The Norwegian dramatist, theatre director and poet Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) is considered one of the founders of modern theatre.
A formative event for Ibsen was the experience he had as a child of not only losing all property as a reaction to his father’s bankruptcy – who had been a successful merchant up to that point - but also being shut out of society. This experience would later become the main thesis in many of his works and led to Ibsen beginning to use his experiences as inspiration for characters and events in his plays early in his career
In 1850 his first play, Catalina, was published, in 1851 Ibsen was appointed resident author for Det Norske Theater in Bergen, in 1857 he became artistic director of the Kristiania Norske Theater. Later in his life, Ibsen lived in Italy and Germany for many years. His artistic breakthrough came with the play Brand (1866) and the poem Peer Gynt (1867). His social dramas often caused scandals which led them to be temporarily banned at many European theatres. The play A Doll’s House (1875) is counted among the most significant literary contributions to the discussion around women’s liberation. He appropriated the experiences of an acquaintance of his, Laura Kieler, to use as a template, adapting her fate into drama. To counteract the impending censorship, Ibsen wrote an alternative ending for the premiere of A Doll’s House in which Nora doesn’t leave her family.