The cast of Lee University Theatre has planned an interactive audience experience for its premiere of "A Dollhouse Project" on Friday, Feb. 14.
"A Dollhouse Project" will transport its audiences and characters through time — and across downtown Cleveland, Tennessee — as each act is staged in a different house, performed with a different cast and set in a different decade.
The play will begin in the atrium of the Communication Arts Building on Church Street, where the audience will be bused to the Craigmiles House (managed by the Cleveland/Bradley County Public Library) for the first act, which takes place in 1880. For Act 2, the buses will transport the audience north, and 70 years forward in time, to 1950 at the Hardwick House. The final bus trip will bring the audience to the present day for the final act at the Dethero House.
"A Dollhouse Project" is inspired by Ibsen's "A Doll's House," and adapted by Dan Buck, director of the play and associate professor of theater at Lee.
"We're excited to present this classic work about the role of a woman in culture, spread across three different eras," said Buck. "I think it will make people consider the ways in which things have changed, and the ways in which they haven't."
This story is about a young housewife, Nora Helmer, who is devoted to her doting husband, Torvald. He is affectionate and kind toward Nora, and in true Victorian fashion, he rules his home and his wife in totalitarian ways. However, to save Torvald from illness, Nora arranges a loan without his knowledge and does so by forging a signature.
When Nora's secret is revealed, the true colors of their union are unveiled, and Nora makes a decision that will change her life.
"The project presents all sorts of interesting questions about meaning and truth in changing times, along with questions about faithfulness to the spirit of a work of art when you are deliberately experimenting with it, as we are in 'A Dollhouse Project,'" said Buck.
After the opening night performance at 7 p.m. Friday, show times will continue Feb. 15 and 20-22 at 7, 7:30 and 8 p.m., with additional matinees at 2, 2:30 and 3 p.m. on Saturdays, Feb. 15 and 22.
Tickets are $10 adults, $7 for children and senior adults. They are available at the Communication Arts box office Monday-Friday, 3-6 p.m., or online at www.showclix.com (search for "Dollhouse").
Lee Theatre recommends these performances for ages 10 and older.