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Sarah Ruhl Chats Vibrators with The Associated Press


Lincoln Center Theater's production of IN THE NEXT ROOM (or the vibrator play), a new play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Les Waters, will open on Thursday, November 19 at the Lyceum Theater. The cast features Laura Benanti, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, Michael Cerveris, Maria Dizzia, Thomas Jay Ryan, Wendy Rich Stetson, and Chandler Williams.

IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play, which had its world premiere this past winter at Berkeley Repertory Theatre, is a comedy about marriage, intimacy and electricity. Set 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 (Laura Benanti and Michael Cerveris) and how his new therapy affects their entire household.

In a feature out by The Associated Press, newcomer Sarah Ruhl, a MacArthur "genius" grant recipient, talks about the genesis of the piece and why it's Broadway production is a dream come true.

The Associated Press writes: "Ruhl came up with the idea when the Berkeley Repertory Theatre commissioned her to write a play. At the time, she was breast-feeding her now nearly 4-year-old daughter and digesting a book, 'The Technology of Orgasm' by Rachel Maines. As a new mother, she found herself wondering what it might feel like to have no milk for her baby and what it might have felt like - or not felt like - for doctors to perform both the manual and vibrator-assisted treatments on their patients, including some men."

These ideas, coupled with her dream to "write a Victorian costume drama" laid the foundation for IN THE NEXT ROOM (or the vibrator play).

To read the full feature from the Associated Press, click here.

Sarah Ruhl returns to Lincoln Center Theater where she made her New York debut with her play The Clean House. Her other plays include Dead Man's Cell Phone, Demeter in the City, Eurydice, Late: a cowboy song, Melancholy Play, Orlando and Passion Play: a cycle. Her work has also been produced in New York at Playwrights Horizons and Second Stage and nationally at many theaters including the Goodman, Yale Rep, the Woolly Mammoth and The Berkeley Rep where In the Next Room premiered earlier this year. Les Waters, an Obie Award winning director, is the associate artistic director of Berkeley Rep. His New York credits include productions at BAM, Manhattan Theatre Club, CSC, Playwrights Horizons, The Public Theater, Second Stage Theater and Signature Theatre Company.

The production has sets by Annie Smart, costumes by David Zinn, lighting by Russell Champa, sound by Bray Poor and original music by Jonathan Bell.

The performance schedule for IN THE NEXT ROOM (or the vibrator play) is Tuesday evenings at 7 pm, Wednesday through Saturday evenings at 8pm, with matinees Wednesdays and Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 3pm (For the Thanksgiving holiday there is no performance on Thursday, Nov. 26 and an added matinee on Friday, Nov. 27 at 2 pm. For the Christmas holiday there is no performance on Thursday, Dec. 24 and an added evening performance on Sunday, Dec. 27 at 8 pm.) Tickets priced from $46.50 to $96.50 are available at the Lyceum Theatre box office, at, or, by visiting

To celebrate its 25th Year, Lincoln Center Theater will present a season of new works, all New York, American or World Premieres. In addition to IN THE NEXT ROOM or the vibrator play, LCT's 2009-2010 season includes Nathan Louis Jackson's BROKE-OLOGY, which is playing at the Mitzi E. Newhouse Theater through Nov. 22, the American premiere of Andrew Bovell's WHEN THE RAIN STOPS FALLING and the world premiere of A.R. Gurney's THE GRAND MANNER. In addition, this fall LCT3, Lincoln Center Theater's new programming initiative devoted to the work of new playwrights, directors and designers, is presenting three productions during its second season at The Duke on 42nd Street: WHAT ONCE WE FELT, a new play by Ann Marie Healy, playing through Nov.21, GRACELAND by Ellen Fairey, and a musical play, ON THE LEVEE, conceived by Lear deBessonet with book by Marcus Gardley and music and lyrics by Todd Almond. LCT's Tony Award-winning production of Rodgers & Hammerstein's SOUTH PACIFIC continues it record breaking run at the Vivian Beaumont Theater.

Photo Credit: Joan Marcus


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