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March 18, 1993|ANNE KLARNER

The story of a lonely woman, trapped by her lack of choices and fear of scandal: This is "Hedda Gabler," the classic play by Henrik Ibsen as produced by the Citrus College drama department and opening Friday.

"I guess my feeling is that she almost didn't belong in that time period," said the play's director, Jenny Guthrie, who is a part-time instructor at Citrus. "She had so few choices. She was pretty much tortured and she tortured others because of it."

In the play, written in 1890, Hedda Gabler is married to an unimaginative and self-absorbed man. She meets an old acquaintance and tries to destroy him. However, her attempt is witnessed by a local judge, who then tries to blackmail her into an affair.

"That's one of the contributing things--she's terribly, terribly bored," Guthrie said. "Today, we have a choice if we want to have children, if we want to get married, and she has none of these choices."

Guthrie, who also works as a set decorator and art director in the film and television industry, designed the set for the production.

"I had this image of these really barren white birch trees," she said, and set up the walls of Hedda's parlor (where the play takes place) so that "you can see through the walls. I kind of see this as Hedda looking out at this bleak background, yet she has a lot of fire and energy."

She said the play is "something I've always wanted to direct." Jerry Carlson, her supervisor at the college, asked her to direct a play "and, ironically, he suggested 'A Doll's House' (also by Ibsen), and I wanted to do 'Hedda' more."

Performance times are 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and March 26 and 27, and 2 p.m. March 28 in the Citrus Little Theatre, 1000 W. Foothill Blvd., Glendora. Tickets are $8, with students and senior citizens $6.

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