In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play) at the Majestic: Love, Sex, and Marriage in the 19th Century

This April, be transported to the 1880s, a time of Victorian repression and the dawn of the gilded age. Written by American playwright Sarah Ruhl, In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) will be shown at the Majestic Theatre. The play’s director is Pat Kight, a locally prolific actor, designer, and director for the past three decades.

The play focuses on four characters: the physician Dr. Givings, his wife Catherine Givings, and his patient Mrs. Daldry and her husband. Diagnosing Mrs. Daldry with hysteria, Dr. Givings proposes treatment with his new invention, a vibrator. Facing loneliness and frustration at her inability to nurse her infant daughter, Catherine begins to ask her husband questions about noises from his office “in the next room.”

Kight emphasizes that this play is not recommended for children, but is aimed at a mature, intelligent audience as it explores subject matter similar to the Vagina Monologues. However, In the Next Room is “much gentler” and has “really sympathetic characters.” Meant to humorously present a normal working and middle class 19th century experience of love, sex, and marriage, Ruhl doesn’t lecture her audience, but her work is presented as an entertaining story placed in the Victorian era to create “a metaphor for love and the need to communicate, and how difficult it can be to ask for what you need.”

In the Next Room is on Fridays and Saturdays, April 5, 6, 12, and 13 at 7:30 p.m. and on Sundays, April 7 and 14 at 2:30 p.m. at the Majestic Main Stage. Tickets are $12 to $16 with reserved seating. For more info, visit http://boxoffice.printtixusa.com/majestictheatre/eventcalendar.

by Joel Southall

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