Tasked with selecting a time and place to set Henrik Ibsen's 'A Doll's House' for our Production Design class at Ryerson University (class of Fall 2017), I chose Palm Springs 1960's. Particularly the Alexander Homes by architect William Krisel in Twin Palms, homes that were famous for having two palm trees and a swimming pool and beautiful views of the surrounding mountains.
Here is a short concept statement about my design:
My version of Ibsen’s A Doll’s House takes place in Palm Springs, California during the late 1960’s. I chose this time period for multiple reasons. First, the 1960’s was when Second-wave feminism occurred -- feminism being a highly visible topic within the original Victorian-era story. It is said that the feminism of the 1960’s focused more on issues such as sexuality, family, workplace, reproductive rights, de facto inequalities and official legal inequalities. I appreciate the contrast of the two major periods of feminism, the first wave focusing mainly on suffrage, voting rights and property rights. It would seem that not much has changed in all that time. Even in the 1960’s USA, Nora would not have been able to legally take out a bank loan without her husband’s consent.
The second reason was that I hoped to create an interior environment that I would feel really excited about. I find the mid-century modern aesthetic, more popular in Palm Springs than any other American city, to be very appealing and will be an interesting and fun challenge for me.
Finally, I look forward to exploring the clothing that was worn during this time and particularly in Palm Springs. The colours will be bright, bold, fun and sometimes flirty. I feel that Nora would do well in this situation, particularly the final scene when she claims her independence, walking out of the Helmer residence with a never before seen dress, something she bought in secret with the money she had saved up with from Torvald.
We were also assigned costume design and references for all characters, a costume plot and a scene breakdown in our final deliverables. The references and a final design for the character Nora are seen above.
*I do not own the photo references used in this project, this was simply for educational purposes.