Join us for the world premiere of In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), written by Sarah Ruhl and staged by Les Waters. Last time these two extraordinary talents teamed up at Berkeley Rep, they gave birth to Eurydice, the beguiling show which went on to New Haven and New York—hitting the year’s Top 10 list in Time magazine and the New York Times. Now the prominent pair reunites to consummate another play of love and longing, commissioned by Berkeley Rep. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) illuminates the lives of six lonely people seeking relief from a local doctor—but, despite his expertise with a strange new technology, all they really need is intimacy. It’s a tender tale that takes place in the twilight of the Victorian age, an elegant comedy lit by unexpected sparks from the approaching era of electricity, equality, science and sexuality.
The premiere of this play truly is a milestone for Berkeley Rep, which debuted its first new script in 1968 and went on to earn a national reputation for nurturing writers and developing new work. Known for its core values of innovation and excellence, as well as its educated and adventurous audience, Berkeley Rep provides a safe haven for emerging and established artists to take creative risks. In the Next Room (or the vibrator play) is the company’s 50th world premiere; in fact, since 1990, Berkeley Rep has presented 40 world premieres, 25 West Coast premieres and two American premieres.
Sarah Ruhl is the author of acclaimed plays such as The Clean House, Dead Man’s Cell Phone and Passion Play: A Cycle. The young writer has already earned a MacArthur Fellowship, the Helen Merrill Award, the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, a Whiting Writers’ Award and a nomination for the Pulitzer Prize.
Les Waters won an Obie Award for Big Love and his shows have ranked among the Top 10 Plays of 2007 in Time Magazine, 2006 in the New York Times and 2005 in TimeOut New York. His recent hits here at home include The Glass Menagerie, The Pillowman and TRAGEDY: a tragedy.
Watch the B-roll—three minutes of roughly edited clips.