'IN THE NEXT ROOM' Starts Tonight at Chautauqua Theater Company

Chautauqua Theater Company (CTC) kicks-off its 33rd season under the co-leadership of Artistic Directors Vivienne Benesch and Andrew Borba with the 2010 Tony Award nominee for best new play and Pulitzer Prize finalist, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) by Sarah Ruhl, and directed by Larissa Kokernot. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) plays tonight, July 1, through July 10 on the Bratton Theater stage at the Chautauqua Institution. Opening night is Saturday, July 2 at 6pm. Tickets are $35 and are currently on sale.

From All My Sons (2005) to Clybourne Park (2013) and Raisin in the Sun (2014), the Chautauqua Theater Company and the Chautauqua Institution boast a rich legacy of igniting dialogue about significant moments in American history with great American plays, and continues this tradition with In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). Set in the twilight of the Victorian age, this mischievous comedy illuminates the lives of six lonely people, some seeking relief from a local doctor obsessed with the marvels of technology and what it can do for his patients. But, despite his expertise with a strange new device...all they really need is connection. Sarah Ruhl's Tony-nominated play is lit by unexpected sparks from the approaching era of electricity, equality, science and sexuality.

In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre on February 5, 2009. Original Broadway production by Lincoln Center Theater, New York City, 2009.

The CTC cast includes Allison Altman as Sabrina Daldry, Edmund Donovan as Leo, Kathryn Metzger as Mrs. Givings, Margaret Odette as Elizabeth, Alex Raby as Annie, Patrick Kilby Reynolds as Mr. Daldry, and Adam J. Smith as Dr. Givings.

The creative team includes Alexis Distler (Scenic Design), Tracy Christensen (Costume Design), Dave Bova (Wig & Hair Design), Masha Tsimring (Lighting Design), Elisheba Ittoop (Sound Design), and Ashley Teague (Assistant Director).

"Sarah Ruhl is arguably the leading contemporary American playwright of her generation," says Artistic Director Andrew Borba," and has specifically set this play during 'the dawn of electricity' in an attempt to shine a light on women's issues, both past and present. This time frame allows the audience distance. Distance to laugh, to wonder and to experience characters in a state of naivete about many subjects that even today are taboo. There is an innocence that runs through this play and it's characters that is nostalgically charming and warm hearted."

Sarah Ruhl (Playwright) Plays include In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, a cycle (Pen American award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); Dead Man's Cell Phone (Helen Hayes award); Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Demeter in the City (NAACP nomination), Late: a cowboy song, Three Sisters, and most recently, Stage Kiss and Dear Elizabeth. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights' Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center's Mitzi Newhouse Theater, and downtown at Clubbed Thumb and Classic Stage Company. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, with premieres at Yale Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Madison Repertory Theater, Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park, Cornerstone Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago.

Larissa Kokernot (Director) In New York, Larissa directed FUBAR for ProjectY at 59e59. Regionally, she has directed at companies such as Eye of the Storm, where she served as Artistic Associate for six seasons, Indiana Repertory, Ten Thousand Things Theater, The Guthrie, California Repertory Company, La Jolla Playhouse, and Oregon Shakespeare Festival, where she was the 2007 Phil Killian Directing Fellow. Larissa is a founding member of Chalk Repertory Theatre in Los Angeles, where she has directed Three Sisters, Family Planning (Ovation Awards for Best Play in an Intimate Theatre and for Director), Stray, Full Disclosure, Mommune, and Uncle Vanya. Work at other Los Angeles theaters includes Gruesome Playground Injuries for Rogue Machine, which also traveled to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2015, and FUBAR at Theatre of Note. MFA: University of California, San Diego.

Tickets to In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) are $35 and seating is reserved. Tickets can be purchased online at www.ctcompany.org or by calling (716) 357-6250. Single event ticket is required, which also serves as a Chautauqua Institution gate pass 4 hours before and 4 hours following the start time of the performance.

PERFORMANCES are Friday, July 1st at 8PM (Preview), Saturday, July 2nd at 6PM (Opening), Sunday, July 3rd at 2:15 & 8PM, Tuesday, July 5th at 8PM, Wednesday, July 6th at 2:15 & 8PM, Thursday, July 7th at 4PM, Friday, July 8th at 4PM, Saturday, July 9th at 2:15PM, and Sunday, July 10th at 2:15 & 8PM.

Additional events taking place during the run of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) include the following three unique opportunities to hear from CTC staff and creatives. All CTC special events listed below are free with the purchase of a Chautauqua Institution gate pass.

BROWN BAG: Thursday, June 30th at 12:15 pm

"Plugging in: Our 2016 Season and In the Next Room."

Bring a bag lunch to Bratton Theater and get an inside look at CTC's 2016 season and join a lively discussion about In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), led by members of the cast and design team.

'FORE-PLAY: Sunday, July 3rd at 7 pm

Visit Lenna Hall for a special pre-show discussion about In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). Enhance your understanding of the play and get a primer on the production with members of the artistic staff.

BEHIND-THE-SCENES TOUR: Tuesday, July 5th at 1:00 pm

Visit Bratton Theater for a Behind-the-Scenes Tour. Explore the set, costumes, lighting and special effects behind CTC's production of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play). Tours are guided by CTC's production leaders and design fellows and last approximately 45 minutes. All are family friendly.

LOCATION and PARKING INFORMATION In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)plays at the Bratton Theater located at the Chautauqua Institution. To get to the Bratton Theater from the Chautauqua Institution Main Gate go down the red brick walkway (Miller). Once at Bestor Plaza take a left on Pratt. Then go a few blocks and Bratton Theater will be on the left. For additional directions visit www.ctcompany.org. For parking information visit www.chqtickets.com.

Entering its 33rd Season, Chautauqua Theater Company is the resident professional theater and Conservatory of the Chautauqua Institution. Internationally known actors, directors, designers, and writers join 20 emerging artists drawn from the nation's top training programs to form a unique company that produces a vibrant summer of work in the historic Bratton Theater. Dedicated to the next generation of theater artists, the development of new work, first-rate productions of modern and contemporary classics, and fresh insight into Shakespeare's canon, CTC produces the best of a year-round regional theater within an eight week summer season.

The pre-eminent expression of lifelong learning in the United States, Chautauqua Institution is a 140-year-old community on the shores of Chautauqua Lake in southwestern New York State that comes alive each summer with a unique mix of fine and performing arts, lectures, interfaith worship and programs, and recreational activities.


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