Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY

Pear Theatre opens its 16th season with Sarah Ruhl's funny and insightful "In the Next Room, or, the Vibrator Play." Set at the dawn of the age of electricity, this comedy explores how women's issues are addressed in a patriarchal society that rarely gives them credence or consideration. "In the Next Room" is directed by Caroline Clark, and previews on September 7. Press and Opening Night is Friday, September 8, followed by a champagne gala. The show runs Thursdays through Sundays, through October 1. All performances are held at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View. Tickets ($10-$35) can be purchased by visiting www.thepear.org or calling(650) 254-1148.

"'In the Next Room' contains so many elements I value as a thespian: a female-centric cast, a balanced script with full-bodied characters, moments of hilarity as well as poignance, and the opportunity to create a sense of intimacy - a trademark of Pear Theatre," said Clark. "This play has been on my radar since it premiered in Berkeley in 2009, so when the opportunity to direct was presented, I jumped. The play is also quite theatrical: curated vintage lighting, decadent period costumes, an arousing musical score, falling snow, and of course, vintage vibrators. Between those and the amazing cast, audiences are in for a treat."

Based in historical fact, this provocative play is set in the home and office of a physician who treats various female (and male) ailments by use of an electric vibrator, applied to private parts. While he 'stimulates' patients to health in one room, his wife is struggling with their newborn daughter and hired wet nurse in the other. How do women grapple with uniquely female frustrations when their society has not given them the words or concepts to articulate them? How do they manage their own selves against their husbands' expectations, the sudden awakening of new and confusing pleasures, the joys and heartbreaks of motherhood, the need for personal expression in a tightly corseted society?

Playwright Sarah Ruhl is the author of "The Clean House," a Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2005, and a winner of The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize; "Passion Play, a Cycle," winner of The Fourth Freedom Playwriting Award from the Kennedy Center; "Demeter in the City," nominated for nine NAACP Image Awards; and many more. She is the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship (2006) and the PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award for a distinguished American playwright in mid-career. "In the Next Room" won Ruhl a nomination for a Tony Award for Best Play, as well as being a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The New Yorker called Ruhl's play "her best to date." The New York Times reported, "'In the Next Room' illuminates with a light touch - a soft, flickering light rather than a moralizing glare - how much control men had over women's lives, bodies and thoughts, even their most intimate sensations. Insightful, fresh and funny." The Telegraph in London called the play "funny, original and genuinely touching," saying "There is great tenderness in Ruhl's portrayal of her beautifully observed characters and though there is a lot of pain in this play, there is a lot of laughter too." Robert Hurwitt of theSan Francisco Chronicle dubbed it "a fascinating, funny and evocative play ... (an) enticing blend of irreverent humor and skewed realism."

"In the Next Room" features April Culver as Catherine Givings, Bradley Satterwhite as Dr. Givings, Ellen Dunphy as Sabrina Daldry, TRoy Johnson as Mr. Daldry, Stephanie Crowley as the doctor's assistant Annie, Damaris Divito as the wet nurse Elizabeth, and James Lewis as the artist Leo Irving. The design and crew team includes costume designerKathleen O'Brien, lighting designer Kedar Lawrence, and stage manager Rachel Bratt.

Director Caroline Clark is a lifelong thespian and a member of the Pear Steering Committee. Directing credits include "Uncanny Valley," "The Walls of Jericho," and "Kimberly Akimbo" at Pear Theatre, as well as Dustin Lance Black's "8: The Play," and "The Vagina Monologues" at The Empty Space in Bakersfield, CA. She has also been seen performing onstage as Susan in "[title of show]" at Los Altos Stage Company, as BoBug in "Geeks VS Zombies" (Pear Theatre), and at The Empty Space as Holly in "Next Fall," and Prudence in "Beyond Therapy."

Pear Theatre began as the Pear Avenue Theatre in June 2002, under the leadership of Artistic Director Diane Tasca, by a group of theatre artists who believe that audiences are eager for plays that challenge as well as delight and move them. Pear Theatre produces intimate theatre by passionate artists, whether classic works or cutting-edge plays. Now in its sixteenth season, The Pear attracts theatre artists and audience from all over the Bay Area for its award-winning and high-quality productions; and its ongoing commitment to excellence was recognized by the San Francisco Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle with the Paine Knickerbocker Award, an annual special award for a Bay Area company contributing to the high quality of theatre in the region.

Pear Theatre moved in 2015 from its original 40-seat warehouse space to a new, state-of-the-art black box theatre close by, with capacity of 75-99 seats depending on the configuration of the production. This exciting move allows The Pear to continue its tradition of intimate theatre while taking on new challenges and opportunities. In August 2017, Betsy Kruse Craig took the helm as the new Artistic Director, beginning with this season.

high res photos

Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY
The cast of In the Next Room

Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY
The cast of In the Next Room

Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY
The cast of In the Next Room

Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY
The cast of In the Next Room

Photo Flash: Pear Theatre presents IN THE NEXT ROOM OR, THE VIBRATOR PLAY
The cast of In the Next Room


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