Henrik Ibsen’s Women in Singapore

Ibsen Women – Put An Eagle in A Cage opened in New York and Los Angeles in 1990 and it has since toured the USA, Europe, India, Pakistan, Bangla Desh, South America, Russia, China and all Nordic countries. Within a year, Dahr received the Los Angeles Drama Critics’ Award for her performance in Ibsen Women.

The play is based off by Ibsen’s deep concern, during his era, when there were heavy societal constraints placed on women. According to Ibsen’s scripts, freedom meant living unrestrained by false pretences and facades. Ibsen believed that only human beings could only reach their full potential when they were free to find happiness and that traditional gender roles robbed women of this particular sense of self-worth. Ibsen allows his female characters to battle extreme social conventions and male dominance and escape the collective mould, rattling, biting and eventually breaking out of their cage.

This particular scenario inspired Juni Dahr’s tagline for her play; ‘Put an eagle in a cage and it will bite the bars whether they are of iron or gold. Dahr portrays all of her characters with individual dilemmas but all with the same purpose of fighting for freedom. She plays each of the six women with only a tambourine, a rocking chair and a few costume changes. This simple but effective presentation has brought about rave reviews.

The concept behind Ibsen Women was first conceived in the States where Dahr was on tour performing the highly acclaimed ‘Joan of Arc’. Ibsen Women premiered in 1989 at Yale University’s Ibsen symposium and Dahr has since brought play to international standing.

Dahr is scheduled to perform Ibsen Women at the Black Box, Drama Centre at the Singapore National Library from December 11 and 12.  

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