In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) Is Coming to, or Showing at, GableStage

The Victorian age was a confusing time. The Industrial Revolution sprung up many technological innovations, people figured out the importance of clean water (like that it's important for not dying), and medicine proposed new solutions to everyone's problems. But lost in all the progress were some less positive developments. Like, for example, the practice of trying to cure women believed to be hysterical by getting them off with an electric vibrator.

Certainly, it's not a hard pill to swallow, doctor fueled orgasms, but this "cure" to that "problem" demonstrates the pathologizing of a woman's sexuality and a complete misunderstanding of mental health situations. Sarah Ruhl's play,In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play), takes a look

at the history of this unusual and little known healing practice. It

premiered on Broadway in 2009 and comes to GableStage this Saturday.

The play tells the story of two Victorian

women's experiences with the early vibrator. The New York Times called it, "A true novelty: a sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys -- or grown men who wish they were still sniggering teenage boys -- but for adults with open hearts and minds." The play will run at GableStage for a month under the direction of Joseph Adler.

The orgasm jokes aren't lost on Ruhl. According to Adler, "It's inherently funny," while still taking a critical look at late nineteenth century beliefs on motherhood and sexuality. Adler added, "It's historically factual in every way. I think it's something that a lot of people are not aware of, but it also shows the attitudes that existed at that time towards women, regarding sexuality.

He chose to put on the production here in Miami for obvious reasons, "The play was successfully done in New York, it was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. It's a play by one of the leading new American playwrights, Sarah Ruhl, and the subject matter and the style of the play intrigued me." It was also nominated for 2010 Tony Awards in the categories of best play, best featured actress, and best costume. Victorian garb is gorgeous, so the costumes should be wonderful to watch at GableStage, as well.

Catch some big onstage Os from Saturday through June 12 at GableStage (eastern section of the Biltmore, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables). Tickets cost between $37.50 and $47.50. There will be no performance on May 15. For tickets call 305 445-1119 or visit gablestage.org.

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