Chi, IL LIVE Shows On Our Radar:
TimeLine Theatre’s production of
IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR
THE VIBRATOR PLAY
by Sarah Ruhl
OCTOBER 20 – DECEMBER 16, 2017 AT STAGE 773
TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY ANNOUNCES CAST AND PRODUCTION DETAILS FOR SARAH RUHL’S PULITZER-PRIZE FINALIST AND TONY AWARD-NOMINATED IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, DIRECTED BY MECHELLE MOE
TimeLine Theatre Company announces casting and details for the second production of its 2017-2018 season—the Chicago premiere of IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY, the “insightful, fresh and funny” (The New York Times) play by Sarah Ruhl, directed by TimeLine Company Member Mechelle Moe. The production runs October 26 - December 16, 2017 (previews 10/20 – 10/25) at the company’s alternate location, Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Avenue in Chicago.
For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the Stage 773 Box Office at (773) 327-5252.
directed by Mechelle Moe (from left), and featuring Anish Jethmalani, Edgar Sanchez, Dana Tretta, Melissa Canciller, Joel Ewing, Krystel McNeil and Rochelle Therrien.
We'll be out the final Friday in October to review IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY. Can't wait to check out more of Sarah Ruhl's award winning writing. Do note, this production's at Stage 773, not TimeLine's home space. Check back soon for our full review.
The cast for IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY features TimeLine Associate Artist Anish Jethmalani (Dr. Givings), Edgar Sanchez (Leo Irving), Dana Tretta (Annie), Melissa Canciller (Sabrina Daldry), Joel Ewing (Mr. Daldry), Krystel McNeil (Elizabeth) and Rochelle Therrien (Catherine Givings).
Sarah Ruhl—a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist, a Tony Award nominee, and a 2006 recipient of the MacArthur Fellowship—has written a story of awakening, equality, and the need for connection that offers a “rare and savvy premise that manages to be titillating and amusing” (Chicago Tribune).
It is the 1880s and Thomas Edison’s invention of the electric light has begun to change the fabric of daily life. Inspired by Edison’s discovery, scientist and inventor Dr. Givings experiments with a piece of machinery to treat the increasingly common affliction of female hysteria. When he starts to see a new patient regularly, his wife’s curiosity with the invention and what occurs “in the next room” grows, leading to discoveries of her own. This intimate and humorous story of self-discovery reveals that human connection is not simply a means to an end, but a vital part of life itself.
Inspired by the book The Technology of Orgasm by Rachel P. Maines, IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY is insightful, relatable, and an “enticing blend of irreverent humor and skewed realism” (San Francisco Chronicle). Previously featured at TimeLine in 2016 in a staged reading in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project, TimeLine looks forward to re-examining this play that illuminates “how much control men had over women’s lives, bodies and thoughts, even their most intimate sensations” (The New York Times).
“During the Victorian era when this play is set, women weren’t supposed to exercise their desires or their thoughts, and a diagnosis of ‘hysteria’ was often used to silence them,” said director Mechelle Moe, who is making her TimeLine directorial debut with this production. “Now, in our current political and social climate, women are still fighting for their voice. This smartly written play—a comedy that deals so thoughtfully with complex issues around intimacy in relationships of all kinds—provides a platform for the female voice, helping women be heard.”
The production team includes Sarah JHP Watkins (Scenic Designer), Alison Siple (Costume Designer), Brandon Wardell (Lighting Designer), Andrew Hansen (Original Music / Sound Designer), Vivian Knouse (Properties Designer), Katie Cordts (Wig Designer), Eva Breneman (Dialect Designer), Maren Robinson (Dramaturg), Jared Bellot (Assistant Director), Daniel Parsons (Production Assistant), and Miranda Anderson (Stage Manager).
PREVIEWS: Friday 10/20 and Saturday 10/21 at 8 p.m.; Sunday 10/22 at 2 p.m.; Tuesday 10/24 and Wednesday 10/25 at 8 p.m.
REGULAR RUN: Wednesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 p.m., Fridays at 8 p.m., Saturdays at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m., through December 16, 2017. EXCEPTIONS: No performance on Saturday, October 28 at 4 p.m.; no performance on Thursday, November 23; additional performances on Friday, November 24 at 4 p.m. and Tuesday, December 12 at 7:30 p.m.
DISCUSSION & ACCESSIBILITY EVENTS:
— Post-Show Discussions: A brief, informal post-show discussion hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and featuring the production dramaturg and members of the cast on Wednesday 11/1, Sunday 11/5, Thursday 11/9, Thursday 11/30, Wednesday 12/6, and Tuesday 12/12.
— Pre-Show Discussions: Starting one hour before these performances, a 30-minute introductory conversation hosted by a TimeLine Company Member and the production dramaturg with members of the production team on Wednesday 11/15 and Sunday 12/3.
— Captioned Performance: An open-captioned performance with a text display of words and sounds heard during the performance on Saturday 11/18 at 4 p.m. Partial support of open captioning is provided by Theatre Development Fund.
— Company Member Discussion: A post-show discussion with the collaborative team of artists who choose TimeLine’s programming and guide the company’s mission on Sunday 11/19.
— Sunday Scholars Panel Discussion: A one-hour post-show discussion eaturing experts on the themes and issues of the play on Sunday 12/10.
All discussions are free and open to the public. For further details about all planned discussions and events, visit timelinetheatre.com.
Only TimeLine FlexPass Subscribers enjoy priority access to tickets to IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY. FlexPass Subscriptions for TimeLine’s 2017-18 season are now on sale, priced from $66 to $204. For more information and to purchase FlexPass Subscriptions, call (773) 281-TIME (8463) or visit timelinetheatre.com.
Single ticket prices are $42.50 (Wednesday through Friday), $51.50 (Saturday evenings) and $56.50 (Saturday and Sunday matinees). Preview tickets are $27.50. Student discount is 35% off regular price with valid ID. TimeLine is also a member of TCG’s Blue Star Theatre Program and is offering $25 tickets to U.S. military personnel, veterans, first responders, and their spouses and family.
Discounted rates for groups of 10 or more are available. Ticket buyers age 18-35 may join TimeLine’s free MyLine program to obtain access to discounted tickets, special events and more. Visit timelinetheatre.com/discounts for more about Blue Star, MyLine and other available discounts.
Advance purchase is recommended as performances may sell out. For tickets and information, visit timelinetheatre.com or call the Stage 773 Box Office at (773) 327-5252.
LOCATION / TRANSPORTATION / PARKING / ACCESSIBILITY
IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY will take place at Stage 773, 1225 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago. Stage 773 is located one-half block west of the corner of Belmont and Racine and immediately east of Theater Wit in Chicago’s Lakeview East neighborhood. The theater is accessible via the CTA El stop at Belmont (Red/Brown/Purple lines). CTA bus #77-Belmont stops at Racine. Valet parking is available for $12 and there is also limited free and metered street parking nearby. Visit timelinetheatre.com for complete directions and parking information. Stage 773 is accessible for people with disabilities.
Sarah Ruhl (Playwright) is a Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony Award-nominated playwright and has had her work produced across the country. Her plays include STAGE KISS; IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for Best New Play); THE CLEAN HOUSE (Pulitzer Prize finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); PASSION PLAY (PEN American Award, The Fourth Freedom Forum Playwriting Award from The Kennedy Center); DEAD MAN’S CELL PHONE (Helen Hayes Award); MELANCHOLY PLAY (a musical with Todd Almond); EURYDICE; ORLANDO; DEMETER IN THE CITY (NAACP nomination); LATE: A COWBOY SONG; THREE SISTERS; DEAR ELIZABETH; and most recently, THE OLDEST BOY and FOR PETER PAN ON HER 70TH BIRTHDAY. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons, Second Stage and Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater, as well as at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and in Chicago at the Goodman Theatre and the Piven Theatre Workshop. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into more than 12 languages. Originally from Chicago, Ruhl received her MFA degree from Brown University, where she studied with Paula Vogel. An alumna of 13P and of New Dramatists, she received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. She was the recipient of the PEN Center Award for a mid-career playwright, the Whiting Writers Award, the Feminist Press’ Forty under Forty Award, and a Lilly Award. She served on the executive council of the Dramatist’s Guild for three years, and she is currently on the faculty at Yale School of Drama. Her book of essays on the theater and motherhood, 100 Essays I Don’t Have Time to Write, was a The New York Times Notable Book of the Year.
Mechelle Moe (Director) is a Company Member at TimeLine, where her credits include directing readings of IN THE NEXT ROOM, OR THE VIBRATOR PLAY in collaboration with The Chicago Inclusion Project, CARDBOARD PIANO in artistic alliance with The Yard, and EXPERIMENT WITH AN AIR PUMP, and appearing in THE APPLE FAMILY PLAYS, MY KIND OF TOWN, THE FRONT PAGE, THE CHILDREN’S HOUR, NOT ENOUGH AIR, and PARADISE LOST. She is co-artistic director of The Yard, a youth-based theater company that produces theater relevant to young people, performed by young people. She is also a founding member of The Hypocrites, and currently is a part of its ensemble. Moe is a Jeff Award recipient for Actress in Principal Role for her performance in MACHINAL (The Hypocrites) and received a Jeff Award nomination for Actress in Principal Role for STAGE DOOR (Griffin). She has directed and devised numerous works at Senn Arts and with The Yard, including MILK LIKE SUGAR, THE 4TH GRADER’S PRESENT AN UNNAMED LOVE SUICIDE, ECLIPSED, OUR AMERICA: GHETTO LIFE 101: REMORSE (which she also adapted) and METAMORPHOSES, both of which were selected for the 2014 and 2015 Illinois High School Theatre Festivals, as well as the docudrama BROKEN TEXT, an original work by Moe based on her interviews with men recently released from incarceration and living in a transitional facility. Moe graduated with honors from the University of Illinois Chicago with both a bachelor’s degree in Theater as well as Anthropology.
ABOUT TIMELINE THEATRE COMPANY
TimeLine Theatre Company, recipient of the prestigious 2016 MacArthur Award for Creative and Effective Institutions, was founded in April 1997 with a mission to present stories inspired by history that connect with today's social and political issues. To date over 20 seasons, TimeLine has presented 71 productions, including nine world premieres and 31 Chicago premieres, and launched the Living History Education Program, now in its 11th year of bringing the company's mission to life for students in Chicago Public Schools. Recipient of the Alford-Axelson Award for Nonprofit Managerial Excellence and the Richard Goodman Strategic Planning Award from the Association for Strategic Planning, TimeLine has received 53 Jeff Awards, including an award for Outstanding Production 11 times.
Now playing at TimeLine is the Chicago premiere of Peter Morgan’s THE AUDIENICE, directed by Nick Bowling and starring Janet Ulrich Brooks as Queen Elizabeth II. Acclaimed as “smart, juicy and gossipy” (Chicago Tribune) and “sheer theatrical heaven” (Chicago Theatre Review), THE AUDIENCE is now playing through November 12, 2017, at TimeLine, 615 W. Wellington Ave., in Chicago.
The rest of TimeLine Theatre’s upcoming 2017-18 season includes:
— The Chicago premiere of BOY by Anna Ziegler, inspired by the real-life story of a boy who claims his true identity after being raised as a girl, and finds love, directed by Damon Kiely, January 10 – March 18, 2018.
— And the world premiere of TO CATCH A FISH by Chicagoan Brett Neveu, the first play to be produced that was written and developed through TimeLine’s inaugural Playwrights Collective, about a family and a community torn apart by a flawed search for justice, directed by TimeLine Company Member Ron OJ Parson, April 25 – July 1, 2018.
TimeLine is led by Artistic Director PJ Powers, Managing Director Elizabeth K. Auman and Board President Eileen LaCario. Company members are Nick Bowling, Janet Ulrich Brooks, Behzad Dabu, Lara Goetsch, Juliet Hart, Mildred Marie Langford, Mechelle Moe, David Parkes, Ron OJ Parson, PJ Powers, Maren Robinson and Benjamin Thiem.
Major corporate, government and foundation supporters of TimeLine Theatre include Alphawood Foundation, Paul M. Angell Family Foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, The Chicago Community Trust, The Crown Family, Forum Fund, The Joseph and Bessie Feinberg Foundation, Lloyd A. Fry Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, Laughing Acres Family Foundation, MacArthur Fund for Arts and Culture at Prince, The Pauls Foundation, Polk Bros. Foundation, The Seabury Foundation, and The Shubert Foundation.
TimeLine is a member of the League of Chicago Theatres, Theatre Communications Group, Choose Chicago, Lakeview East Chamber of Commerce, Chicago Green Theatre Alliance, and Chicago’s Belmont Theater District.