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Hedgerow Theatre to Present Sarah Ruhl's Pulitzer Prize-Nominated IN THE NEXT ROOM

The play takes place at the dawn of the age of electricity in the 1880s, when the Victorian household of Dr. and Mrs. Givings is complicated by a new discovery.

Hedgerow Theatre to Present Sarah Ruhl's Pulitzer Prize-Nominated IN THE NEXT ROOM

Hedgerow Theatre Company will present Sarah Ruhl's In The Next Room, or the vibrator play, an adult comedy about marriage, intimacy and electricity. Running June 1 - 19, this play navigates "our hunger - today, more profoundly understood by all of us... for companionship," says celebrated director, Harriet Power. "It's about what truly turns us on: fun, friendship, adventure; feeling seen and understood, daring to love, finding our way beyond our own fears and habits."

This Pulitzer Prize-nominated play takes place at the dawn of the age of electricity in the 1880s, when the Victorian household of Dr. and Mrs. Givings is complicated by a new discovery. The doctor is a single-minded devotee of progress who has innocently invented a new treatment for "hysteria": the vibrator. His wife is a new mother and bystander listening from the other side of the door as he implements his curious new cure. Written by MacArthur "Genius" award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl, this heartfelt, provocative, funny play harkens back to a time of discovery and examines the aching human need for connection.

In the Next Room... reunites actors from Hedgerow's critically acclaimed 2019 production of Three Sisters-including Jessica DalCanton, Adam Altman, Sophia Barrett, David Pica, and Jennifer Summerfield-which was adapted by Sarah Ruhl, designed by James F. Pyne, Jr. and was also directed by Harriet Power. For DalCanton, "It is delicious to be back at Hedgerow working on this brilliant play. Sarah Ruhl captures the loneliness of early motherhood and how we all long to be truly seen by the people we love. I am so grateful to be reunited with this team of hilarious and talented artists. We are having too much fun bringing this story to life."

The team is joined by Carl Granieri, who portrays Dr. Givings and Hallie Spencer Harmon as Elizabeth, a wet nurse who has lost her own young son. "While Elizabeth's story at first glance seems to be about loss, our lovely director Harriet reminded us early on that the play is actually about connection," notes Spencer Harmon. "It reminds us that it cannot come from a machine but from being honest and meeting people where they are. In addition, it seems unchanging that women will be treated as if they are not capable of assessing their own bodily needs. The show also makes it clear that our intuition is often the best means by which to communicate the state of our health, both physical and emotional. It invites the audience to read between the lines for better understanding."

In the Next Room has inspired the addition of free surround programs, which expand the welcome and deepen the potential engagement with this work. Hedgerow teams up with LifeCycle Women Care of Bryn Mawr for a panel discussion called "The 4th Trimester" on Sunday, June 5 following the 2pm matinee. Patrons are invited to arrive early (6pm) on Wednesday, June 8 for "Table Setting" with dramaturg Adrena Williams, for insights into the world of the play. As dramaturg, Williams is "excited by the opportunity to visit this period in history, as so many social and cultural norms around women's sexuality and desire, as well as their struggle to remain in control of their own bodies, are being tested - though certainly not for the first or last time - and help to bring it to the stage in all of its particulars. Though we see ourselves as far removed from that time, my hope is that our production will illuminate the ways in which we very much aren't."

In addition to James F. Pyne, Jr. returning as scenic designer, the creative team includes Jerold R. Forsyth as lighting designer, Daniel Kontz as sound designer and composer, Robin Shane as costume designer, and Nora E. Quinn as props designer. Alondra Santos-Castillo joins the team as stage manager.

And as the Theatre continues its goal of inclusivity, Hedgerow specifically welcomes mothers, nursing caregivers, and their infants to the relaxed performance, which will also be a "nurse out," on June 12th at 2 p.m. For relaxed performances, all patrons are invited to engage with the production as their fullest selves, whether someone needs to move around or vocalize during the performance, they are invited to do so. This performance will also include audio-description provided by Nicole Sardella. Patrons should notify the box office at time of booking or email company@hedgerowtheatre.org to secure an audio headset for the audio-described performance. Additional information on surround programming, including a panel discussion and Q&As with artists, are detailed on Hedgerow's website www.hedgerowtheatre.org.

PRODUCTION INFORMATION:

In The Next Room, or the vibrator play

Written by: Sarah Ruhl

Directed by: Harriet Power

Performed by: Adam Altman*, Sophia Barrett, Jessica DalCanton, Carl Granieri, Hallie Spencer Harmon, David Pica, and Jennifer Summerfield
*notes actor appearing courtesy of Actors Equity Association

Stage managed by: Alondra Santos-Castillo

Scenic design by: James F. Pyne

Lighting design by: Jerold R. Forsyth

Sound design & Compositions by: Daniel Kontz

Costume design by: Robin Shane

Props design by: Nora E. Quinn

Dramaturgy by: Adrena Williams

Dialect coaching by: Melanie Julian

Intimacy direction by: Samantha Reading
Production management by: Danielle Marino

Assistant stage managed by: Haley Simmonds

Production assistance by: Mersha Wambua

Produced by: Marcie Bramucci

TICKET INFORMATION

In The Next Room, or the vibrator play preview performance tickets are $20; beginning opening night, adult tickets are $35. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610-565-4211 or visit www.hedgerowtheatre.org. For groups of 10 or more, contact Art Hunter, Group Sales & Outreach Director ahunter@hedgerowtheatre.org or 610-565-4211.

This production is best enjoyed by ages 18+ due to mature themes.

Performance dates of In The Next Room, or the vibrator play are:

Preview: 6/1 at 7 p.m., 6/2 at 7 p.m.

Opening: 6/3 at 7 p.m. with post-performance opening night reception

Run: 6/4 at 7 p.m., 6/5 at 2 p.m., 6/8 at 7 p.m., 6/9 at 7 p.m., 6/10 at 7 p.m., 6/11 at 7 p.m., 6/12 at 2 p.m.*, 6/15 at 7 p.m., 6/16 at 7 p.m., 6/17 at 7 p.m., 6/18 at 7 p.m., 6/19 at 2 p.m.

*Relaxed, audio-described, and "nurse out" performance on 6/12 at 2 p.m. Pre-performance sensory tour begins at 1:15 p.m.

Throughout the run

Post-performance Q&As with artists from the production for Sunday 2 p.m. performances.

For tickets and information visit www.hedgerowtheatre.org or call 610-565-4211.

Hedgerow Theatre is located at 64 Rose Valley, Rd, Media, PA 19063.

SAFETY PROTOCOLS

Patron and artist safety are top priority. In anticipation of our reopening, Hedgerow has installed iWave Air filters by Nu-Calgon and has also installed new seating, which will allow more space for each patron. We continue to monitor the evolving situation and accordingly reassess our safety protocols.

Up-to-date safety protocols can be found on our website.

ABOUT HEDGEROW THEATRE COMPANY:

Hedgerow Theatre is a resident professional theatre dedicated to providing cultural enrichment, engaging entertainment, and training in theatre arts and management since 1923. As stewards of a nineteenth-century grist mill turned theatre building, Hedgerow produces whole-hearted, resonant live theatre in an intimate 100-seat venue. The company offers extensive educational programs through theatre school, in-school residencies, and touring programs, and provides performance, technical training, and theatre management opportunities for Resident Fellows in a close-knit and mutually supportive environment.


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