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Archive for Sarah Ruhl


Photo by Frank Ishman

Photo by Frank Ishman

Terry Morgan  -  Artsbeat LA

When I told people I was going to see a new production of Sarah’s Ruhl’s play, In the Next Room, I received a series of blank stares, but when I included its subtitle, or the vibrator play, I saw instant comprehension. Sex gets people’s attention. Read more…

Tracey Paleo – Gia on the Move

Vibrating objects shoved up women’s vaginas to release their private floodgates in full view on a table.  Does that give you pause?  Shock you to the core?  An embarrassing giggle perhaps?  Or a secret desire (that you’d never admit out loud) to be a voyeur in the room?   Wait…what?!  (…momentary pause in convo resulting in head cocked to the side). Read more…

Now running through April 23

THE CLEAN HOUSE at Little Fish Theatre


Photo by Mickey Elliott

Dany Margolies  -  Press-Telegram

Healing and forgiveness are the stuff of solid old-time storytelling. But playwright Sarah Ruhl guides her characters down fresh, quirky paths to those results in “The Clean House.” Read more…

Now running through July 17


PASSION PLAY at the Odyssey Theatre


Photo by Michael Gend

Steven Leigh Morris – LA Weekly

A quartet of Big Idea plays has opened over the past two weeks, exploring the intersections of art, psychology and history. Sarah Ruhl’s Passion Play, co-presented by the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble and Evidence Room, has been around since at least 2005, with productions at Arena Stage in Washington, Chicago’s Goodman Theatre and Yale Rep. No worries that it took so long to get here: A theological fantasia about a medieval passion play performed in a 1575 English village, then in 1934 Germany, and finally in South Dakota of the late 1960s isn’t going to age quickly. Read more…

Don Shirley – LA Stage Times

…. At the other end of the spectrum, Bart DeLorenzo and Evidence Room are introducing Ruhl’s intricate Passion Play to LA at the 99-seat Odyssey, which is co-producing it.

I recently wrote that Ruhl’s In the Next Room, or the vibrator play was her masterpiece of her plays that I had seen, although I noted that I hadn’t yet seen Passion Play.  Read more…

Terry Morgan  -  Talkin’ Broadway

Evidence Room has long been one of Los Angeles’ best and most ambitious theatre companies. The group has never been afraid to take on artistic challenges, from huge shows such as Pentecost or Berlin Circle to more intimate pieces such as Annapurna, not to mention a stylistic tour de force such as Margo Veil. It then makes perfect sense that the company would choose to do a play by Sarah Ruhl, one of the most adventurous modern American playwrights. Her work Passion Play examines how three groups of people in three different time periods (from 1575 to current day) are affected by performing the “passion play” detailing the arrest, crucifixion and resurrection of Christ. Read more…

Myron Meisel – The Hollywood Reporter

With its three acts set in 1575 Lancashire, 1934 Oberammergau in Nazi Germany, and from 1969-1984 in Spearpoint, South Dakota, the epically ambitious Passion Play presents the millennium-long tradition of local amateur stagings of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus as a kaleidoscopic metaphor for the aspirations of the individual and the community of faith in tension with the power of the State. Its amplitude marks an interestingly dogged departure from the more familiar allusive lyricism and incisive comedy of Sarah Ruhl’s other work (The Clean House, Dead Man’s Cell Phone, Eurydice). Read more…

Dany Margolies  -  Arts In LA

Doesn’t it gently smack of hubris when people play Christ and the Virgin Mary, whether onstage in the safety of a theater, or in communally staged Passion plays, or in the re-enactments the fervently religious attempt? Because, as Sarah Ruhl repeatedly shows in her Passion Play, most of us are deeply flawed. Read more…

Now running through March 16.


Deborah Klugman – LA Weekly

In Sarah Ruhl’s smart and pointed satire, it’s not just middle-class Victorian women who are sexually clueless: it’s their men as well. The time is the 1880s, and man of science Dr. Givings (Michael Oosterom) is using a primitive electronic vibrator to treat “hysterical” female patients, who depart reinvigorated and refreshed while his own unhappy wife, Catherine (Joanna Strapp), eavesdrops enviously in the adjoining room
Read more…

Photo by T L Kolman

Photo by T L Kolman

Now running through September 28.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone at International City Theatre

 Melinda Schupman – ArtsInLA

Sarah Ruhl’s slightly daffy but contemplative play takes a shot at our cell phone culture while examining human connections and the nature of love. Jean (Alina Phelan) is sitting in a cafe, ostensibly working on something, when a cell phone at the next table rings over and over, interrupting her concentration. Finally, she rises to encourage the man at the table to answer it. The problem is, he’s dead, and, in Ruhl’s world, a phone demands to be answered.
Read more…

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Photo by Suzanne Mapes

Shirle Gottlieb – Gazette Newspapers

International City Theatre opened “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” last Friday, and it’s a winner across the board. Written by Sarah Ruhl in 2007, it walked away with the Helen Hayes Award for the Best New Play, and with Richard Isreal’s astute direction, it’s easy to see why.
Read more…

Eurydice, A Noise Within

Photo by Craig Schwartz.


Eurydice by Sarah Ruhl.


Pauline Adamek – LA Weekly

Playwright Sarah Ruhl’s melancholy and slightly surreal drama is a whimsical and updated take on the classic Greek myth of Orpheus, the divinely inspired musician who defied nature and descended into Hades to retrieve his slain wife. This exciting modern interpretation grants the tale of enduring love a more recent setting as well as shifting the emphasis (and ultimate blame) throughout the story from Orpheus (an impassioned, romantic Graham Sibley) more squarely onto Euridyce (a beautiful naïf, Jules Wilcox). Read more…