Always a touch of nerves at first rehearsal

Lower Hutt actress Kali Kopae will take to the stage at Circa Theatre for the upcoming production of A Doll's House.
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Lower Hutt actress Kali Kopae will take to the stage at Circa Theatre for the upcoming production of A Doll's House.

No matter how many times she takes to the stage, award-winning actress Kali Kopae always finds herself with a touch of nerves the first day of rehearsals.

"I'm always freaked out. I judge myself and I get a little bit nervous but by day three I'm relaxed and comfortable."

The Maungaraki resident is appearing in the upcoming production of A Doll's House at Circa Theatre.

The characters and scenarios have been adapted from Henrik Ibsen's original play and have been shifted from a Norwegian town circa 1879 to modern day New Zealand.

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Couple Nora and Theo Helmer struggle to maintain a picture perfect marriage while past events and relationships come back to change their lives. Kopae plays Christine, an old friend.

"When we did a little bit of delving into the script, we figured she may have been friends with the husband," Kopae said.

"At the beginning of the play, she's a bit icy towards Nora - it's that relationship like that girl that's always there that you're not quite friends with but she comes into your circle of friends and disrupts things."

Nora is played by Sophie Hambleton (Katydid, Westside) and is a long-time friend of Kopae's.

"Years and years ago when Sophie was still a student at Toi Whakaari, I was doing an internship at Downstage. She was the student that would come in to do work on Othello while I was there."

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Kopae said Hambleton taking part was one of the reasons she signed up to the play.

"Over the last 10 years the both of us have done some really amazing things," she said.

For Kopae that included the launch of  with her husband of production company Tikapa Productions and the success of their play Not In Our Neighbourhood.

Written by her husband Jamie McCaskill, the show looked at domestic violence. Kopae earned best actress in the 2015 Wellington Theatre Awards for her performance in the play.

Kopae said she hated saying the play was "cool" but the couple had been sent cards and emails from people affected by the show's themes.

"It's cool we're able to present theatre for change and have an impact on people."

A Doll's House is playing at Circa Theatre from August 5 to  September 2. Tickets and details available online.

 - Stuff

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