Sarah Ruhl(s): Playwright's work dominates spring theater

March 22, 2011

How many Sarah Ruhl plays can one town take at the same time? It would appear Chicago is about to find out as an unofficial festival of Ruhl’s work descends upon us. Court Theatre currently is presenting Ruhl’s stage adaptation of Virginia Woolf’s quirky transgender tale “Orlando,” through April 10. I guess one really doesn’t need to say “quirky” as a modifier for Woolf or her work. Then the small, Off-Loop Filament Ensemble Theatre offers Ruhl’s version of the Greek classic, “Eurydice,” at the Lacuna Artist Lofts in Canalport (of all places), April 20-May 29. Yet a third Ruhl play hit’s the boards April 30-June 5, as the Goodman Theatre stages the world premiere of “Stage Kiss,”  a comedy about actor ex-lovers who are cast opposite each other in a melodrama, which follows them offstage. And then not-quite-this-season, Victory Gardens Theater will open its 2011-2012 season with Ruhl’s “In the Next Room or The Vibrator Play,” Ruhl’s Pulitzer prize-nominated play from last year.

Ruhl, who was born and raised in the Chicago area, previously has had her diverse range of plays and adaptations produced locally by the Chicago Dramatists, Court, Goodman, Piven and Steppenwolf theaters. She recently was named a MacArthur Fellow, as if she needed the money.

FYI: Filament Ensemble’s production of Ruhl‘s “Eurydice” is part of a two-show repertory based on Greek classics, its companion piece being “Orpheus: Featuring DJ Puzzle as Fate,” a very modern take on the Greek legend by Filament artistic director Owen Sade.

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