|Written by||Sarah Ruhl|
|Directed by||Elizabeth Carlin-Metz|
Celebrated in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue among sewing machines, tea kettles, fans, and toasters as “aids that women appreciate”, a marvelous new electromechanical instrument is introduced to Victorian medicine and society to rescue husbands with unruly wives from Freud’s dreaded “female hysteria”. Sarah Ruhl’s In The Next Room or the vibrator play presents Catherine Givings, a lively young wife struggling with the constraints imposed on proper ladies, who, along with their intellect, passion, and sexuality were laced tightly into corsets, as they swooned decorously onto fainting couches; but the parade of female patients and the mysterious sounds emanating from her husband’s medical examining room compel Catherine to discover just what is behind the door. Lyrical and funny, yet moving and thoughtful, this contemporary play is an adult meditation on the irrepressible nature of passion.