New theatre company creating a buzz In the Next Room

“This is a story about the power of women told at a time where electricity was blossoming.”

When she first heard the title, In the Next Room or the vibrator play, actor Savana Gallant had no idea it would a complex feminist tale.

Gallant says the play is about women taking ownership for themselves. (Photo Provided)

“I immediately thought okay, we’re really putting it all out there but, it’s not really about the vibrator at all,” says Gallant. “This is a story about the power of women told at a time where electricity was blossoming.”

In the Next Room or the vibrator play is set in the 1800’s and follows Dr. Givings, his family, staff, and patients as they seek medical treatment for hysteria with the use of a vibrator in his home- based clinic. Laura Negraeff fell in love with Sarah Ruhl’s Pulitzer Prize Finalist and Tony- nominated play immediately. After several years on Saskatoon’s professional theatre scene, Negraeff knew In the Next Room would be a perfect starting point for her brand new company Lolabrickida Theatre.

“Topics we consider taboo or serious don’t have to be.”

Negraeff hopes Lolabrickida Theatre offers new opportunities to artists. (Studio D Photography)

“This is exactly the kind of boundary-pushing story I wanted to tell. Subjects of infertility, loss, breastfeeding, and yes, orgasms, they’re all part of the human condition. We shouldn’t shy away from them.” Negraeff says, “Topics we consider taboo or serious don’t have to be. We can be open about them and still make room to laugh or smile.”

“We look at it as a tension and release.”

Akintade serves as both actor and intimacy director. (Photo Provided)

Along with acting, Peace Akintade serves as the intimacy director for this production. She makes sure the more vulnerable scenes are staged in a way that ensures the cast is comfortable.

“This is not pornographic. In this play the use of a vibrator is a medical procedure, a part of life,” says Akintade. “We look at it as a tension and release. It’s about the journey for each of these characters, how their relationships led to them seeking the treatment. It’s a really funny show and the humour makes it easier to talk about these things.”

Gallant agrees, “I hope the audience gets the beauty of it all in this show. It’s about women taking ownership of themselves. I hope they leave the theatre feeling satisfied in a good way.”

Rachel McLaughlin, Jordie Richardson, Ciera Vadnais (l-r) in Sarah Ruhl’s In the Next Room. (Stacey Clancy)

In the Next Room or the vibrator play

June 12 – 16, 2024

BackStage Stage – Remai Arts Centre

Tickets $25 – $35

For more information and tickets, follow this link.

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