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Pillars of Society by Henrik Ibsen

Produced by Martin Adamson. HTML version by Al Haines.

Pillars of Society

A play in four acts.

by

Henrik Ibsen

Translated by R. Farquharson Sharp

DRAMATIS PERSONAE

Karsten Bernick, a shipbuilder. Mrs. Bernick, his wife. Olaf, their son, thirteen years old. Martha Bernick, Karsten Bernick's sister. Johan Tonnesen, Mrs. Bernick's younger brother. Lona Hessel, Mrs. Bernick's elder half-sister. Hilmar Tonnesen, Mrs. Bernick's cousin. Dina Dorf, a young girl living with the Bernicks. Rorlund, a schoolmaster. Rummel, a merchant. Vigeland and Sandstad, tradesman Krap, Bernick's confidential clerk. Aune, foreman of Bernick's shipbuilding yard. Mrs. Rummel. Hilda Rummel, her daughter. Mrs. Holt. Netta Holt, her daughter. Mrs. Lynge.

Townsfolk and visitors, foreign sailors, steamboat passengers, etc., etc.

(The action takes place at the Bernicks' house in one of the smaller coast towns in Norway)

ACT I.

(SCENE.--A spacious garden-room in the BERNICKS' house. In the foreground on the left is a door leading to BERNICK'S business room; farther back in the same wall, a similar door. In the middle of the opposite wall is a large entrance-door, which leads to the street. The wall in the background is almost wholly composed of plate-glass; a door in it opens upon a broad flight of steps which lead down to the garden; a sun-awning is stretched over the steps. Below the steps a part of the garden is visible, bordered by a fence with a small gate in it. On the other side of the fence runs a street, the opposite side of which is occupied by small wooden houses painted in bright colours. It is summer, and the sun is shining warmly. People are seen, every now and then, passing along the street and stopping to talk to one another; others going in and out of a shop at the corner, etc.

In the room a gathering of ladies is seated round a table. MRS. BERNICK is presiding; on her left side are MRS. HOLT and her daughter NETTA, and next to them MRS. RUMMEL and HILDA RUMMEL. On MRS. BERNICK'S right are MRS. LYNGE, MARTHA BERNICK and DINA DORF. All the ladies are busy working. On the table lie great piles of linen garments and other articles of clothing, some half finished, and some merely cut out. Farther back, at a small table on which two pots of flowers and a glass of sugared water are standing, RORLUND is sitting, reading aloud from a book with gilt edges, but only loud enough for the spectators to catch a word now and then. Out in the garden OLAF BERNICK is running about and shooting at a target with a toy crossbow.

After a moment AUNE comes in quietly through the door on the right. There is a slight interruption in the reading. MRS. BERNICK nods to him and points to the door on the left. AUNE goes quietly across, knocks softly at the door of BERNICK'S room, and after a moment's pause, knocks again. KRAP comes out of the room, with his hat in his hand and some papers under his arm.)

Krap: Oh, it was you knocking?

Aune: Mr. Bernick sent for me.


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