OU Theater Division’s ‘In the Next Room’ Opens Oct. 5 in Forum Theater< < Back to
Ohio University’s Theater Division will be kicking off its 2017 fall season with the production of In the Next Room, or The Vibrator Play. The show will take place in the Forum Theater in the RTV building on the Ohio University Athens campus October 5-7, and 10-14. General admission is $10, OU student admission is free with a valid ID, non-OU student admission is $7, and seniors can get in for $7.
Written by Sarah Ruhl in the early 2000s, The Vibrator Play is a comedy that explores themes of sex, gender, relationships, and societal roles in 19th century America.
At the don of electricity, the play chronicles the early history of the vibrator as a clinical device used to treat women with hysteria. It surveys the marriages of two couples- Dr. Givings and his wife, Catherine Givings, as well as a patient, Mrs. Daldry and her husband.
The play examines the relationships and miscommunication present within each marriage as Mrs. Daldry is being treated for hysteria by Dr. Givings.
“It’s a sex farce for open hearted and open minded adults…I think at its heart it’s about marital discord because of a lack of understanding and a lack of intimacy in the way that men and women may or may not see the world differently,” said Director Shelley Delaney.
The stage is split between a parlor room and Dr. Givings’ office, with action happening simultaneously on each side. As Catherine curiously listens through the walls of the parlor, viewers are provided with a perspective of what’s happening “in the next room.”
“Ultimately it is about breaking down both the physical and the metaphysical wall between them,” said Delaney.
However, the play doesn’t only focus on these relationships.
It also touches on the cultural climate of the time, exploring ideas of race, class, technological development, and the profession of wet-nursing.
In addition, the play will be presented in the Forum Theater on a rotating stage. This will allow the perspective of audience members to continuously shift throughout each scene.
“From a technical standpoint this is something that people should see…very few places are doing this and to have it here in Athens is such a cool technique,” said Annie Ganousis, a graduate student actress who will be playing Catherine Givings.
The rotation is set at about four feet per minute.
“The entire play seems to be about how you can know that you love somebody but you don’t know how,” said Brian Epperson (Dr. Givings.) “If nothing else, I think people should come see it to understand that we all speak a slightly different language no matter who you are.”