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In the Next Room (TCG)

In the Next Room (TCG)
Your Price: $18.50 CDN
Author: Sarah Ruhl
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group
# of Pages: 144
Pub. Date: 2010
ISBN-10: 1559363606
ISBN-13: 9781559363600

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, Tony Award nominee for best new play

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) is a full-length dramatic comedy by Sarah Ruhl. A play about sex, intimacy, and equality, set in the 1880s, when enthusiasm for the electric light bulb gave rise to a handy new instrument to treat female hysteria.

Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity and based on the bizarre historical fact that doctors used vibrators to treat 'hysterical' women (and some men), the play centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household.

In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating "hysteria" in women (and occasionally men): the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor's laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter — and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new "hysterical" patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor's home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage, and what it truly means to love someone.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men

What people say:

"Best Broadway Play of 2009 ... Ruhl has defied gender and genre orthodoxy to give us a hilarious and moving meditation on the many factors that complicate communication between (and within) the sexes." — USA Today

"In the Next Room is Ruhl's best play to date. Her play-writing is inspired." — New Yorker

"Insightful, fresh and funny, the play is as rich in thought as it is in of the most gifted and adventurous American playwrights to emerge in recent years ... In the Next Room is a true novelty: a sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys — or grown men who wish they were still sniggering teenage boys — but for adults with open hearts and minds. Insightful, fresh and funny, the play is as rich in thought as it is in feeling." — The New York Times

"It's safe to say that In the Next Room goes where no Broadway show has gone before. Ruhl presents something a lot more daring than nudity: women's discovery of their own bodies and their own pleasure ... A play that's smart, delicate and very, very funny." — New York Post

"Sarah Ruhl ... has written a smart, charming, iridescently funny-serious jewel ... As Ruhl traces it with wit and insight, and without the slightest prurience, the birth of this new era gives rise to colorful events, astute psychological revelations and endearingly apt dialogue." — Bloomberg

"The playwright mines her subject for suitably bawdy humor without resorting to vulgarity. But what really gives the work its distinction is its sensitive exploration of the physical and emotional repression suffered by the women of the era, which has yet to disappear entirely....The play beautifully balances its humor and pathos." — Hollywood Reporter

"A breathtakingly inventive addition to Ruhl's singular body of work." — Los Angeles Times

About the Playwright:

Sarah Ruhl is one of America's most acclaimed and accomplished young playwrights. A two-time Pulitzer prize finalist, MacArthur Fellowship recipient, Tony award nominee and winner of several other playwriting awards and nominations, she is known for charting complex currents of desire and broaching weighty topics such as bereavement with a light, whimsical touch.