Half of BAT’s current season is over. The next two plays in the season are both based on historical people and events. Next up at BAT, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (yes everything after the coma is in small letters per the author). It is based upon the life of Dr. Joseph Mortimer Granville, who patented the electromechanical vibrator.
The vibrator was invented not a means to sexual fulfillment, but as a medical device to treat “hysteria.”
[I]ronically, women’s sexual pleasure was the furthest thing from the minds of the male doctors who invented vibrators almost two centuries ago. They were interested in a labor-saving device to spare their hands the fatigue they developed [as they treated] a steady stream of 19th century ladies who suffered from “hysteria,” a vaguely defined ailment easily recognizable today as sexual frustration. Therein hangs a strange tale that provides quirky insights into both the history of sex toys, and cultural notions about women’s sexuality.
However, in In the Next Room, or the vibrator play the vibrator is the least important aspect of the play. Perhaps that is why there is no capitalization of the word in the title.
This play is about the loss of awareness that comes with wealth; how easy it is to live with someone and hard it is to find love; the different roles society puts on men and women; what happens when you have it all and yet have no calling in life; and so much more. Perhaps, that it why the show was nominated for three Tony Awards and was a 2010 finalist for a Pulitzer Prize.
To me it is unfortunate that the word vibrator is in the title. The vibrator is just a literary device to move the plot forward. (The joys of double entendres when talking about this play.) This show is wonderful and those that stay away because of the title are the losers in the deal. There has already been one person who is boycotting BAT’s entire season because of the title. Nevertheless BAT is pleased to produce this show for you.
The title notwithstanding, this show that should be produced, and it is one you should see. Besides that, it is a funny romantic comedy. TICKETS
Play selection at BAT is a complex animal. Hopefully, by the end of the process there is a season you want to see.
If there is a play you always wanted BAT to produce, now is the time to get the title and or author to us. BAT is deep into script reading for the 2016-17 season. Send your suggestions to [email protected]