison as George Tessman, and junior Jazz Ingram as Iris Lovebourg.
Hedda Gabler follows the story of a woman trapped in a loveless marriage. Taking place over the course of a few days, the play focuses on themes such as true love, infidelity, and suicide.
Hedda Gabler was a darker show than some of the past, which included Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, which were more lighthearted comedies. This year’s show focused more on raw emotion, and there was a much more serious tone. Ibsen is known for his ability to transport darker emotions onto the stage while making subtle jokes. “Doing an Ibsen, let alone Hedda Gabler, in a high school setting was insane,” says Friedman.
To emphasize the emotional nature of the show, it was performed in the black box theater instead of the auditorium. Being so close to the actors let the audience feel as if they were experiencing the emotions themselves. “It was a really new and exciting way to experience a play. I’m used to ones on stage, so this unexpected setting was really cool,” said junior Izzy Perling.
Being close to the onstage action came with its fair share of danger. At one point of the show, Hedda uses a hammer to smash Lovebourg’s computer, destroying his manuscript. “We called the front row the shamu splash zone because one time a space key hit a lady in the eye,” said Friedman.
Though many people would laugh at the offer of staying after school every day for hours to rehearse, the students involved in Hedda Gabler wouldn’t have it any other way. The students enjoyed watching the show slowly come together. “The show’s process was such a beautiful and complex experience,” says Friedman.