“In the Next Room” Closes Sunday

The USF School of Theatre & Dance presents the Broadway production that was nominated for three Tonys.


Some of the cast members in “In the Next Room,” from l-r: Bijan Barrera, Ryan Bernier and Joe Montalto. Photo: Candace Kaw | College of The Arts


By Barbara Melendez

USF News


TAMPA, Fla. (April 18, 2013) – The subject matter might be considered somewhat racy, so children under 17 will not be admitted.  


In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play),” the School of Theatre & Dance’s latest production, “looks at the intersection of electricity and the invention of the vibrator, which was used principally to treat women – and men – diagnosed with ‘hysteria,’” says Professor Fanni Green, the play’s director.  “It contains adult themes and partial nudity making it unsuitable for children.”  Nonetheless, she points out, “It is poignant, funny and timely.”


The play explores Victorian ignorance of female sexual desire, motherhood and breastfeeding and it looks at jealousy.  Nominated for three Tony Awards in 2010, it was written by Sarah Ruhl, who was described in The New York Times by critic Charles Isherwood as “one of the most gifted and adventurous American playwrights to emerge in recent years.”


The Broadway version of the play was presented by the Lincoln Center Theater at the Lyceum Theatre. Isherwood wrote of that production, “’In the Next Room’ is a true novelty: a sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys — or grown men who wish they were still sniggering teenage boys — but for adults with open hearts and minds.”


“I am proud of this production,” Green said.  “The scenic, lighting, and costume designs (created by SOTAD Professors GB Stephens and Marilyn Bertch, respectively) are sumptuously beautiful; the work of the student actors, sublime.


“For me, ‘In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)’ is about discovery, longing, electric connections, love, science and the human touch. I am drawn to this play because every character is on a journey of discovery – of longing. In the end, the play suggests that it is the human touch that prevails.”


The last chance to see the play is this week through Saturday at 8 pm. It closes on Sunday with the 3 p.m. matinee performance at Theatre II on the USF Tampa Campus.


The box office number is (813) 974-2323 or visit www.arts.usf.edu for more information.  Advance tickets are 8$ for students and seniors, $12 for all others.  On the day of show tickets are $10 students and seniors and $15 for all others.


Barbara Melendez can be reached at 813-974-4563.