In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play

Play

Writers: Sarah Ruhl

Overview

Show Information

Book
Category
Play
Number of Acts
2
First Produced
2010
Genres
Comedy, Historical/Biographical
Time & Place
a home in a “prosperous spa town outside of new york city, perhaps saratoga springs.” late 1800s. the dawn of electricity.
Cast Size
small
Licensor
Ideal for
female lead, professional theatre, ensemble cast, community theatre
Casting Notes
Mostly female cast
Includes adult characters

Synopsis

It is the 1880s, and Dr. and Mrs. Catherine Givings live in a beautiful, seemingly sensible Victorian home, where Dr. Givings also runs his private medical practice. Electricity is still a novelty, and as the intelligent and free-spirited Mrs. Givings cares for her new child under the bright glow of a floor lamp, something else is buzzing in the next room. Dr. Givings, a kind -- if overly analytical -- scientist, has invented a device to relieve “hysteria” in both men and women. The brilliant new device is a vibrator (though Dr. Givings refers to it euphemistically as a “machine”). When Elizabeth, a grieving wet nurse, is brought in to care for the Givings’ baby, and Mrs. Sabrina Daldry, an anxious, depressed patient arrives for treatment, the Givings are forced to confront the realities of their marriage, their love for one another, and the nature of intimacy-- all without the help of an electrical current. Provocative, moving, and utterly charming, Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room is a comedy about passion, true love, and orgasms.

Lead Characters