|Tony-nominated comedy to open PlayMakersí season|
|Wednesday, September 07, 2011|
PlayMakers Repertory Company, the professional theater in residence at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, will kick off another main-stage season Sept. 21-Oct. 9 with Sarah Ruhl’s comedy “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play).”
PlayMakers also will present events related to the production from Sept. 14 to Oct. 9.
“In the Next Room” was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a 2010 Tony Award nominee for Best Play. Playwright Sarah Ruhl (author of “Euridyce,” “The Clean House,” “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”) has been honored with a MacArthur Fellowship “genius grant.” “In the Next Room” was her Broadway debut.
The story is inspired by the late 1800s invention of the then-new device named in the play’s title. It was a medical invention originally intended to treat patients afflicted with “female hysteria.” The show is a charming and insightful tale of desire, frustration, sympathy and understanding between the sexes.
“‘In the Next Room’ is written with the sensibility of a play by George Bernard Shaw or Oscar Wilde, seen through the lyrical lens of one of America’s finest modern playwrights and presented with sets and costumes evocative of the Victorian era,” said Joseph Haj, PlayMakers’ producing artistic director.
The New York Times called the play “spirited and stimulating.” “Breathtakingly inventive … a modern masterpiece,” said the Los Angeles Times.
Actor-director-producer Vivienne Benesch will direct the PlayMakers production. She has worked on Broadway and off-Broadway productions, in film and television and at many of the country’s most eminent theaters. Benesch is co-artistic director of the Chautauqua Theater Company and Conservatory in New York. She has directed many productions for Chautauqua and is a frequent director at The Juilliard School.
All performances of “In the Next Room” will be in the Paul Green Theatre at UNC’s Center for Dramatic Art on Country Club Road.
Shows will be at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays; 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1; and 2 p.m. Sundays. Tickets are $10 to $45. For a complete schedule, more information and to purchase tickets, call (919) 962-PLAY (7529) or visit www.playmakersrep.org.
In conjunction with “In the Next Room,” PlayMakers will host “The Vision Series-Directors in Conversation,” a behind-the-scenes preview with Benesch, at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 14. Theater-goers and others interested in the creative process are invited to the Paul Green Theatre to share wine, coffee and other refreshments, learn about the production and get a behind-the-scenes look at the design and vision for the show.
“The Vision Series” is free and open to the public. Reservations are encouraged, as space is limited. Call PlayMakers’ box office at (919) 962-7529 to RSVP.
Counter Culture Coffee is co-producing sponsor for “In the Next Room.”
During its 2011-2012 main-stage season, PlayMakers also will present the world premiere of “The Parchman Hour: Songs and Stories of the ’61 Freedom Riders” (Oct. 26-Nov. 13); Edward Albee’s savagely funny “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (Nov. 30-Dec. 18); and a two-part production, “The Making of a King,” presenting Shakespeare’s “Henry IV” (parts one and two) and “Henry V” in rotating repertory (Jan. 28-March 4). The season will end with the uproarious British comedy “Noises Off” by Michael Frayn (April 4-22).