Theatre Company Creates a Buzz with “The Vibrator Play” Benefiting Equality Now

Jessica Arinella and Gregory Jones as Dr. Givings and his wife (Photo Credit H. James Hoff)

River’s Edge Theatre Company has announced the second staged reading of its inaugural season, “In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” by Sarah Ruhl, directed by Sara Wolkowitz. The staged reading will take place on Saturday, February 29th at 7:30pm at Irvington Theatre, and proceeds from the performance will benefit the non-profit women’s rights organization Equality Now.

“In the Next Room (or the vibrator play)” is set in the 1880s at the dawn of the age of electricity. The plot is based on the bizarre historical myth that doctors used vibrators to treat ‘hysterical’ women (and some men), and centers on a doctor and his wife and how his new therapy affects their entire household.

River’s Edge, Westchester’s brand-new theatre company, aims to reflect the human experience, spark conversation and inspire social change, and “In the Next Room” is in line with that mission. Meghan Covington, one of the company’s co-founds says, “The vibrator play dives into issues that our audience deals with in their own daily lives – love, parenthood, intimacy, but it also tackles larger issues such as gender equality, women’s health, and race.” The New York Times called the play “a true novelty: a sex comedy designed not for sniggering teenage boys — or grown men who wish they were still sniggering teenage boys — but for adults with open hearts and minds.”

Proceeds from this staged reading will be donated to Equality Now, a non-profit with the mission to achieve legal and systemic change that addresses violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world. The organization endeavors to end sexual violence, sex trafficking, and harmful practices such as female genital mutilation (FGM), while at the same time striving to achieve legal equality by using a unique combination of legal advocacy, regional partnership-building, and community mobilization.

River’s Edge is currently building a stronger theatre community in Westchester with this initial staged reading series. Hastings on Hudson resident, Sara Wolkowitz, will be directing the staged reading. And the cast is comprised of lauded local actors Ed Herbstman, Jessica Arinella, Gregory Jones, Lauren Orkus, Sioux Madden, and Aisling Dono. Namakula Mu, a NYC based actor, will also join the local cast. This will be the second River’s Edge performance to take place at Irvington Theater, who recently named the new company an “arts partner.” Their first staged reading in October raised just shy of $1200 for the local non-profit Family-to-Family.

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