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Sarah Ruhl

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Sarah Ruhl BIO

Sarah Ruhl is an American playwright, essayist, and poet known for her unique and poetic style of writing. She was born on January 24, 1974, in Wilmette, Illinois, and grew up in a family of artists and writers. Ruhl attended Brown University, where she studied under Paula Vogel and earned her MFA in playwriting.
Ruhl's plays often explore themes of love, loss, and the human experience. Her first play, "The Dog Play," was produced in 2001 at the Brown/Trinity Playwrights Repertory Theatre. Her breakthrough play, "The Clean House," premiered at the Yale Repertory Theatre in 2004 and went on to receive the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and a Pulitzer Prize nomination.
Ruhl's other notable plays include "Eurydice," a retelling of the Greek myth of Orpheus and Eurydice, which premiered at the Madison Repertory Theatre in 2003; "In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)," a comedy about the invention of the vibrator, which premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2009 and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize; and "Stage Kiss," a romantic comedy about two ex-lovers who are cast in a play together, which premiered at the Goodman Theatre in 2011.
In addition to her work in the theatre, Ruhl has also written essays and poetry. Her essay collection, "100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write," was published in 2014 and was a finalist for the National Book Critics Circle Award for Criticism. Her poetry collection, "44 Poems for You," was published in 2021.
Ruhl has received numerous awards and honors for her work, including a MacArthur Fellowship, a PEN/Laura Pels International Foundation for Theater Award, and a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. She has also been a finalist for the Tony Award for Best Play.
Ruhl's most recent work includes "Becky Nurse of Salem," a play about one of the women accused of witchcraft during the Salem witch trials, which premiered at the Berkeley Repertory Theatre in 2019. She is currently working on a new play, "Letters from Max," which is based on her correspondence with the poet Max Ritvo, who died of cancer in 2016.

Sarah Ruhl Photos

Sarah Ruhl Awards and Nominations

The Pulitzer Prize - 2010 - The Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Sarah Ruhl, In the Next Room or the vibrator play

The Pulitzer Prize - 2010 - The Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Sarah Ruhl, In The Next Room or the vibrator play

Tony Awards - 2010 - Best Play

Sarah Ruhl, In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)

Sarah Ruhl Videos

Sarah Ruhl News

Jay Alan Zimmerman Brings MUSIC MAGIC to Milbank Chapel Auditorium Next Month

In this special behind-the-scenes concert, “Broadway’s Beethoven” Jay Alan Zimmerman debuts new songs and new shows. Learn more about the upcoming concert here!

André Bishop Will Step Down as Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater

Bishop has served as Producing Artistic Director of Lincoln Center Theater since July 2013, and first joined the organization as Artistic Director in January 1992.  His departure in June 2025 will coincide with the close of Lincoln Center Theater’s 40th anniversary season.

Second Stage Founder Carole Rothman Will Depart After 45 Years

Carole Rothman, the founder of Second Stage, the prestigious theater company that has launched the careers of some of the greatest American playwrights over the past 45 years, is leaving the company. 

MELANCHOLY PLAY By Sarah Ruhl: A Captivating Theatrical Experience In Houston

Prepare to be swept away by a tale of enchantment, melancholy, and unexpected transformation as Cone Man Running Productions presents 'MELANCHOLY PLAY' by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Katherine Rinaldi and Ruth S McCleskey, and stage managed by Rachna Khare.

Necessary Angel Theatre Company Reveals Cast For The Canadian Premiere Of LETTERS FROM MAX, A RITUAL

Necessary Angel Theatre Company has revealed that Maev Beaty and Jesse LaVercombe will star in the Canadian premiere of Letters From Max, a ritual by Sarah Ruhl, based on the book by Sarah Ruhl and Max Ritvo.

Corey Stoll, Natalie Gold & Alyssa Emily Marvin to Join Sarah Paulson in APPROPRIATE

Golden Globe Award nominee Corey Stoll (“House of Cards,” “Billions”), Natalie Gold (“Succession”), and Alyssa Emily Marvin (Grey House) join Emmy, Golden Globe, and SAG Award winner Sarah Paulson in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ APPROPRIATE at Second Stage Theater, directed by Lila Neugebauer.

Signature Theatre Opens Submissions for The Judith Champion Musical Theater LaunchPad Residency

Signature Theatre has opened submissions for the Judith Champion Musical Theater LaunchPad Residency. Lear more about the Residency!

STAGE KISS Comes to Theatrikos Theatre Company Next Month

Theatrikos Theatre Company brings the romantic comedy Stage Kiss to the Flagstaff stage.  Learn more about the production and how to get tickets here!

The Metropolitan Opera Commissions Ukranian Composer Maxim Kolomiiets to Write New Opera Based on True Story

As part of its ongoing support of Ukraine, the Metropolitan Opera / Lincoln Center Theater New Works Program has commissioned a new work by Ukrainian composer Maxim Kolomiiets and librettist George Brant.

Jessica Lange, Jim Parsons, Celia Keenan-Bolger Will Lead Paula Vogel's MOTHER PLAY on Broadway

The world premiere of MOTHER PLAY, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Paula Vogel and directed by Tina Landau is coming to Broadway. We have all the details on who will star in the new play!

The Echo Theater Company Reveals Winners of 2023 New Play Competition

The Echo Theater Company has announced the winners of the company’s 2023 New Play Competition. Learn more about all of the winners here!

EURYDICE Comes to San Francisco State School of Theatre & Dance in October

Sarah Ruhl has been called a 'Playwright Laureate of Grief,' and Eurydice is her exploration of the grief she felt after the loss of her father, who died of cancer when she was twenty. In Ruhl's retelling of the Orpheus/Eurydice myth, the dead Eurydice reconnects with her dead father, and they revel in their chance to restore their love.  

San Francisco State School Of Theatre & Dance Presents EURYDICE

San Francisco State School of Theatre & Dance presents Eurydice, by Sarah Ruhl A unique and timely meditation on grief, October 19-29, 2023

THE GOOD JOHN PROCTOR and BECKY NURSE OF SALEM Come to Trinity Repertory Company

Trinity Repertory Company opens its 60th Anniversary Season with two plays performed in rotating repertory, both dark dramedies with thematic ties to gender, power, and Arthur Miller's The Crucible.  

EURYDICE Comes to Writers Theatre in September

 Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma and Artistic Director Braden Abraham, kicks off its 2023/24 Season with Eurydice. Eurydice is written by Wilmette native and acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl and marks the directorial debut of Braden Abraham at Writers Theatre. 

EURYDICE Comes to City Theatre Next Month

City Theatre at Sacramento City College brings acclaimed playwright Sarah Ruhl's Eurydice, a reimagined take on the classical myth of Eurydice and Orpheus, to the stage.

HOW IT'S GON' BE to Have West Coast premiere at Echo Theater Company

Discover the West Coast premiere of the lyrical play 'How It's Gon' Be' at Echo Theater Company. Get all the details about this captivating production running for a limited time. Experience the powerful storytelling and emotional performances in this must-see show.

IU Theatre + Dance Unveils 2023-2024 Season Directed Entirely By Women

Discover Indiana University Department of Theatre + Dance's groundbreaking 2023-2024 season, featuring eight productions directed entirely by women. From classic novels to contemporary masterpieces, experience a diverse range of theatrical performances.

Kate Burton, John Cariani & More Join Williamstown Theatre Festival Performances

Get the latest updates on the star-studded performances at the Williamstown Theatre Festival, including appearances by Kate Burton, John Cariani, and more. Find out when and where you can catch these exciting shows.

Marin Ireland, Zachary James & Erik Lochtefeld to Star in SPAIN at Second Stage Theater

Get all the details on the upcoming production of SPAIN at Second Stage Theater, including the star-studded cast featuring Marin Ireland, Zachary James, and Erik Lochtefeld. Find out when and where you can catch this highly anticipated show.


Sarah Ruhl has written 11 shows including The Clean House (Playwright), eurydice (Playwright), Dead Man's Cell Phone (Playwright), In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) (Playwright), Orlando (Playwright), Stage Kiss (Playwright), The Oldest Boy (Author), Dear Elizabeth (Author), How to Transcend a Happy Marriage (Playwright), For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday (Author), Becky Nurse of Salem (Playwright).

Sarah Ruhl has been nominated for several prestigious awards. She has been nominated for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama twice, once for "In the Next Room or the vibrator play" and once for "The Clean House". Ruhl has also been nominated for the Tony Award for Best Play for "In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)". Additionally, she has received a nomination for the Charles MacArthur Award for Outstanding New Play or Musical at the Helen Hayes Awards for "Passion Play, A Cycle".

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