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You were to be a shining button on the waistcoat of the world...

Theatre is at its best when it impacts us on personal as well as universal levels. Peer Gynt is one of those special works that does that extremely well. The character of Peer exists in Norwegian folklore, as an underdog trickster figure who can outsmart even the devil. But Ibsen brings his contradictory folk stories into the world of psychological realism and asks how one person could be so wildly inconsistent in his behaviours. He created a realistic set of circumstances that might lead Peer to behave as he does in this play, and in the folklore. His background in Ibsen's play is harsh, difficult, and full of sadness and rejection and abandonment. Ibsen's Peer is full of paradoxes: both shockingly clever and unbelievably slow on the uptake; arrogant in the extreme, and yet firm in his belief that he is not good enough for anyone; emotionally dissociated, yet heart-achingly sensitive. Throughout the play, different characters recognise how much potential Peer has, and that he consistently wastes it, or goes off track. They see that he has the capacity to change the world, but at every decision point, we watch him fumble and miss the mark, seemingly terrified of facing head-on anything uncomfortable or vulnerable. We watch the profoundly wounded and traumatised Peer hurt people in order to protect himself, and in that, we atually get a clue as to how it is that he is special. For, however often Peer makes the "wrong" choice in how he treats people, they come away from their interactions with him perhaps wounded, but also, catalysed to learn, grow and step into their own more fully empowered purpose.

It would be easy to write Peer off as a selfish, sexist, racist, colonialist white man of the most toxic variety. But Peer is all of us. In fact, all these characters, even the divine beings, are uncannily relatable. And it is because of this that Peer defies dismissal. The play seems to say that dismissing and invalidating anyone only perpetuates the processes by which oppression and division persist. It is significantly more challenging to lean in, look for ways to have empathy, and to operate on the assumption that even people who are reprehensible to us (maybe especially they) are worthy of human dignity, the right to be heard, understood, seen below their armour, and forgiven. And that the power of love is the most transformative power for healing; not shame, not competition, and not even justice. Love. Only love.

Cast & Crew

by Henrik Ibsen
Adapted by Erika Batdorf with Susan Coyne, Christine Horne & Matthew Romantini (2009) with further adaptation by Matthew Romantini (2023)

Directed by: Matthew Romantini
Stage Manager: Kelsey Howatt
Lighting Design: Brandon Goncalves
Costume Design: Tycoda Gilecki
Props Design: Kameron Doyle
Technical Director: Paul Stafford
Music Supervision/Sound Design: Kieren MacMillan
Production Photography: Dahlia Katz
Poster Design: Dahlia Katz

First Assistant Director – Stephanie Niciforos
Second Assistant Director – Hope Goudsward, Lydia Stafford
Assistant Stage Manager – Evyn Daley
Dramaturg – Sydney Marion
Vocal Captain – Kylee Martinez, Siobhan Pinto
Movement Captain – Caillen Lush, Paige Swain
Fight/Intimacy Captain – Hope Goudsward
Sound Design – Maia Hinchberger, Miranda De Luca
Lighting Assistant Swing – Hope Goudsward, Lydia Stafford
Set/Props Assistant Swing – Evyn Daley, Jay Kim, Kylee Martinez, Raven Dickinson, Sarah O, Tyler Ramsay
Costumes Assistant Swing – Georgia Gunn (lead), Evyn Daley, Lydia Stafford
Hair/Makeup Assistant Swing – Marty Pascall (lead), Abi Oliphant, Evyn Daley, Georgia Gunn, Sarah O
Marketing – Hope Goudsward, Stephanie Servello

Evyn Daley - Ukelele
Kylee Martinez - Ukelele, Guitar
Maia Hinchberger - Ukelele, Tambourine
Miranda De Luca - Finger Cymbals
Siobhan Pinto - Ukelele, Violin
Stephanie Niciforos - Ukelele
Stephanie Servello - Ukelele
Sydney Marion - Ukelele

Show Info

250 minutes 2 Acts

Click for Rider Info

Directed originally for Randolph College for the Performing Arts

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