The Master Builder performed in April 2017

One of Ibsen’s later plays, blending gripping realism and poetic symbolism
as told by an intimate ensemble of Twin Cities’ favorites.

Following our acclaimed staging of The Seagull that Cherry and Spoon called “funny, tragic, odd, and completely enchanting,” Theatre Novi Most presented another classic of the European theatrical canon with this complex drama of ambition and legacy. Norwegian playwright Henrik Ibsen’s stunning poetic language was adapted and directed by Theatre Novi Most co-founder Vladimir Rovinsky. The story followed master architect Halvard Solness and his wife Aline through an existential mid-life crisis involving past losses that still haunted and profound fear about the future. The challenges of a captivating young woman seemed to bring some answers, but as always, Ibsen kept us in suspense. The Master Builder is highly charged with secret desires, Freudian and Nietzschean motives and… there is that troll.

The Master Builder was presented as part of The Southern Theater’s ARTshare program and included a stellar team of Theatre Novi Most favorites: Pearce Bunting (The Seagull, Rehearsing Failure) stars as Halvard Solness, the titular Master Builder. He was reunited again with Barbra Berlovitz (The Seagull, Rehearsing Failure, The Oldest Story in the World) as Aline, his wife. Shelby Richardson (Nina in last year’s The Seagull) joined them as the young bird of prey Hilda, while Alex Barreto Hathaway (recently seen in Theatre Forever’s The Venetian Twins) made his Theatre Novi Most debut as the Troll.  The creative team included lighting designer Heidi Eckwall (Rehearsing Failure), costume coordinator Josephine Everett (TNM debut), stage manager Deb Ervin (The Oldest Story in the World), and sound designer Kalen Keir (The Seagull), directed by Theatre Novi Most co-founder Vladimir Rovinsky.

All photos Dan Norman

Watch a video clip here: The Master Builder

Preview coverage here:

Compendium review: “Theatre Novi Most has provided it with a stark, modern staging that strips it down to bare bones and weaves Ibsen’s dark id through.”

The room where it happens: “This production is stunning and jaw-dropping. I’m not sure I’ve ever seen a production quite like this and I’m grateful I had the opportunity to see such an incredible adaptation. Each moment carries with it a certain complexity and I’ve found myself puzzling over it long after the show ended. I cannot recommend this show enough and hope you all get the chance to enter this strange, frightening, magical, and beautiful world.”

Cherry and Spoon on Alex Barreto Hathaway’s performance “with just the twist of a single scarf he transforms into one of the human characters with an entirely different physicality and voice. It’s a remarkable feat to watch and utterly fascinating.”

Behind the scenes of rehearsal video: