What is Going on In the Next Room? A Modern Comedy

October 3, 2013


Age-old issues of intimacy get a novel twist


November 1–9 in Norton Clapp Theater, Jones Hall


TACOMA, Wash. – In the Next Room, a contemporary Broadway play that was selected as a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist and nominated for three Tony Awards, will be staged at University of Puget Sound this fall. The provocative and touching comedy, set in Victorian times, is described by director Sara Freeman ’95 as an entertainment that is “both happy and sad, outrageous and full of heart.”

In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) will be performed at 7:30 p.m. on Friday and Saturday, Nov. 1–2, and again on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings, Nov. 7–9, in Norton Clapp Theater, Jones Hall on campus. A matinee will be held at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 9.  Featuring mature themes and sexual content, the performance is most suitable for those who are high school age and above. Ticket information is below.

Written by American playwright Sarah Ruhl, the play’s story revolves around the prim Victorian medical practice and home life of Dr. Givings and his wife, Catherine. Dr. Givings, fascinated with the marvels of technology, stumbles upon a mysteriously effective means of treating “hysteria” in his female patients.

Dr. and Mrs. Givings have just had their first child, but they are forced to hire a wet nurse, bringing the bereaved Elizabeth into their lives. As Catherine gossips with Elizabeth, and meets more and more of her husband’s patients, she learns about the mysterious, new therapy. Everyone’s world quickly transforms.

In the Next Room is like a box within a box within a box,” Freeman says. “The play is set in an age hovering at the dawn of electricity, and it uses that past setting to really speak to people today about marriage, identity, love, gender, and art.”

“I’ve directed two of Sara Ruhl’s plays before,” she adds, “And for me, her type of stage poetry is one of the best facets of contemporary playwriting. Hard questions are asked. But in the end, love is affirmed.”

The production features a cast and stage crew of Puget Sound students from all four years of the academic program. Scene design is by Kurt Walls and costume design by Mishka Navarre. In the Next Room is presented by the Department of Theatre Arts at University of Puget Sound.

FOR TICKETS: Admission is $11 for the general public and $7 for seniors (55+), military personnel, students, and Puget Sound students, faculty, and staff. For tickets contact Wheelock Information Center, order by credit card by phoning 253.879.6013, or order online at http://tickets.pugetsound.edu.  

For directions and a map of the campus:pugetsound.edu/directions.
For accessibility information please contact accessibility@pugetsound.edu or 253.879.3236, or visit pugetsound.edu/accessibility.

Press photos of the dress rehearsal are available shortly before Nov. 1, upon request.
Photos on page: Top right:  Cassie Fastabend. Above left: Sarah Smith, Cassie Fastabend, Paige Maney; Above right: Paige Maney, Sarah Smith, Jordan Moeller

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