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‘Actually’ opening at TheaterWorks; ‘Doll’s House’ closing in New Haven

Hartford Courant 2019-05-15 21:13:15

“Actually” is a contemporary drama about sexual consent on college campuses. Anna Ziegler’s torn-from-headlines script premiered in the summer of 2017 as a bicoastal co-production between the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles and the Williamstown Theatre Festival in Massachusetts. The play has since been seen in San Diego, Washington D.C., Dallas, and several other cities.

Done on a barely furnished stage with a cast of two, “Actually” concerns about a one-night stand between two inebriated Princeton students. The morning after, they deal with their recollections of the encounter. Ramifications ensue.

The show should connect pretty deeply with the college culture in Connecticut, but “Actually”’s themes are also universal. The play is about assumptions, biases, and how we see ourselves when with other people.

Taneisha Duggan directs the TheaterWorks production, happening May 23 through June 23 at the Wadsworth, 600 Main St., Hartford. Performances are Tuesday through Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2:30 and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2:30 p.m. Tickets are $25-$60. 860-527-7838, theaterworkshartford.org.

The end of ‘Dolls’

We’ll be hearing from “A Doll’s House, Part 2” again, for sure — Lucas Hnath’s recent sequel-of-sorts to Henrik Ibsen’s 1879 protofeminist drama has become one of the most produced plays in the country. But now the second production of the play at a major Connecticut theater this season is ending its run. The Long Wharf Theatre’s rendition, directed by Will Davis and closing May 26, differs in key ways from the more staid production at TheaterWorks in February. It’s got an ethnically diverse cast, a counterintuitive outdoor setting (with raw wooden walls and an ivy-strewn arbor), stylish modern costumes (with the liberated heroine Norma in a pants-dress) and a sassier take on the forsaken daughter Emmy, played with preppy flair by Sasha Diamond. The play holds up to multiple viewings, thanks in part to all the different ways that actors can modulate its many fiery arguments. $35.50-$75.50. longwharf.org.

Sondheim alert

Don’t have a cow, unless you’re Jack of beanstalk fame. Connecticut Theatre Company, which operates out of the landmark Repertory Theatre building in New Britain, has 11 performances of “Into the Woods” May 24 through June 16. The psychology-laden fairy-tale musical is Sondheim’s most produced show, equally beloved by high schools, community theaters and professional companies. The community-based CTC production is directed by a couple of members of the nonprofit theater’s board of directors, David Nunner and Ben Silberman. Recent renovations to the Repertory Theatre space include new table seating options. connecticuttheatrecompany.org. $26.75.