IN THE NEXT ROOM OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY

The Feel Good Play That Keeps On Giving

For Adults Only

inthenextroom_preproductionphotobyjoemazza_4253-1024x683-1It was the dawn of a new era, with the changes in science and technology America was the most advanced it had ever been. Gone were the days where candles and lanterns lit up a room or a block, thanks to Thomas Edison the prolific inventor who brought electricity into the world which helped transformed and illuminate civilization. However, it was also a time where the diagnosis and treatment of hysteria, the onset of menstruation, childbirth, and menopause were all thought to be moments when women might be particularly susceptible to insanity was at the forefront of medicine.

Another scientist and inventor who were inspired by Edison were onto something with a piece of machinery of his own to handle the progressively common affliction of female hysteria by lighting emotions and feelings into women by using a ‘vibrator' to massage the lower body. The creation of this machine which is taught to be eerily suspicious brought unspeakable relief to those seeking therapeutic comfort.

"The Next Room" or "The Vibrator Play" is a comedy about passion, true love and yes orgasms. This hilarious, insightful and very liberating play is set in the Victorian era in the 1880's at the home of Dr. Givings (Anish Jethmalani) and his wife the intelligent and free spirit Catherine (Rochelle Therrien).They live in a prosperous spa town outside of New York City, perhaps Saratoga Springs where there was a strong sense of American exceptionalism.

inthenextroom_1a0790-1024x731Mr. Daldry (Joel Ewing) believes that his wife Sabrina Daldry (Melissa Canciller) who is anxious and depressed due to not being able to have a child has hysteria. He suggests that she see Dr. Givings who treats men and women for hysteria so that he can help her relieve some of her tension with his brilliant new device a ‘vibrator' (though Dr. Givings refers to it politely as a "machine").

Unaware of what was to come Sabrina hesitantly agrees to the treatments offered by the good doctor only to find after a few visits that the handheld machine that was used to give pelvic massage treatments stimulated her in ways she never phantom. The machine which operated from Edison's electricity was a bright light that the modern candle could not provide and those using it could see that change can indeed; be good.  

As the kind and overly analytical Dr. Givings with the help of his assistant Annie (Dana Tretta) treats his new patient on a regular basis his wife Catherine Givings who cares for their new child under the bright glow of a table lamp is feeling alone and isolated and becomes curious about the nature and the increasingly loud buzzing sounds coming from the next room.

Ms. Givings is also dealing with growing concerns about why her daughter is not latching on to her breast for milk. As a suggestion from Mr. Daldry, he offers up his grieving wet nurse Elizabeth (Crystal McNeil) who just lost a child so that she can feed their baby to aid in her natural growth. Upon accepting Mr. Daldry's offer Dr. Givings requires that Elizabeth has a full examination to make sure she doesn't have any venereal diseases. 

Elizabeth is caught up in her own feelings to whether or not to breastfeed Catherine's and Dr. Givings baby especiallyinthenextroom_1a0493-731x1024 after losing her own child and forming a bond with someone else's child. She has two other children to tend to but the financial offering of Dr. Givings compels her to aid the family in need.

During his treatment of Sabrina Daldry, Dr. Givings has another patient who is suffering from hysteria as well; a male artist Leo Irving (Edgar Miguel Sanchez). Leo lost love has caused him to lose his desire to paint but with just one session, his love for the arts returns. Upon leaving one of his sessions he sees Elizabeth and immediately has a longing to paint her as the Black Madonna. The passion for his treatment is opening up his aspiration to love and he falls for Elizabeth who happens to be married.

Catherine curiosity continues to get the best of her so she forges a relationship with Sabrina, to find out what exactly is going on in the next room. While taking it upon herself to break into her husband medical office she uses the device which leads to discoveries of her own. Unknown to these feelings both women solicit the advice from Elizabeth who tells them that they are experiencing feelings that would normally come from engaging in intercourse with their husbands however, the woman is amazed by her assessment.  

Catherine new discovery causes The Givings to confront the realities of their marriage, their love for one another, and the nature of intimacy without the help of an electrical current. Can love and the human touch provide the stimuli she longed to share?  

Director Mechelle Moe enlightens and teaches us how far women have progressed in our modern day society. Even without modern technology of Thomas Edison light bulbs if one look closely enough they can see the extraordinary wonders of beauty standing right before them in the next room.

We recommend that you see this adult-only play of intimate and humorous story of awakening, women's equality, and the human connections and discoveries with open eyes, ears, and an open mind.    

The cast includes:

Anish Jethmalani (Dr. Givings)

Edgar Miguel Sanchez (Leo Irving)

Dana Tretta (Annie)

Melissa Canciller (Sabrina Daldry)

Joel Ewing (Mr. Daldry)

Krystal McNeil (Elizabeth)

Rochelle Therrien (Catherine Givings)

 

Timeline Theatre Company

Performing at STAGE 773

THE NEXT ROOM

 OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY

By Sarah Ruhl

Directed By Mechelle Moe

October 20 – December 16, 2017

 

 

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