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Play Review: A Doll's House


Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Monday, February 11, 2002One of the world's best-known, controversial, most often read and produced plays has come to Lanesboro: A Doll's House, by 19th century dramatist, Henrik Ibsen.

Commonweal Theatre Company opened its 2002 season with the play on Friday. A Doll's House marks Commonweals fifth annual celebration of Norway's greatest playwright. This year, the Commonweal is working in cooperation with the Vesterheim Museum, Cornucopia Art Center and the Lanesboro Art Council to bring a "Nordic Roots" art exhibit, live Nordic dance music, metalsmithing classes, and much more as a part of the 2002 Ibsen Festival.

The play is a visual treat, thanks to scenic designer Sarah Aydlett, who built a set with an eye toward historic Norwegian artifacts, and Janis Martin, who created authentic 19th century costumes. One of Nora's dresses is fashioned after a dress currently on display at Cornucopia Art Center, on loan from Decorah's Vesterheim Museum. Minnesota actor/director Craig Johnson makes his Commonweal debut as A Doll's House's director.

Written in 1879, A Doll's House stirred controversy across Europe from its earliest history for the frank portrayal of problems in a typical, middle-class marriage. As the play opens, all seems well in the flirtatious relationship between Nora and Torvald Helmer. She is a pretty, pampered, mother of three, and he is a handsome rising star at the bank where he's just been promoted. But circumstances rather quickly reveal that the relationship has a facade quality. At first, the "games" between husband and wife seem fairly harmless, but, as is typical in good drama, "the plot thickens" and the tension rises to a surprising climax.

The spirit of revolution was present in the world at the time this play was written. The question of "women's rights" was only beginning to be discussed, and primarily in legal matters, for example, the question of whether women should legally be allowed to own property. Ibsen's play seemed well ahead of its time as it forced audiences to consider, possibly for the first time, whether women had any importance in the world beyond their traditional duties to husband and children. During his lifetime, Ibsen was careful not to allow the play to be pigeonholed as a play about women's rights, insisting that he'd written a play about "human rights."

It would be easy to assume Ibsen was pessimistic about marriage, but he reportedly "revered" marriage, believing it w .....
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Twelfth Night

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Monday, April 30, 2001



Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them.

This classic line is from William Shakespeares play Twelfth Night, now playing at the Commonweal Theatre through Octo ..... 
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Book Review: Recently released Minnesota books

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Last month I attended the annual convention of the Upper Midwest Bookseller Association in downtown St. Paul, a gathering of authors, publishers and independent booksellers.

I was impressed, as I was last year, by the number of fine books of ..... 
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Rushford Library looking at expansion

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Monday, November 20

To build or to remodel? That is the question a Library Taskforce has been considering for the past couple months in the city of Rushford.

The existing public library in the Tew Building, located near Rushfords cent ..... 
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Gateway Towns

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Austin


Greetings from Austin, Minnesota! Located on I-90, visitors from the west will come through this major city located on the Cedar River.

Austin is the home of the Fortune 500 company -- Geo. A. Hormel & ..... 
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Northeastern Iowa

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Northeast Iowa shares much of the same topography of Historic Bluff Country. Limestone bluffs, meandering rivers, springs, and rolling hills in the east and softly rolling hills with rich prairie soil in the west. Minnesota and Iowa also share the sa ..... 
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Anytown, MN

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Nestled in a deep valley of the Root River is the unique city of Anytown. This quaint townsite of less than one thousand residents, located in the state hardwood forest reminds one of the many hillside villages in Norway.

Strolling down the ..... 
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Not in my backyard

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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Monday, June 26, 2000

In the usually quiet burg of Spring Valley, the hot topic of conversation has switched as of late. While recent flooding has left the community with much to contemplate, another issue is sizzling to the forefront. Whats ..... 
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Wykoff, MN

Fri, Apr 5th, 2002
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When you visit the heart of Bluff Country, take the drive on MN Hwy. 80 and you will find Wykoff, "The Gateway to Forestville."

Our limestone karst region is dotted with "sink holes" which indicate caverns below ground. You can visit one of t ..... 
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