My EncoreMichigan.com review of Slipstream Theatre’s ‘Hedda Gabler’

heddaBaby, it’s cold outside? Please. When you’re staging Hedda Gabler, baby, it’s even colder inside.

A new, arresting, streamlined adaptation on Henrik Ibsen’s classic drama is now on stage at Ferndale’s Slipstream Theatre. The title character, played by three women (Kaitlyn Valor Bourque, Luna Alexander, and Tiaja Sabrie), is newly, if not ecstatically, married to a young academic, George (Ryan Ernst), when she learns that an old flame, Eilert (Artun Kircali), is back in town.

Though suffering from alcoholism, Eilert has written a hugely successful book; and under the radar and “on the wagon” – with the starry-eyed help of an old schoolmate of Hedda’s who’s in an unhappy marriage (Victoria Rose Weatherspoon) – he’s also just written his masterpiece. When Eilert misplaces the manuscript, and it ends up in Hedda’s hands, she believes she finally might have the power she’s wanted all along.

Slipstream’s adaptation is a thoughtful, bare bones approach, disposing of George’s aunt (who’s ushered to “off-stage” status) and the maid. We also have three Heddas: one the frigid trophy wife (Bourque), one the sultry seductress (Alexander), one the youthful, wisecracking, puckish rebel (Sabrie), not only suggesting the identity complexities that lie within us all, but also representing Hedda’s common denominator for three different men. The Hedda that each male character needs, and feels drawn to, textures the way we read and respond to them. READ THE REST HERE

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