ACT 1 Reveals Its 2012-13 Season, Highlighted by IN THE NEXT ROOM and A DOLL'S HOUSE

May 9
9:54 AM 2012


Sarah Ruhl's critically acclaimed play In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) highlights ACT 1's 2012-13 season, which is revealed today. Also on the season: a new adaptation of Dark of the Moon, Neil Simon's Broadway Bound and Ibsen's classic A Doll's House.

Ryan Williams directs Dark of the Moon, which opens the season October 19-27, just in time for Halloween. Williams, who directed ACT 1's award-winning American Buffalo during the 2011-12 season, brings a new vision to a classic story of folklore, myth, and mystery. John the witch-boy makes a deal with the magical Conjur Woman, who agrees to make him human for one year with the stipulation that he may remain human only if the beautiful, promiscuous Barbara Allen stays faithful to him for one year. John must learn to live like a man-caring for his wife-but is forbidden to enter a church, which will almost instantly cast suspicion on him in the highly religious community.

Veteran actor Lane Wright directs Broadway Bound, written by one of America's most beloved playwrights Neil Simon. Semi-autobiographical, Broadway Bound is the culmination of Simon's Eugene trilogy, which also includes Brighton Beach Memoirs and Biloxi Blues. Broadway Bound runs January 11-26, 2013. Wright previously directed Born Yesterday for ACT 1 in 2008.

Actors Bridge Ensemble and Sideshow's Jessika Malone will direct Ruhl's most recent Broadway offering, In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), which focuses on the early history of the vibrator, when doctors used it as a clinical devise to bring women to orgasm as treatment for "hysteria." The play's other themes include Victorian era ignorance of female sexual desire, motherhood, breastfeeding and jealousy. Malone is no stranger to the Ruhl's works, having directed the critically acclaimed Eurydice in a joint production from Actors Bridge Ensemble and Belmont University. In The Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) runs March 1-16, 2013.

ACT 1's 2012-13 season concludes with Henik Ibsen's A Doll's House, directed by Melissa Bedinger Hade, who directed The Imaginary Invalid for ACT 1's 2010-11 season. First produced in 1879 and often considered the prototypical feminist play, Ibsen's celebrated work represented a radical departure from traditional behavior.  In his own words, Ibsen said, "It is a description of humanity." A Doll's House doesn't focus on the romanticized notions of marriage in the 19th century, but rather focuses on "the realities of martial relations within a male-dominated world." A Doll's House runs May 31-June 15, 2013.

ACT 1 presents its plays at Darkhorse Theater, 4610 Charlotte Avenue in Nashville. Currently onstage at the Darkhorse Theater is ACT 1's final show of the 2011-12 season, Vaclav Havel's The Memorandum, directed by Wilhelm Peters. For more information, go to Tickets for ACT 1 shows are available through

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Jeffrey Ellis Jeffrey Ellis is a Nashville-based writer, editor and critic, who's been covering the performing arts in Tennessee for more than 25 years. He is the recipient of the Tennessee Theatre Association's Distinguished Service Award for his coverage of theatre in the Volunteer State and was the founding editor/publisher of Stages, the Tennessee Onstage Monthly. He is a past fellow of the National Critics Institute at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre Center and is the founder/executive producer of The First Night Honors - the history of which can be traced to 1989 and the first presentation of The First Night Awards - which honor outstanding theater artisans from Tennessee in recognition of their lifetime achievements and also includes The First Night Star Awards and the Most Promising Actors recognition. Midwinter's First Night honors outstanding productions and performances throughout the state. An accomplished director, Ellis helmed productions of La Cage Aux Folles, The Last Night of Ballyhoo and An American Daughter, all in their Nashville premieres, as well as award-winning productions of Damn Yankees, Company, Gypsy and The Rocky Horror Show. Ellis was recognized by The Tennessean as best director of a musical for both Company and Rocky Horror. In 2015, he directed William Inge's Picnic for Circle Players and Jason Robert Brown's The Last Five Years for VWA Theatricals, with The Larry Keeton Theatre's production of Beth Henley's The Miss Firecracker Contest set for spring 2016.

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