Institute History

  • 2006 Theatre Lab at White Oak


DOLL is set in 1914 Vienna, just prior to World War I. This new stage musical dramatizes the love affair between Alma Mahler and the painter Oskar Kokoschka. Their relationship resulted in one of the stranger entanglements of the 20th century: when Alma rejected the young artist, Kokoschka had a full sized doll created to take her place in his life. DOLL explores the theme of self-delusion in a world on the cusp of change when the Western dream started to disintegrate, unleashing the demons of two World Wars. The cycle of rebirth and destruction is symbolized by the eternal image of the waltz with which DOLL begins and concludes.

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