Nashville Parent Review: Posterity

Nashville Rep delivers one of its finest dramatic works with this regional premiere that came from its Ingram New Works Project.

by Chad Young | Nashville Parent

While Doug Wright’s Posterity makes its regional premiere on Nashville Rep’s stage this month, it first made itself known in Nashville three years ago. Wright is a former Ingram New Works Project Fellow with Nashville Rep. In January 2014, the Tony- and Pulitzer-winning playwright (I Am My Own Wife) brought the first draft of his fellowship play to the table for a reading with a few of Nashville’s prominent actors.

The following May, a reading of Posterity took place for an audience during the Ingram Festival. Now, you have the wonderful opportunity to experience the well-crafted, thought-provoking theatrical gem in its fruition.

Wright’s play is set in 1901’s Norway’s capital city of Kristiania, now known as Oslo. The play centers on two main historical characters: Henrik Ibsen, the famous Norwegian playwright (also known as the “Father of Modern Drama”) and Gustav Vigeland, Norway’s most esteemed sculptor and creator of the world’s largest sculpture park in Oslo’s Frogner Park. An interesting side note, the Nobel Peace Prize medal is also Vigeland’s handiwork.

Nashville Rep veterans Chip Arnold (Ibsen) and Patrick Waller (Vigeland) lead the cast that also includes Ruth Cordell (Greta Bergstrom), Bobby Wyckoff (Sophus Larpent) and newcomer Daniel Mark Collins (Anfinn Beck).

Pondering Posterity

The theme of Posterity centers around the legacy one leaves behind, and Wright’s approach is spectacular.

Ibsen’s at the end of his career and subsequently nearing the end of his life. In contrast, Vigeland is in his prime and nearing the height of his career. The heated banter between the two artists strongly resonates with audience members. After all, don’t we all ponder the significance of our lives and how the world will remember us after we’re gone? The juxtaposition of the two characters is a fascinating experience as Ibsen looks back while Vigeland focuses on future achievements.

Amos GlassNews, Posterity