In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play

South Coast Repertory

Back in the Victorian Era, female hysteria was a very common diagnosis among women—symptoms included nearly everything, such as irritableness, nervousness, insomnia, and, our favorite, a “tendency to cause trouble.” So what did physicians deem a suitable remedy? An orgasm. Since constant treatment was rather, um, popular with the patients (not the doctors, they grew tired of the manual process, which could take hours), a machine was introduced in the 1870s that would shorten sessions from hours to minutes—and that machine vibrated. Pulitzer-nominated and MacArthur Foundation Grant-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl shares her touching story of the aptly named Dr. Givings and this absurd and rather hysterical medical breakthrough, a Broadway hit that’s now making its way to Costa Mesa.
Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m.; Tuesdays-Sundays, 7:45 p.m. Starts: Aug. 28. Continues through Oct. 17, 2010
 
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