Theater: From Grandeur to the Garret the Wild Duck

by Henrik Ibsen; Translated by David Westerfer

Classics are intimidating. Directors often hesitate to stage them unless there is a way to reinvent the texts as contemporary, or at least to impose some setting and style not obviously intended by the author. Every production needs a point of view, to be sure; no play mounts itself. Yet exciting interpretations almost always result not from invention but from rediscovering something the playwright meant to say. That kind of respectful reading underlies Rumanian Expatriate Lucian Pintilie's eclectic, visually daring version of Ibsen's The Wild Duck at Arena Stage in Washington. The play is frequently seen as a domestic melodrama in...

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