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Electrifying. Shocking. A zinger of a production.

These are all words one may wish to employ to describe Alley Rep’s daring new show. “In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play)” is a play by Sarah Ruhl, published by Samuel French, that came out first in 2009. As you may have deduced, the play is centered around the vibrator and how it came to be — and be used. Doctors were supposedly using it in a clinical way to treat women for “hysteria” by utilizing the device to bring them to, ahem, orgasm. Themes of the play also explore the Victorian era “ignorance of female sexual desire, motherhood, breastfeeding, and jealousy,” according to Robert Hurwitt, who wrote a 2009 play review for the San Francisco Chronicle. The play was nominated for three Tony Awards and was a 2010 Pulitzer Prize finalist in the drama category.

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