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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Larry Sutton returns to DPU to direct Ibsen classic

Thursday, November 17, 2011

DePauw University Theatre will present Henrik Ibsen's classic 1890 play, "Hedda Gabler," from Nov. 17-20, marking the return of professor Larry Sutton to the directing ranks.

Performances Thursday, Friday and Saturday will begin at 7:30 p.m. in Moore Theatre of the Performing Arts Center at DPU. Sunday's matinee will begin at 2:30 p.m.

Tickets are priced $6 for adults and $3 for students, and will be available for reserve or to purchase at 658-4827 or by email at greencenter@depauw.edu.

Sutton, professor emeritus of communication and theater at DePauw, said the performance allows audience members to analyze the captivating story and struggles of the puzzling "Hedda Gabler."

According to Sutton, there are no hard and fast answers in "Hedda." Every character is multi-dimensional with the overall performance containing a lot of subtext.

Lead character Hedda Gabler and her husband, George Tesman, are settling into their new lives. Taking place in the newlyweds' living room, Hedda's privileged and manipulative side is quickly revealed.

"Hedda Gabler" presents a world in which traditional social convention and morality appear inconsistent and irrelevant. Hedda embodies a frustrated, isolated woman striving to assert herself and take control of the "man's world" around her.

The groundwork for Sutton's return to campus began last summer when Andrew M. Hayes, chairman of the theater department, asked Sutton if he would be interested in directing a play. His answer was an enthusiastic yes. 

After learning the goals of the 2011-12 season, Sutton chose "Hedda Gabler," written by Ibsen and adapted by John Osborne.

"The basis for theater realism in the Western world starts with Ibsen," Sutton explained. "If you read the background on Eugene O'Neill, Arthur Miller and Tennessee Williams, they all say modeled after Henrik Ibsen. So, I thought this would be a good chance to do an Ibsen play."

Sutton, who joined the faculty in 1963, taught communication and theatre courses for 40 years at DPU. He chaired the Department of Communication Arts and Sciences, served as director of theater and as technical director of the Performing Arts Center.

He has directed more than 100 productions, ranging from the Greeks to Shakespeare, Moliére to Williams, Miller and O'Neill. Sutton designed sets for more than 100 productions, and served as technical director for more than 200 plays.

In addition, since 1966, Sutton has been involved in the Putnam County Playhouse as board member, designer, director and actor. 

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