In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, produced by Equinox Theatre and opening tonight at the Bug, is exactly what it sounds like: a play about vibrators. But in this case, the action centers around their use as a treatment for "hysteria," a commonly diagnosed "affliction" in women at the turn of the last century. The vibrator is the central device (pun intended) here, but the story, by playwright Sarah Ruhl, takes on issues of repression, sexuality, marriage, intimacy and love.
"It's actually very touching, and it's very funny," says show director Deb Flomberg, who hopes to give the audience an education. (To further those efforts, the company has assembled a lobby display of vibrators from 1915 through today.) "I hope the audience is able to reflect on the repression of a people, not just women, at the turn of the century, and see how far we haven't come. I want people to laugh at it -- just to enjoy an evening that is fun and heartfelt and poignant."
The Vibrator Play was a finalist for the 2010 Pulitzer Prize for Drama and a Tony Award nominee for Best Play in 2010; it covers some of the same ground as Hysteria, a movie about the invention of the vibrator that debuts in the U.S. this month.
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The show opens tonight at the Bug, 3654 Navajo Street, and runs Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m. through June 16. For more information or to purchase tickets, $15, visit www.equinoxtheatredenver.com or call 720-984-0781.
Fridays, Saturdays. Starts: May 25. Continues through June 16, 2012