In the Next Room on Broadway
Following its world premiere at Berkeley Repertory Theatre in California, In the Next Room or the vibrator play is now being produced by one of New York City's finest non-profit theaters, the Lincoln Center Theatre. The comedy is by Sarah Ruhl, the acclaimed playwright whose works include Eurydice, Dead Man's Cell Phone, and The Clean House (which also played at LCT). Since Lincoln Center's Broadway house, the Vivian Beaumont Theatre, is currently occupied by its hit revival of South Pacific, In the Next Room or the vibrator play will be performed at the Lyceum Theatre in Times Square.
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In the Next Room is currently playing at the following Broadway Theatre:
This funny and provocative new play by Sarah Ruhl is set in the Victorian era and concerns a doctor who has been using an electrical stimulator to treat some of his patients, women that have been diagnosed with "hysteria" (a common malady of the time). Meanwhile the doctor's wife is longing to make a connection with her husband ... one that doesn't involve electrical currents.
Thomas Jay Ryan
Quincy Tyler Bernstine
Wendy Rich Stetson
Les Waters (Direction)
Sarah Ruhl (Playwright)
Summary Set during the Victorian era, this new play by Sarah Ruhl is about a doctor who is treating his hysteria patients with an electrical instrument that releases pent-up energy in the womb. Today it's known as a vibrator, but at that time the medical profession had not yet discovered its "recreational" uses. While the doctor's patients enjoy the benefits of this treatment, his wife sits in the next room, craving his attention.
Our Recommendation Of course In the Next Room derives much humor from the basic premise, which is based very much on genuine medical history and captured hilariously onstage. But what playwright Ruhl is clearly interested in most is human relationships, and this play isn't so much about the merits of physical stimulation as it is about the importance of emotional connection. It is a funny, touching, and intelligent play that captures an era when scientific curiosity and societal repression began to come up against each other.