Susan Agin and the Queensborough Performing Arts Center will present Henrik Ibsen’s classic play, A DOLL’s HOUSE for an invited audience in April as part of an arts and education program.
Ibsen’s play still projects a substantial message – one of female empowerment, abuse, misogyny, and – as we look at it through the lens of post-Trump America – high crime and corruption.
Ms. Agin brought Jay Michaels aboard to direct the production. Michaels, a professor of communications and theater are various universities, is also known for his direction and production of much of Shakespeare’s canon felt right at home with Ibsen: “this play was banned in Germany because of its ending,” “sometimes we’re scared of the concepts a play might subject us to,” he added. Pete Feliz, longtime stage actor, appearing as Krogstat in A Doll’s House offered up a quote from an inspiration of his: “My mentor, Gene Lasko, said of the best playwrights, their scripts are an invitation to collaboration from actor to the director to the technicians and ultimately–the audience. He also said ‘you believed we read fiction, go to theater, to the movies, and watch television because we just want to have our lives explained to us.”
Pete is thrilled to be part of a “real production of this play:” “my first exposure to A Doll’s House was playing the male lead in Clare Boothe Luce’s SLAM THE DOOR SOFTLY, an updated interpretation of Ibsen’s play. Two years later I ran sound for a summer theater production of A Doll’s House. I received my BFA in theater from Stephens College. I studied acting with Gene Lasko (a protege of Lee Strassberg) in New York. I’ve been involved with the Metropolitan Theatre Company, The Assembly Theatre and The Instigators Theatre Group. I’ve done film work for Arthur Penn and voice over work for 4KIDS PRODUCTIONS.”
He seized this chance to learn more from Pete.
Ibsen’s play was groundbreaking. Is it still groundbreaking today?
If it is, how? the play may not be as earth-shattering as it was in the late 19th and early 20th century, but many of the mores of those times still haunt us today. And while the play is thought of as an attack on sexism, it has become more evidently as a condemnation of elitism and classism
How has your role changed over the century since the play premiered? Are you a villain as opposed to a hero – or vice versa? It is more identifiable? Etc.
I’ve seen the role of Krogstat played as someone devoured and spit out by bitterness and driven completely by rage towards Nora. But my experience is that the more I (Krogstat) confront Nora the more my antipathy an prejudices against her are peeled away and the more I (Krogstat) see myself in her.
What are your next projects?
Christopher Plummer once said don’t ask an actor what he or she is doing next, unless they are either Robert De Niro or Meryl Streep.