Yale Rep Opens Its New Season with Ibsen’s ‘The Master Builder’

A successful architect must face the costs of his ambition in “The Master Builder,” the opening play in the Yale Repertory Theatre’s 2009-2010 season.

The drama by Henrik Ibsen will be staged Sept. 18-Oct. 10 in the University Theatre, 222 York St. Evan ­Yionoulis directs the play, which is based on a translation by Paul Walsh.

“The Master Builder” of the title is Halvard Solness, a middle-aged architect who has achieved great success - although at a price. Now he lives in fear that the next generation will rise up and cast him aside. When Hilda Wangel, a young woman who has been besotted with the architect since childhood, arrives to collect on a decade-old debt, Solness must face both his aspirations and his limitations.

Yionoulis is a resident director at the Yale Rep and associate professor in Yale School of Drama’s Department of Acting (which she chaired from 1998 to 2003). Her New York productions include the Obie Award-winning “Three Days of Rain” at the Manhattan Theatre Club and “The Violet Hour” on Broadway.

Translator Walsh teaches in the Yale School of Drama’s Departments of Dramaturgy and Dramatic Criticism, and has worked as dramaturg, translator and co-author with theater companies across the country.

The cast of “The Master Builder” includes Bill Buell (Doctor Herdal), David Chandler (Halvard Solness), Susan Heyward (Hilda Wangel), Robert Hogan (Knut Brovik), Slate Holmgren (Ragnar Brovik), Felicity Jones (Aline Solness) and Irene Sofia Lucio (Kaja Fosli).

The play features sets by Timothy Brown, costumes by Katherine Akiko Day, lighting by Paul Whitaker, sound and original music by Scott L. Nielsen, dramaturgy by Maya Cantu and Colin Mannex, and stage management by James Mountcastle.

“The Master Builder” will be presented at 8 p.m. nightly Tuesday-Saturday, with 2 p.m. Saturday matinees on Sept. 26 and 30 and Oct. 3 and 10. There will be a Monday night performance on Sept. 21.

Special events that have been planned during the run of “The Master Builder” include: “Grad Night Reception,” Saturday, Sept. 19, 7 p.m.; “Opening Night,” Thursday, Sept. 24, 8 p.m.; and “Senior Reception,” Wednesday, Sept. 30, 1 p.m. In addition, on Monday, Sept. 21, all tickets will be $10.

There will be “Talk Back” question-and-answer sessions with the play’s cast and crew following the 2 p.m. Saturday matinees on Sept. 26 and Oct. 3, and the 8 p.m. performance on Thursday, Oct. 1. There will be an “Open Captioning” performance on Saturday, Oct. 3 at 2 p.m. and an “Audio Description” performance on Saturday, Oct. 10 at 2 p.m.

Tickets range from $35 to $67 and are available online at www.yalerep.org; by phone at (203) 432-1234; and in person at the Yale Rep box office, 1120 Chapel St. (at York Street). Student, senior and group rates are also available.

Season passes are also available for the remainder of the Yale Rep season, which will include: “Eclipsed” by Danai Gurira, directed by Liesl Tommy, Oct. 23-Nov. 14; the world premiere of “POP!” with book and lyrics by Maggie-Kate Coleman and music by Anna K. Jacobs, directed by Mark Brokaw, Nov. 27-Dec. 19; the world premiere of “Compulsion” by Rinne Groff, directed by Oskar Eustis (co-producted with The Public Theater and Berkeley Repertory Theatre), Feb. 5-27; “The Servant of Two Masters” by Carlo Goldoni, adapted by Constance Congdon from a translation by Christina Sibul, directed by Christopher Bayes, March 12-April 3; and “Battle of Black and Dogs” by Bernard-Marie Koltès, translated by Michaël Attias, directed by Robert Woodruff, April 16-May 8.

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