"In the Next Room or the vibrator play" - Victory Gardens

"In the Next Room or the vibrator play" - Victory Gardens

 

 

 

Victory Gardens opens its 2011-2012 season with

the Chicago Premiere of

In the Next Room or the vibrator play

by Sarah Ruhl

Directed by Sandy Shinner  

September 9-October 9, 2011    

 

Chicago, IL– Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Director Jan Kallish announce the Chicago Premiere of Sarah Ruhl’s Tony-nominated play In the Next Room or the vibrator playdirected by Associate Artistic Director Sandy Shinner.  The production runs September 9 – October 9, 2011 at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue in Lincoln Park. The Press Opening is Monday, September 19, 2011.  

In the twilight of the Victorian age, a buzz worthy new medical device is developed to calm women with “hysteria.” In fact, it has quite a stimulating effect when used in the home offices of Dr. Givings, that most modern of men. As he pioneers an intimate new therapy, his young wife becomes determined to investigate the experiments that have patient after patient leaving the procedure room with the rosy glow of pleasure. Ruhl’s stylish comedy pulses and hums along as it dispels old-fashioned notions of female sexuality, intimacy and marriage at the dawn of the age of electricity.

“Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room is a most remarkable achievement in that it addresses feminist and individual oppression, and societal conformity, with fierce intelligence, longing and wit.  Under Sandy Shinner’s direction and with her passion for the project, this spectacular cast will transport us back to the Victorian age of the 19th century and breathe intricate, complex life into Sarah's beautiful and poignant work. We are proud to have her play in our theatre,” says Artistic Director Chay Yew.

The cast includes Kate Fry(Catherine), Larry Grimm (Mr. Daldry), Joel Gross (Leo), Patricia Kane (Annie), Mark L. Montgomery (Dr. Givings), Polly Noonan (Sabrina Daldry) and Tamberla Perry (Elizabeth).

The designers are Jack Magaw (set), Jacqueline Firkins (costumes), Joe Appelt (Lighting), Andre Pluess (sound), Christina Carlson (wigs), Grant Sabin (props).  The dramaturg is Kristin Leahey. Tina Jach isthe Stage Manager.    

About the artists

Sarah Ruhl (Playwright) Sarah Ruhl's plays include In The Next Room or the Vibrator Play (Glickman Prize, finalist for Pulitzer Prize, 2010), The Clean House (Susan Smith Blackburn award, 2004, finalist for Pulitzer Prize, 2005), Dead Man's Cell Phone, (Helen Hayes award for best new play), Demeter in the City (nominated for 9 NAACP awards), Eurydice, Melancholy Play, Orlando, a new version of Chekhov's Three Sisters, and Passion Play (Kennedy Center Fourth Forum Freedom Award). Her plays have premiered at the Lyceum Theater on Broadway, produced by Lincoln Center Theater; off-Broadway at Lincoln Center Theater, Playwrights' Horizons, and Second Stage; and regionally at Victory Gardens Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, Yale Repertory Theater, Goodman Theatre, Cornerstone Theater, Arena Stage, Woolly Mammoth, Cincinnati Playhouse, and the Piven Theater Workshop in Chicago, as well being produced at many other theaters across the country. Her plays have also been performed in England, Poland, Germany, Israel, New Zealand, and Australia, and have been translated into Spanish, Polish, Russian, Korean and Arabic. Sarah received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel, and is originally from Chicago. In 2003, she was the recipient of a Helen Merrill award and a Whiting Writers' award, a PEN/Laura Pels award, and in 2006 was the recipient of a MacArthur Fellowship. Her work is published by TCG and Sam French, and she is a member of New Dramatists and 13P. She lives in New York City with her family.  

Sandy Shinner (Director) has been with Victory Gardens for more than 30 years and, with Dennis Začek and Marcelle McVay, was honored to accept the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre on behalf of the theater. Sandy produced the IGNITION Festival which launched The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity by Kristoffer Diaz, Year Zero by Michael Golamco, and We Are Proud to Present a Presentation… by Jackie Sibblies Drury. Recently, she directed The Boys Room and A Guide For The Perplexed by Joel Drake Johnson, Love Person by Aditi Brennan Kapil, Eurydice (with Jessica Thebus) by Sarah Ruhl for Victory Gardens and Flyovers by Jeffrey Sweet at New York’s 78th Street Theatre Lab. Other recent projects include the world premieres of I Sailed with Magellan adapted by Claudia Allen from Stuart Dybek’s novel, Memory House by Kathleen Tolan (Actors Theatre of Louisville Humana Festival and VGT) and Trying by Joanna McClelland Glass, which transferred from Victory Gardens to off-Broadway’s Promenade Theatre. She directed the world premiere of Jeffrey Sweet’s Bluff at Victory Gardens as well as at the 78th Street Theatre Lab in New York and Phoenix Theatre. Ms. Shinner is a member of the Society of Stage Directors and Choreographs and was a finalist for the Joe A. Callaway Director’s Award for the New York production of Trying. She is an editor of Victory Gardens Presents: Seven Plays from the Playwrights Ensemble, which was published by Northwestern University Press. She is an adjunct professor at DePaul.  

Kate Fry(Catherine Givings), working at VG for the first time, most recently played Candida in A Minister’s Wife at Lincoln Center. Chicago credits include: Chicago Shakespeare Theater (As You Like It, Henry IV, The Merchant of Venice, The Moliere Comedies, The Taming of the Shrew); Court Theater (Caroline or Change, Arcadia, My Fair Lady, Twelfth Night, The Cherry Orchard,); Writers’ Theatre (Oh, Coward!, A Minister’s Wife); Marriott, Northlight, and Apple Tree Theater. Regional credits: Mark Taper Forum and McCarter Theater Center.  Recipient of Joseph Jefferson, After Dark, and Chicago’s Sarah Siddons awards.  Kate is married to actor Timothy Edward Kane.   

Lawrence Grimm (Stephen Daldry), making his VG debut, has previously appeared in Sarah Ruhl’s Orlando (Court Theatre) and Late: A Cowboy Song (Piven Theatre Workshop) both directed by Jessica Thebus. He is a founding ensemble member of A Red Orchid Theatre (Abigail’s Party, Pumpgirl, Brett Neveu’s The Meek and Megacosm this spring).  Other credits include work with Lookingglass (1984, The Brothers Karamazov), Steppenwolf (A Fair Country, I Never Sang for My Father),Raven Theatre (Supporting Actor Jefferson Award for The Glass Menagerie), Roadworks, New Crime, Famous Door, Next Theatre (Maple and Vine in Oct 2011). Teaching Artist and Professional Development Leader: Steppenwolf for Young Adults, Chi-Arts.  

Patricia Kane (Annie) last appeared at Victory Gardens in Claudia Allen’s Hannah Free (and was in the film version with Sharon Gless).  She is an Artistic Associate at About Face Theatre and has appeared in numerous productions there, including What Once We Felt, Pulp, Seven Moves, Fascination, The Terrible Girls, Whitman and Cloud Nine.  Other credits include productions with the Goodman, Northlight, NYC’s Tectonic Theatre Group, Collaboraction, Live Bait, Stage Left, Bailiwick and Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park.  Her playwriting credits include Pulp (Jeff & After Dark awards), Float, Seven Moves and Chords.  Pat is currently developing a new work with Writers’ Theatre.

Mark L. Montgomery (Dr. Givings) Chicago credits include Twelfth Night; Troilus and Cressida; Rose Rage: Henry VI Parts 1, 2 and 3; As You Like It; King Lear; The School for Scandal; Antony and Cleopatra; Henry IV Parts 1 and 2; Much Ado About Nothing; The Comedy of Errors; The Merry Wives of Windsor and Richard III (Chicago Shakespeare Theater); Stage Kiss and A Christmas Carol (Goodman Theatre); Fascination (About Face Theatre); The Time of Your Life (Steppenwolf Theatre); Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Apple Tree Theatre); and In the Belly of the Beast: Letters from Prison (The Journeymen Theater Company) (After Dark Award). New York credits: The Seagull and Mamma Mia! on Broadway; Macbeth (The Public); The Runner Stumbles (The Actors Company Theatre) and The Madras House (Mint Theater Company). Regional Credits: Julius Caesar (American Repertory Theater, and French tour). Television credits: Law & Order and Guiding Light. He attended Columbia College Chicago and the British American Drama Academy summer program in Oxford, England.  

Polly Noonan (Mrs. Daldry), making her Victory Gardens debut, has appeared in Sarah Ruhl’s Late, A Cowboy Song (Piven Theatre), Passion Play (world premiere, Arena Stage, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Goodman, After Dark Award, Joseph Jefferson Award nomination; Yale Rep, Epic Theatre Ensemble), Dead Man’s Cell Phone (world premiere, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination; Steppenwolf; Mosaic Theatre),  Eurydice (world premiere, Madison Rep; Piven), Melancholy Play (world premiere, Piven; Echo), and Orlando (world premiere, Piven; The Actors’ Gang). Other credits: Brilliant Traces, American Voices (Piven); MethusalemAccidental Death of an Anarchist, The Balcony (New Criminals); new works at Sundance, Geva Theatre Center, New Dramatists, Soho Rep, REDCAT, Playwrights Horizons and Theatre of War. Film credits: NovocaineHigh FidelityArizona Dream, and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. On album cover of Lemonhead’s It’s a Shame About Ray; featured in track 11 of Lovey. Attended Vassar College and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.   

Tamberla Perry (Elizabeth), making her Victory Gardens debut, was last seen in Northlight Theatre's Eclipsed by Danai Gurira.  Most recent credits: The North Plan; Brothers/Sisters Plays (Steppenwolf – BTA, Jeff Awards); Fedra - The Queen of Haiti, Black Diamond (Lookingglass Theatre); The Overwhelming (Next Theatre); She Calls Up The Sun, Blaxploitation 1 and 2 (MPAACT – Best Actress BTA Award). Regional Credits: Bus Stop (Madison Repertory Theatre) Icarus (Lookingglass Theatre @ J.Paul Getty, California); The Piano Lesson (Portland Stage Company). Film Credits: Tapioca, Puzzled Love, and Chasing Robert, Illinois Lottery, Boss, national TV and Radio Voiceovers. She is an MPAACT company member.

Full performance schedule

Previews of The Vibrator Play are September 9-18, 2011: Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; and Sunday at 3 pm.  Previews are $20-$40.   The Press opening is Monday, September 19, at 7:30 pm.  Regular performances run through October 9, 2011:  Tuesday through Saturday at 7:30 pm; Saturday at 4 pm; Sunday at 3 pm.   There will be a matinee on Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00 pm with no evening performance. There is no performance on Tuesday, September 20.   Regular performances are $20-$50.

Performances are at the Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, 2433 N. Lincoln Avenue, in the heart of Chicago’s Lincoln Park neighborhood.  For tickets and information, call the Victory Gardens Box Office, 773.871.3000 (tty: 773.871.0682), email tickets@victorygardens.org, or visitwww.victorygardens.org.  Ask the Box Office about student tickets ($15), senior, Access, 20 for $20, and rush discounts.  For group discounts, call 773.549.5788  

The Vibrator Play special event

DIG DEEPER – Saturday September 24th between shows (approx 5:30-7:30pm) A lively discussion with Dr. Lauren Streicher, MD, a national thought leader in the field of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Rachel Maines, author of The Technology of Orgasm: “Hysteria,” Vibrators and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction, an inspiration for In the Next Room or the vibrator play. The discussion will bemoderated by dramaturg Kristin Leahey.  Tickets are free and meal boxes will be available for purchase. Reservations required - please call 773.871.3000.

POST SHOW DISCUSSIONS  
Available after select performances. Check www.victorygardens.org for details.

ACCESS PERFORMANCES

Audio description and touch tours for patrons who are blind or have low vision

Friday, September 30 Touch Tour        6:00pm            Performance 7:30pm

Sunday, October 9        Touch Tour        1:30pm             Performance 3:00pm                                                                   

Call 773.871.3000 to reserve.

Word for word captioning for patrons who are hearing impaired

Wednesday, September 28 at 2:00pm

Friday, October 7 at 7:30pm

Saturday, October 8 at 4:00pm

Sign language interpretation for patrons who are deaf or hearing impaired

Friday, October 7 at 7:30pm

Victory Gardens is the winner, Best Accessible Theater, Deaf Illinois Awards 2009.  Interpreting is by Deaf Communication by Innovation, Raymond Rodgers, Sign Master.  See www.victorygardens.org and click on “Enhance Your Visit” for information and other Access services including large print and Braille programs, assisted listening devices, and artist development workshops.  

Logistics and Amenities Parking

$11 valet parking is available for all performances except weekday matinees.  Discounted parking is available one block south at Children's Memorial Hospital for all shows except weekday matinees (no overnights). Metered and street parking is available, but mind the neighborhood parking restrictions.  

Public transit By CTA train, take the Red, Purple or Brown lines to the Fullerton stop.  Walk east on Fullerton to Lincoln, then north 1/2 block to the theater.   The #8 Halsted, #11 Lincoln,  #37 Sedgwick/Ogden, and #74 Fullerton CTA buses all stop at the corner of Fullerton and Halsted, 1/2 block south of the theater.

Pre- and post-show dining See www.victorygardens.org for a list of Victory Gardens’ neighborhood dining partners.  Each is within walking distance of the Biograph, and all offer a special discount to patrons who present a Victory Gardens ticket stub.

About Victory Gardens Theater Under the leadership of Artistic Director Chay Yew and Executive Director Jan Kallish, Victory Gardens Theater is home to the bold voices of world premiere theater.  The company features the work of its own 14-member Playwrights Ensemble, as well as that of exciting playwrights who are changing theater in the U.S. and abroad.   Since its founding in 1974, the company has produced more world premieres than any other Chicago theater, a commitment recognized nationally when Victory Gardens received the 2001 Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre.  The company’s dedication to developing, supporting and producing new work makes Victory Gardens an American Center for New Plays.  

In 2006, Victory Gardens successfully completed an $11.8 million renovation of Chicago’s famed Biograph Theater, and moved two blocks north from its longtime venue at 2257 N. Lincoln Avenue, to its beautiful new home in one of Chicago’s most celebrated historic landmarks.  Renamed Victory Gardens Biograph Theater, the new venue is a state-of-the-art 299-seat mainstage which has greatly expanded the company’s artistic flexibility, while enhancing Victory Gardens’ ability to welcome patrons old and new.

In 2009, Victory Gardens completed the second phase of renovation at the Biograph, building an intimate, new, 109-seat studio theater on the second floor.  On March 1, 2010, at a special launch event for Victory Gardens $1 million Campaign for Growth, the theater’s new studio was officially named the Richard Christiansen Theater, in honor of the Chicago Tribune chief critic emeritus and longtime champion of Chicago’s live theater scene.  Visit www.victorygardens.org/campaignforgrowth for more details.

Victory Gardens Theater receives major funding from Alphawood Foundation, Chicago Community TrustShubert Foundation, Joyce Foundation, John T. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, Allstate Insurance Company, The Boeing Company, Polk Bros. Foundation, and National Endowment for the Arts.  Additional funding is provided by: Leo S. Guthman Fund, Motorola FoundationREAM Foundation, Crown Family Philanthropies, Sara Lee Foundation, Illinois Arts Council (a state agency), Edgerton Foundation, James S. Kemper Foundation, Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation, and by Wrightwood Neighbors Conservation Association, McVay Foundation, Charles H. and Bertha L. Boothroyd Foundation, John R. Halligan Charitable Fund, Illinois Tool Works, PNC Foundation, Elizabeth F. Cheney Foundation, a CityArts Grant from the City of Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs and Special Events, The Saints, and Irving Harris Foundation.

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