Melissa Thingelstad as Hedda Gabler

Hedda Gabler in Rutherford House

This production of Henrik Ibsen's Hedda Gabler was conceived for performance in Rutherford House, an historic home located on the University of Alberta main campus.  Audiences were treated to an extremely intimate experience of Ibsen's play, never more than a few feet away from the actors, and often sitting directly beside them on the same couch.

CCTC Associate Director Kathleen Weiss, under her production company Vault! Theatre of Invention, and Melissa Thingelstad of Isis Productions collaborated on the script.  Weiss directed the performance, which saw audiences of no more than fifteen to twenty people following the actors, including Thingelstad in the title role, from room to room.  The action was punctuated with emblematic movement and scored by incidental piano music performed live by the composer, Heather Kemski, who signified a metaphoric Hedda. 

The show was presented as the CCTC's feature production in the 2010 Canoe Festival.

Creative Team

Co-Adapter: Kathleen Weiss
Co-Adapter: Melissa Thingelstad
Composer: Heather Kemski


Contact the CCTC Administrator or Kathleen Weiss.

A site specific adaptation of Hedda Gabler incorporating interpretive movement and featuring original incidental music composed and performed live by Heather Kemski.
Other Details
Female: 2
Male: 3

Hedda: late 20s
Tesman: age 30-35
Brack: age 50-60
Thea: late 20s
Lovborg: age 30-35

Place: Sweden/Rutherford House (a heritage building on the UofA Campus)
Time: Late 19th century

Special Requirements:
A site-specific performance using a house as its setting.  Small audiences of fifteen to twenty follow the performers from room to room.

Running time:
Runs approximately 100 minutes.

Hedda Gabler in Rutherford House ran from January 21 - 31, 2010 as the CCTC's production slot in the 2010 Canoe Festival and for six performances the following week as an independent production.  It was performed for small audiences at close quarters in historic Rutherford House on the University of Alberta main campus with the following cast and production team:

Director/Dramaturg: Kathleen Weiss
Assistant Director: Elizabeth Hobbs
Costumes: Kathleen Weiss
Composer/Pianist: Heather Kemski

Hedda: Melissa Thingelstad
Tesman: Ian Leung (Courtesy CAEA)
Brack: David Ley (Courtesy CAEA)
Thea: Nadien Chu (Courtesy CAEA)
Lovborg: Harry Judge (Courtesy CAEA)

Preview - See Magazine
Review - Edmonton Journal
Review - Gateway (UofA)
Post - Workshop West

Project Log

April 2008

The idea for the production is conceived by Kathleen Weiss and Melissa Thingelstad over the course of a conversation about theatre's greatest "bad girls".  Thingelstad and Weiss' very recent collaboration on Caught! for the 2007-2008 iNDiE5 season also played a part in planting the seed for a site specific production of Hedda Gabler on which they could work together. 

April 2009 - November 2009

Weiss and Thingelstad adapt the script using various existing translations of Ibsen's text as source material.

Summer 2009

Weiss and Thingelstad hold a one-day workshop exploring emblematic approaches to the mise-en-scene with performers Ian Leung, Nadien Chu and composer Heather Kemski.

December 2009

Rehearsals begin at the Department of Drama, the Ortona Armoury and Rutherford House.

January 2010

The show runs for ten performances as an independent production and as part of the 2010 Canoe Festival in Rutherford House.