New play will have audiences moaning with pleasure over the invention of the vibrator
ordazone Theatre wants you to go home and get laid after seeing their latest production.
“Any good play should make you want to go home and make love,” laughed Tracey B. Atin, the director of In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play). Atin, a Windsor native, found the premise of In the Next Room appealing because it’s about female sexuality in a time and place where it wasn’t discussed; Victorian England.
The Pulitzer and Tony winning play by American playwright Sarah Ruhl is based loosely on the history of the invention of the electric vibrators. Victorian middle class ladies en masse suffered from hysteria— a catchall illness that could include anything from depression to lack of sleep. Doctors performed clitoral stimulation— at first manually, but later with the aid of electric and even steam powered devices— in order to cure their patients of their supposed malady.
“It was assumed that the only way a woman could get pleasure was through [vaginal] penetration,” said Atin. “Doctors didn’t realize that they were actually giving women orgasms. They just thought it was a release.”
The play centres on Dr. Givings and his wife Catherine. Dr. Givings is in the orgasm business, but is distant from Catherine, who is beginning to understand her own needs and desires. “She doesn’t know what to do with herself,” said Kristen Lamore-Dias, who plays Catherine. “She has nothing to do all day long [except be a housewife].”
But despite the salacious subject matter, In the Next Room is not meant to titillate audiences. “It’s beautifully written,” said Lamore-Dias. “It’s more about the relationships of the people in the story.”
“It’s a very sensitive and very real script with a poetic ending,” added Jeff Bastien, who plays a sexually liberated artist who loosens up Dr. Givings.
Kordazone has made a name for itself in Windsor by producing plays that teeter on the edge.
“People love Korda … because we are doing shows that bigger theatre companies won’t do” said Kevin Scott, a comic actor who is playing it straight as Dr. Givings in the play.
However, living on the edge comes with its downsides. Despite a solid following, Kordazone still has to pay the bills. ‘The problem is that most of the money (for theatre) comes from the 60 and up crew and it’s hard for younger people and people with kids to go out,” said Scott.
Kordazone regularly offers a pay what you can night to make sure everyone has access to offbeat plays like In the Next Room.
In the Next Room really is about discovery. At the turn of the century, electricity was coming into middle class houses and there was a thrill in turning on a light switch. “It’s farther than just sexuality,” said Atin.
Whether it’s turning on a light or “turning on” something else, the characters are discovering new things and broadening their horizons. But it’s also just a touch sentimental.
“It’s a love story— there is a happy ending,” teased Scott, indicating an unconventional ending; one that may influence a few audience members to go home and get “turned on.”
In the Next Room or the Vibrator Play runs at Kordazone Theatre May 31, June 1 & 2 at 8:00 PM and June 7, 8 & 9 at 8:00 PM. The KordaZone Theatre is located at 2520 Seminole St., one block East of Walker Road. Tickets prices and sellers can be found at kordazone.com.