Ann McDonough Lets It Rip In GSP's "A Doll's House, Part 2"

Dec 14, 2018

Ann McDonough (right) is one of the stars of GSP's "A Doll's House, Part 2" which runs through December 23rd
Credit T. Charles Erickson

In 1879, Henrik Ibsen’s “A Doll’s House” raised eyebrows and prompted discussions because it was play in which a woman, Nora leaves her husband and children.

Last year, playwright Lucas Hnath created a sequel and brought “A Doll’s House, Part 2” to Broadway to critical acclaim.  Now “A Doll’s House, Part 2” is running at the George Street Playhouse.

Veteran actress Anne McDonough, who plays the nanny Anne Marie, chats with WBGO's Doug Doyle.

While McDonough says she can somewhat relate to the struggles Nora had as a mother who wanted her own career.  McDonough has three children in real life with her actor husband Jack Gilpin, who is currently starring in Showtime's Billions.  She says she put her own career on the back burner while she was raising her kids.

Ann McDonough joins WBGO's Doug Doyle to talk about her role in the George Street Playhouse production of "A Doll's House, Part 2"
Credit Doug Doyle for WBGO

"Lucas Hnath, the playwright, never gives Nora her due.  Her husband in a A Doll's House, she lied to save his life and he screams at her for that, and berates her and he never gives her credit for that.  But it's one of the reasons she feels that she must leave, that she feels so depressed."

McDonough admits she gave up a lot to raise her kids, including her daughter Betty who stars in the Netflix comedy series GLOW.

McDonough says the thinks women who come to the show are kind of threatened by her and what she did to her children and are rather disapproving.

"There are nights when we get a partial standing ovation, and it's interesting men stand.  And men are much more open to liking it.  I think women disapprove of Nora."

The cast also includes Kellie Overbey as Nora, Andrew Garman as Torvald and Lilly Santiago as Emmy.

The show is directed by Besty Aidem.  McDonough says she enjoys being salty in A Doll's House, Part 2.

"Anne Marie swears alot unexpectedly.  She's pretty salty.  Betsy, when she cast me, said you were the last person I know to use the f-bomb.  I said oh my God Betsy I am fowl,  but I play lovely old ladies all the time. This is fun!!"

A Doll's House, Part 2 runs through December 23rd at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick.

Click above to hear the WBGO Journal interview with Ann McDonough.