SCENA Theatre presents  Hedda Gabler, the timeless classic of love and enuii, written by Henrik Ibsen and translated by Brian Friel.

Washington, DC — December 1, 2011 — The Directors of SCENA Theatre announce the second production of their 24th season, Hedda Gabler by the renowned Henrik Ibsen. SCENA will use Irish playwright Brian Friel's translation,  which premiered at the Gate Theatre, Dublin in September 2008. The show will be directed by SCENA's Artistic Director Robert McNamara.  


$10 previews for Hedda Gabler will take place on January 7, 8, 10 & 11 (curtain is at 8 pm, except for the Sunday Jan. 8 preview, which starts at 3 pm). Opening night is Thursday, January 12, 2012 at 8 pm (also Press Night), featuring a wine and cheese reception afterwards. Members of the press: kindly RSVP to to attend press night (or an alternate performance if there is a conflict). 

This Ibsen classic about love and ennui features a controversial female protagonist. Hedda returns from a long honeymoon consumed by anxiety and regret. She is bored by her academic husband and fears a life of tedious convention. Aided and abetted by her predatory cohort, Judge Brack, Hedda manipulates the fates of those around her with devastating and tragic consequences. 

SCENA is re-setting Hedda Gabler in 1938 Norway—a tenuous period in Europe fraught with fear. Here, the drama  is placed in the historical context of the looming death and destruction of World War II, where tradition is about to give way to a new form of brutality. "Hedda and her friend Eilert Lovborg discuss themes of 'ubermensch' (superman) that dominated the times. The act of 'will to power' is accentuated in the text—which parallels Hitler's mission to control people", says McNamara. This domestic tragedy also acts as an operatic background of Wagnerian dimensions with its echo of a dance of death, or 'Totentanz'." 

Ibsen's place in modern drama is without parallel. He was a visionary, a harbinger of the modern dilemma who helped create modern theatre. His plays such as A Doll's House, Peer Gynt, and Hedda Gabler set the tone for much of what happens on today's stages. And, by employing Irishman Friel's 2008 translation, SCENA highlights these modern aspects of the play as well as celebrates another great international playwright.

Official Run:  January 12 – January 29: Thurs – Sat  at 8 pm + Sat & Sun at 3 pm


1365 H Street NE

Washington, DC 20002

Press: Email:

Phone: 571-216-5136  OR

Click: on Press link (at left) for Photos

Price: $16 - $40 

Tickets: Click on Tickets link at left or

Reserve by Phone 703-683-2824.

Parking: Valet Parking is available at the Rock n Roll Hotel (1353 H St., a few doors from the Playhouse). If driving, side-street parking is suggested (Maryland Ave, 10th–12th Streets, etc.). Also, the X2 Metrobus runs down H Street. Visit for schedules.

Deals: Nonprofit Nights” – $20 tickets for all staff at nonprofits & associations (except Thur. June 9 & Sat. June 25). Please present business cards for discount. 

Student Specials” – $16 tickets for all Students (except Thur. June 9 & Sat. June 25). Please show student IDs for discount. 

Cast & Crew: The cast of Hedda Gabler includes accomplished Washington actors such as Kerry Waters, Lee Ordeman, Rena Cherry Brown, Mary Suib, Eric Lucas, Danielle Davy, and Jim Jorgensen. Understudies include SCENA veterans Anne Nottage and Sissel Bakken, as well as Sun King Davis. The Design team is Michael C. Stepowany (Set), Megan Holeva (Costumes), Andrew Griffith (Lights), Erik Trester (Sound), Amy Kellett (Stage Manager), Sun King Davis (Assistant Director), and Katie Cihal (Stage Manager).  

Henrik Ibsen was a Norwegian poet and playwright. He was a great influence on the modern theatre and tempered naturalism with an understanding of social responsibility and individual psychology. His earliest major plays, Brand (1866) and Peer Gynt (1867), were large-scale verse dramas, but with Pillars of the Community (1877) he began to explore contemporary
issues. There followed A Doll's House (1879), Ghosts (1881), and An Enemy of the People  (1882).  A richer understanding of the complexity of human impulses marks such later works as The Wild Duck (1885), Rosmersholm (1886), Hedda Gabler (1890), and The Master Builder  (1892), while the imminence of mortality overshadows his last great plays, John Gabriel Borkman
  (1896) and When We Dead Awaken (1899).
Brian Friel was born in Omagh, County Tyrone in 1929 and is an Irish dramatist, author, and director of the Field Day Theatre Company. Friel received his B.A., became a Math teacher, and later took leave in 1960 to pursue a career as writer, living off his savings. He was appointed to Seanad Eireann (Senate of Ireland) in 1987 and served until 1989. Friel's 70th birthday was celebrated in Dublin with the Friel Festival, during which 10 of his plays were staged or presented as dramatic readings throughout Dublin. In 2008, The Queen’s University of Belfast built a new theatre complex and research center named The Brian Friel Theatre and Centre for Theatre Research. For his 80th birthday, the Gate Theatre staged a few of his plays for several weeks, and the Abbey Theatre threw him a birthday celebration. His plays include Philadelphia, Here I Come!, Translations, Faith Healer, Making History, and Dancing at Lughnasa. He is hailed by many in the English-speaking world as an “Irish Chekhov”. 

SCENA Theatre brings the best international theatre to Washington, DC and to stimulates cultural exchange between theatre artists, locally and worldwide. Founded in 1987 under the leadership of Artistic Director Robert McNamara and Managing Director Amy Schmidt, SCENA produces an annual season of plays, seasonally staged readings, as well as a Workshop Series aimed at developing new works from around the globe. To learn more about our mission or past stage productions, please call 703-684-7990.