Wednesday night, I had the pleasure of viewing a very queer play being presented by the IU Theatre Department. The play was In the Next Room, or the Vibrator Play, by Sarah Ruhl. That’s all I knew about it, going in. The reason I went is that I love vibrators (DUHHHHH), but it ended up being super queer as well! Wahoooooo vibrators and queer activity being presented as normative(ish)!

Allow me to briefly outline the queerness of this play:

1) The (male) doctor ‘provides treatment’ (a.k.a. vibrates until orgasm) both female and male patients (stimulating the prostate gland in males, the clitoris in females). Oh, and he uses THIS:

2) A female patient, Sabrina Daldry, falls for the nurse, Annie, and they have some super sweet moments together- including a kiss! None of their homoerotic interactions were presented as ‘bad’ in any way– after the kiss Sabrina says something along the lines of “We can never speak of this,” but also she’s married, so the emphasis there seemed (to me) to be less on the homosexual nature of their trist than on the fact that it was extramarital.

3) The doctor’s wife, Annie, Sabrina, and Elizabeth (the wet nurse) engage in mutual masturbation as they use the machine on themselves and each other several times throughout the play (bravo on the fake orgasms, actors!).

4) I definitely felt like I was having a queer experience simply by sitting with a host of other theater-goers and watching men and women touching each other and orgasming and talking about sex onstage. It was so nice to be in an environment that was mature enough and nonjudgmental enough to sit back and enjoy the comedy of In the Next Room.

-Blair Dietrick

 

 

Advertisements