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Stanford Report, February 16, 2000

Portrait of Dora, feminist reconstruction of Freud case, to be peformed over two weekends

The Department of Drama will present Hélène Cixous' Portrait of Dora, a feminist reconstruction of one of Sigmund Freud's most infamous cases, at 8 p.m. Feb. 17-19 and 23-26 in the Little Theater. The play is directed by graduate student Telory Williamson.

One of Freud's earliest case studies in hysteria, written in 1900 and published in 1905, focused on a young woman named Ida Bauer, renamed Dora. Freud listened to Dora's stories of adultery, betrayal and intrigue and wrote her case study as a fiction of his own. In her play, Cixous makes her audience the analysts of this study by playfully quoting, displacing and subverting Freud's interpretation.

Cixous' most prominent works include The Name of Oedipus (1991), The Book of Promethea (1991), Three Steps on the Ladder of Writing (1993) and The Terrible but Unfinished Story of Sihanouk, King of Cambodia (1994). She visited Stanford in 1998 as one of the featured guests for the Presidential Lectures and Symposia in the Humanities and Arts.

The Stanford production of Portrait of Dora will be performed by Zack, a Stanford graduate student, as Freud and undergraduates Suzannah Tipermas as Dora in the present, Jyoti Bollmann as Dora in the past and Bill Hanson as Herr K.

Tickets are $10 general admission; $8 Stanford faculty and staff; and $5 for students. For tickets call 725-ARTS. SR