Drama. By Henrik Ibsen. Translated and adapted by Sam Engelstad and Jane Alexander.
Cast: 4m., 3w., townspeople. This version of Isben's masterpiece began as a tour starring Jane Alexander and Richard Kiley. The Master Builder is not lost in translation—the story is Isben's. The play, which many critics take to be Isben's final comment on the artist in society, portrays the conflicts of Halvard Solness as he approaches the end of his life and, he fears, his creativity. Solness, once hailed as the greatest architect in the world, worries about "letting the young generation in—with all their strength." His fears of becoming obsolete are enhanced by his loveless marriage to a cold woman who only inspires him with guilt and frustration. At this sad moment in his life, Hilde Wangel appears. She is a beautiful, free-spirited young girl who has come to make the Master Builder keep the promise which he made to her ten years ago. She demands "her kindom—her castle in the air"—and it is her youthful joy, wonder and confidence which inflame the almost defeated artist into performing the final act of glory which ultimately consumes and detroys him.