In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)
by Sarah Ruhl
directed by Monique Lacoste
Saturday, March 4, 5pm-9pm and Sunday, March 5, 5pm-9pm
The NEW Playhouse Workshops
3218 Calle Marie, Unit B
Production Dates: Rehearsal – March 21-May 3
Performances – May 4-May 21, Thursday-Sunday
Pay: $60 stipend
In Attendance: Director: Monique Lacoste; Artistic Director: Vaughn Irving
Auditions by appointment. To secure an audition slot please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your preferred time and date.
Auditioners will be asked to prepare short sides from the script. More info will be sent after you schedule an appointment. Actors without an appointment will be seen as time permits.
Synopsis: Set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity and based on the bizarre historical fact that doctors used vibrators to treat ‘hysterical’ women (and some men), the play centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household.
In a seemingly perfect, well-to-do Victorian home, proper gentleman and scientist Dr. Givings has innocently invented an extraordinary new device for treating “hysteria” in women (and occasionally men): the vibrator. Adjacent to the doctor’s laboratory, his young and energetic wife tries to tend to their newborn daughter—and wonders exactly what is going on in the next room. When a new “hysterical” patient and her husband bring a wet nurse and their own complicated relationship into the doctor’s home, Dr. and Mrs. Givings must examine the nature of their own marriage, and what it truly means to love someone.
Cast of Characters:
Dr. Givings (30s-40s) a specialist in gynecological/hysterical disorders. Analytical, professional, and reserved, he is more invested in the well-being of his patients than the emotional connection between him and his wife. Must be comfortable with nudity.
Catherine Givings (20s-30s) Dr. Givings’ wife. Mercurial, curious, and lonely, Catherine is a new mother who can’t produce enough milk to feed her baby. She is prone to speaking without thinking and is desperate for connection.
Sabrina Daldry (30s-40s) A patient. Initially melancholy, weak, and distant from her husband, she blossoms over time under the care of the doctor and, especially, his assistant, Annie. Ability to play the piano is a plus.
Annie, (30s-50s) Dr. Giving’s midwife assistant. Grounded, educated, and practical, Annie is older and unmarried. She forms a bond with Mrs. Daldry through the therapy sessions.
Leo Irving (20s) Dr. Giving’s other patient, an Englishman. Bohemian and passionate, Leo is an artist who seeks therapy after a romantic disappointment.
Elizabeth, (20s-30s) African-American wet nurse. She is modest and troubled by the recent loss of her baby. Elizabeth is more comfortable with the workings of marriage, her body, and her emotions than Catherine or Sabrina.
Mr. Daldry (40s-50s) Sabrina Daldry’s husband. Straight-forward and good humored, he brings his wife to see the doctor, yet struggles when the treatments don’t make her more emotionally or physically available to him.