The Unbearable Banishment: The Vibrator Play

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

The Vibrator Play

Yes, it's a play about vibrators. Sort of.

In The Next Room or The Vibrator Play is Sarah Ruhl's hysterical new comedy. Its true-to-life premise is a subject that's begging for closer study by Nursemyra.

In the 1880s, shortly after electricity was brought into homes, doctors had the bright idea to use a newly invented medical device, the vibrator, to treat women for their hysteria. I'm not kidding! This really happened! The treatment, causing an orgasm, was looked upon as a purely medical procedure that had nothing to do with sex.

Ms. Ruhl cleverly and believably imagines what it must have been like for the early pioneers of orgasm creation in repressed times. The good doctor's wife listens by the door as treatment is applied and begins to wonder what those strange sounds are coming from the female patients in the next room. And why do the female patients steadfastly insist that they are not getting any better and need the treatment to continue?

Ms. Ruhl's habit is to name her plays exactly what they're about. I saw her last play, Dead Man's Cell Phone (a woman picks up a dead man's cell phone that's ringing) that starred my pretend girlfriend, Mary-Louise Parker. That one wasn't nearly as satisfying as The Vibrator Play, but I was in the second row for Dead Man's Cell Phone and almost jumped on stage to ask my Mary-Louise out for a drink.

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12 Comments:

Anonymous nursemyra said...

Remember this?

http://nursemyra.wordpress.com/2008/05/25/sex-aid-of-the-week-massage-glove-with-vibrating-fingers/

December 16, 2009 at 6:39 AM  
OpenID daisyfae said...

my kind of theater... is there a 'splash zone' like there is for Gallagher, that comedian who whacks watermelons with a sledgehammer?

December 16, 2009 at 7:14 AM  
Blogger Cat said...

I did read once the history of vibrators because that is the kind of bizarre reading material this weird chick likes, but I guess I'm not weird enough to write a play about it.

December 16, 2009 at 8:23 AM  
Blogger The Unbearable Banishment said...

Nurse: I might have know you already covered this topic!

Daisy: If you come to New York, I'm afraid I'm going to have to insist that you see this. You, of all people, would laugh the hardest.

Cat: Please see Nurse M's post above for further details.

December 16, 2009 at 8:53 AM  
Blogger Ellie said...

Mary Louise is pretty f*ing cool.

December 16, 2009 at 12:49 PM  
Blogger Jimmy Bastard said...

Excellent entertainment....

December 16, 2009 at 5:39 PM  
Blogger Sid said...

Dude ... The title of your blog post had me completely shocked. Which is kinda ironic since the title of my blog post is "The night of the Vibracorer".

December 17, 2009 at 2:58 AM  
Blogger JZ said...

I wished I could find online this great article from Cabinet Magazine on this subject. If you care to pursue more historical knowledge of the vibrator, check out Rachel Maines article "The Clinical Orgasm" in Cabinet Issue 21 (Spring 2008).....

great magazine regardless....

December 17, 2009 at 7:45 AM  
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