December 7, 2019
  • 6:20 am Artist Who Gave Life to Death and Inspired Countless Others Gets His Due at Dominguez Hills
  • 5:16 pm Why I’m Rooting for Dr. Cornel West
  • 5:00 pm Under Fire from the Feds, Vaping’s Future is Cloudy
  • 3:28 pm Enrollment, Part one: We’re Going to Need a Bigger Boat; Tsunami 3.0 Hits Campus, Enrollment Swells
  • 1:22 pm THE FIRST ISSUE OF THE BULLETIN IS HERE
  • 4:48 pm University Weathering a Wave of New Students
  • 9:21 pm The Bulletin’s Public Records Request Offers Springboard to Launch Gender Equity Discussion at CSUDH
  • 4:27 pm Black is the New Black: Raising the Capital on the “B” Word
  • 10:53 am Guns Up for Arrest: Student advocacy group pushes for CSU No Gun Zones–Including the Police
  • 4:09 pm Staff Editorial: Words on the First
  • 8:42 pm Carson Mayor Blasts Media, Landmark Libel Case in Keynote Address
  • 9:27 am Free Speech Week Calendar of Events Update
  • 6:02 am Food for Thought: 40% of Students are Food Insecure
  • 3:12 pm Academic Senate Rejects CSU GE Task Force & Report
  • 3:06 pm Work To Be Done
  • 5:56 pm ASI Elections: What You Need to Know
  • 8:02 pm CSUDH President Parham Announces Cancer Diagnosis
  • 9:47 am CSUDH Art Professor’s 20-Year Journey Results in First Local Showing of Film
  • 9:13 pm Free Speech or Free Hate area?
  • 9:08 pm CSUDH’s Best & Brightest Shine at Student Research Day
  • 9:05 pm Academic Senate Approves Gender Equity Task Force
  • 12:37 pm When Dr. Davis speaks, Toros Pay Close Attention
  • 3:38 pm Investing in the Future: Dr. Thomas A. Parham Reflects on the Past Eight Months and Contemplates​ the University’s Future
  • 3:24 pm Green Olive to Open By End of Feb; Starbucks Not Until Fall
  • 3:20 pm Gov. Newsom’s Proposed Budget Hailed for Extensive Funding Increases
  • 3:08 pm Out of the Classroom: Labor and Community Organizing Course Aims to Teach Students How to Organize for Social Justice
  • 2:54 pm The Other Route in Professional Sports
  • 9:02 am Hail to the New Chief, CSUDH President Thomas Parham
  • 3:36 pm Career Center Holds Major/Minor Fair
  • 5:34 pm After Unexpected Delay, Undocumented Becomes More Intimate Theatrical Production
  • 1:30 pm What to Expect When You’re Expecting New Buildings
  • 9:49 am CSUDH Celebrates First – Generation Students
  • 5:45 pm The Lightning Rod: 53-yard FG sinks Chargers
  • 8:16 am Gives Us Our Sunshine Back
  • 7:30 am University Theatre Re-Opens With Renovations
  • 4:20 pm Notes from the BULLpen: The Most Active Unit You’ll Ever Take
Story tips, concerns, questions?

By Jesse Garcia
Staff Writer

Advisory Warning: Intense sexual acts are about to take place at the University Theatre for everyone curious enough to travel back in time to the conventional, laced-up Victorian-era treatment of the female malady once referred to as “hysteria.”

Sara Ruhl’s 2009 play “In the next room (Or the vibrator play)” which runs at the CSUDH University Theatre from April 6-15, is much more a comedic tale than the play might suggest.

According to a 2009 New York Times article, “the ideas underpinning the play, about the fundamental lack of sympathy between men and women of the period, and the dubious scientific theories that sometimes reinforced women’s subjugation, are serious. “In the Next Room” illuminates with a light touch — a soft, flickering light rather than a moralizing glare — how much control men had over women’s lives, bodies and thoughts, even their most intimate sensations.”

A finalist for the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award nominee, “In The Next Room (Or The Vibrator Play)” is set a prosperous spa town outside New York City in the 1880s and tells the story of the early history of the vibrator and the Victorian-era ignorance of the female orgasm.

While the discovery of the vibrator will take you back in time, the themes of this play are one reason why director S.R. Shonni Holmes thinks Ruhl’s play is still relevant today.

“Motherhood and infertility, marriage, love, intimacy or lack thereof, and the want to be seen and desired are all issues we tackle today,” said Holmes.

The play centers around Catherine Givings, a sexually frustrated wife whose husband’s lackluster use of the missionary position is something she endures but does not enjoy. Givings, although excited about having an orgasm, has her marriage tested as she looks for alternative ways aside from clinical treatment to enjoy sexual pleasure as the play progresses.

As a CSUDH alumni, current lecturer, and NAACP Theatre Award-winning actress and educator, Holmes hopes Ruhl’s exploration of the discovery of the vibrator compels audiences to acknowledge the journey of self-discovery these characters go through to become better mothers, spouses and people. More importantly, though, she wants them to laugh.

“Although it is a women-centered play, it’s still a comedy, so there’s really something for everyone,” said Holmes.

With a fresh take on the sexual desires of men and woman this play is not sensitive to ignorance, but it is in feelings.

“This play challenges everything we think or have come to expect about period plays,” said Holmes. “It’s not the run-of-the-mill classical show, it’s edgy and funny in a number of ways and it’s got a lot of heart.”

This play is suited for mature audiences because of its situations, but Holmes encourages all audiences to not judge it prematurely and give this play a chance as it resonates with her artistic passion.

“It is a play that is most representative of me as an artist,” said Holmes.

Photo by Kyle Umeda.

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