theater

Rutgers Theater Company presents "Tracing Nora" 3/25-4/2

It’s been seven years since Nora cut out on her husband and daughter.

Now Kim is a teenager hungry for answers in Peter Handy’s modern-day response to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 drama A Doll’s House. The show runs from Friday, March 25, through Saturday, April 2, 2011. Vincent Murphy directs.

Though Handy says Ibsen’s work resonated for him, the Rutgers playwright also says he longed to shift the focus of Tracing Nora’s narrative.

“Ibsen short-changed the kids,” Handy says. “For the kids, it’s truly tragic. I wanted to write a play about a dysfunctional family situation.”

The family dynamics are laced with resentment and denial: When Kim’s dad refuses to help her find Nora, the teen runs away and confronts her mother. The consequences of Nora’s decision are laid bare.

“Nora’s decision to leave undoubtedly weighs most heavily on her children,” Handy says. “In writing Tracing Nora, I came to the conclusion that since Ibsen chose to write critically about his time I should write critically about my own—that it is most relevant to write a response based on the problems that face men, women and their families today.”

Tracing Nora runs from Friday, March 25 through Saturday, April 2, 2011. Performances are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturdays and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $25 for the general public, $20 for Rutgers alumni and employees and seniors and only $15 for students with valid ID. The Victoria J. Mastrobuono Theater is in the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center, 85 George Street (between Route 18 and Ryders Lane), on the Douglass Campus of Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, in New Brunswick. For more information about any Mason Gross event, visit www.masongross.rutgers.edu or call the Mason Gross Performing Arts Center ticket office at 732-932-7511

Media inquiries: Laurie Granieri, 732-932-7591, ext. 516.

Photo of Sarah Silk, from left, and Vera Varlamov by Larry Levanti