A Doll's House, Part 2. By Lucas Hnath. Directed by Caroline Stacey. Street One, The Street Theatre. June 14 to 23. thestreet.org.au or 6247 1223.
When A Doll's House was originally written by Henrik Ibsen in 1879, the idea of a wife and mother walking out on her family was provocative.
So much so, that when it was performed in certain parts of the world Ibsen was forced to change an ending where the sight of her children leads the protagonist Nora Helmer to give her life with her husband a second chance.
Critics would go on for decades discussing whether this tale of female sacrifice, and in particular Nora's original decision to slam the door on her family, was the "right" move to make in 19th century Norway.
Fast forward almost a century-and-half later and American playwright Lucas Hnath has expanded on this discussion and the original's feminist themes, with A Doll's House, Part 2.
Set 15 years after Ibsen's original, A Doll's House, Part 2 brings Nora home to face the family she left behind.
But while only 15 years have passed for the Helmer family, Hnath's play is also a commentary about the lack of change since Ibsen wrote the original.
"I don't think from a feminist perspective all that much has changed," says Rachel Berger - who brings Nora to the stage when A Doll's House, Part 2 hits Canberra this weekend.
"But I guess, you know at least we can have the conversation now where probably then you couldn't. The conversation changes - that's the point.
"It's like the deaths of the women in Melbourne these last couple of weeks, the conversation has changed.
"It's not about why was she out wearing a mini skirt, to what is wrong with our society."
Through Nora, her daughter Emmy (played by Lily Constantine) and the nanny Anne Marie (Camilla Blunden) A Doll's House, Part 2 continues to look at female sacrifice across classes and generations.
I don't think from a feminist perspective all that much has changed.Rachel Berger
Each of the three women is emblematic of their generation. And in the case of Anne Marie, she is also a symbolism of class and financial position as well.
While Blunden admits Anne Marie's situation is not a complete representation of seniors in today's society, there are some strong themes that can be related.
"Her economic position is very important," Blunden, 74, says.
"If you start reading now, a little bit of stuff in my sort of age group and a bit younger, who are actually unable to - because they don't own a house or anything - they're the ones who are finding it very difficult to find places to rent, for example.
"And they don't have the same amount of money men have because they have a lower super.
"I'm not saying that's in the play but it's sort of all these little plants that are in there which is what we're talking about."
The topic of finance is interwoven into A Doll's House, Part 2. Class in particular is represented quite heavily, dividing the characters between the haves and the have-nots.
But even the discussion about whether Nora's decision to leave can be traced back to money.
"If a woman leaves her children to pursue her career because that's the only way she can live her life, and she has children and that child feels betrayed and abandoned, both are right," Berger says.
"One can only hope that at some point that relationship is reconciled but both are right.
"Who is to say that a woman has to be trapped to that relationship? And who is to say that child doesn't have the right to feel betrayed because every mother should stay?
"The only thing that is different now, I think ... most women who say you can have it all have nannies. That's the only difference. It's economic."
"It's all about the consequences of your actions and what you're willing to give up," Constantine adds.
While the plot provides a good commentary for today's society, it's also what gives the production interest.
A Doll's House, Part 2 has layers, or as Berger describes it, there are many facets, many of which the audience may not recognise until days after the performance.
"I think with really good work there's a deja vu effect where you will be somewhere having a conversation or doing something and all of a sudden you'll remember a scene from a play or a film or something and you think 'Right, that's what it meant'," she says.
And it is all played out on a set which can be likened to a boxing ring or an arena.
Designed with two passages leading to each end of the stage, leading out to a large square extends into the audience, the set design creates ringside seats to the conflict.
When it comes to Nora and her daughter Emmy, this conflict means dredging up the past.
"They have such different world views that it's a fight between them," Constantine says.
"They listen to each other but they don't really take on any of the other parts in the point of view. Things don't really sink through, they just kind of butt heads.
"And I think at the heart of that for Emmy is that she [Nora] wasn't there. All the things that happened 15 years ago, Emmy doesn't remember it but it has affected her entire life."