In anticipation of its repertory productions of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House and August Strindberg’s “rebuttal” play, The Father, the Theatre for a New Audience joins with the American-Scandinavian Foundation to present an evening at Scandinavia House with noted scholars of Ibsen and Strindberg. Jonathan Kalb moderates a lively discussion between Joan Templeton and Eszter Szalczer, asking: What drove the lifelong enmity
between the Scandinavian titans of 19th-century drama? How did their complex sympathies towards the combatants in “the battle of the sexes” inform their work? And why do the questions they posed about gender, society, and the individual continue to resonate today?
Ibsen & Strindberg’s Battle of the Sexes is co-presented with Theatre for a New Audience.
About Joan Templeton
Joan Templeton, Professor Emerita at Long Island University, has published over fifty articles on modern drama in PMLA, Scandinavian Studies, Modern Drama, Performing Arts Journal, and elsewhere, and is the author of Ibsen’s Women (Cambridge UP) and Munch’s Ibsen (U of Washington Press), and the editor of Ibsen News and Comment.
She has worked as a dramaturg for a number of Ibsen productions. She is past president of the International Ibsen Committee and the Ibsen Society of America, and has been honored with an NEH Research Fellowship, two American-Scandinavian Foundation Fellowships, and two Fulbright fellowships. Her current project is a book on Ibsen and Shaw for the Palgrave/Macmillan Shaw series.
About Eszter Szalczer
Eszter Szalczer teaches drama and theatre history at the University at Albany, State University of New York. She is a scholar of modern drama with research focus on August Strindberg. Her books include August Strindberg (Routledge 2010) and Writing Daughters: August Strindberg’s Other Voices (Norvik Press 2008). Her writings have been published internationally in periodicals such as Theatre Journal, Journal of Performance and Art, Scandinavian Studies, Strindbergiana, Modernism/Modernity, Slavic and East European Performance, Western European Stages, and in scholarly anthologies including The Cambridge Companion to August Strindberg (2009) and The International Strindberg (2012) among others. Recently she served as co-editor of the centennial special Strindberg issue of Scandinavian Studies (Fall 2012): August Strindberg: A Hundred-Year Legacy.
Eszter has also worked as dramaturg in stage productions in the US, Sweden and St. Petersburg, Russia. Between 1999-2001 she served as co-producer, organizer, and dramaturg for the “August in January” festivals (starting with the 150th anniversary of Strindberg’s birth in 1999), which presented full productions of a series of Strindberg plays conjoined with scholarly symposia at venues in NYC, including Scandinavia House. Her play “How It Really Happened” about the Swedish author Karin Smirnoff, was presented at a developmental reading in 2014 at the New York State Writers Institute in Albany.
About Jonathan Kalb
Jonathan Kalb (Resident Literary Advisor and Dramaturg, Theatre for a New Audience) is a professor of theater at Hunter College, where he was Chair of the Theatre Department for six years, and an internationally acclaimed theater critic and scholar.
A two-time winner of the George Jean Nathan Award for Dramatic Criticism, he has published five books on theater and has written for dozens of publications including The New York Times, The Village Voice, New York Press, The Nation and Salon.com. His book Great Lengths: Seven Works of Marathon Theater won the George Freedley Memorial Award for the outstanding theater book of 2012.