Opening night for any theatre production typically calls for its share of mishaps and flubs, yet the Department of Theater and Dance's first performance of "Doll House" left the audience begging for more.

When theatergoers first step foot in Pickard Theater, they are faced with a magnificent structure cloaked in white paper that reads, "Doll House." As the play begins, the stage crew tears the white paper down to expose the beams and framework of a house. There are no walls and the seemingly bare home is adorned modestly. The lighting, however, is more expressive; lights illuminate the stage's backdrop in colors ranging from seasick green to blood red.

In the play, a trophy wife, Nora Helmer (played by Quincy Koster '15), has commited fraud in order to take out a sizeable loan from her husband's colleague, Krogstad (Ricardo Zarate, Jr., '13). The loan was to fund a trip to Italy that would offer therapeutic treatment to her sick husband, Torvald (Saint Anselm College graduate Andre Demers), but she is weighed down in Norway by blackmail from Krogstad.

If a viewer expects a night of follies, comedy, and lightheartedness, "Doll House" will not deliver. By nature, the play is raw; it exposes the fabric of a patriarchal society in which a woman without purity and innocence is worth nothing. Nora is treated like her husband's prisoner. He sees her as his delicate "skylark with a pure voice" that can do nothing and be loved by nobody but him.

At the time of its original production, Henrik Ibsen's "A Doll's House" was highly controversial. For a woman to have as much gumption as to commit fraud and disobey her husband would have been outrageously obscene. Chuckles from the audience at anti-feminist comments that have carried over into this adaptation of the play exemplify the progress society has made since the play's 1880 opening.

Koster gives a pitch-perfect performance as Nora Helmer. After just one night on the Bowdoin stage, she has already proven her worth. The grace and elegance she brings to the character contrasts well with the the raw anger and aggression Nora demonstrates when she realizes how she is truly seen by Torvald. The audience is able to truly empathize with her character in a way that goes beyond the connections most actors and actresses achieve with their audiences.

Having joined the cast a mere two weeks ago, Demers brilliantly portrays Torvald. While Demers is able to present Torvald as a sensible husband at the beginning of the play, he successfully deconstructs that role later on by exposing his character's true nature.

However, I would be remiss not to take notice of the night's slight hiccups. At times, many of the emotions felt forced. While this problem was not a continuous one, it did rear its head several times during the second act. Also, the actors occasionally turned their backs to the audience and their words became indistinct. Fortunately, the actors seemed well trained enough in enunciation that such occurrences did not harm the production as a whole.

The most compelling part of "Doll House" was its haunting ending. Apart from the play's fascinating staging, the power of its bone-chilling climax brought the performance to its height.

The audience is left awestruck as they watch the home that the Helmers built be exposed for what it truly is: an empty frame of two-by-fours only suitable for a doll.