Following a brief hiatus, The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl returns to the Commonweal stage through October 22. You may not know much about Sarah Ruhl, you may have never even heard the name Sarah Ruhl before…Drama Unfolds to the rescue! In this edition, I have included several links to interviews with Sarah, stories about her and, especially, her thoughts and inspirations on the gorgeous play of hers on our stage for the next four weekends. Read all of them now or save some and keep coming back for further reading. And now, all things Sarah Ruhl.
“Putting Things up Against Freud”
—Your dialogue often reads like poetry, filled with poetic lines breaks and metaphors. How did you develop your unique writing style?
I started out as a poet, became a playwright, and kept going. I think playwriting contains all other genres, including poetry, the essay (or argument), story, song… And it’s one thing that draws me to the form again and again — the way it folds all the other genres in. Click here to read the full interview from Proscenium Theatre Journal.
—Sarah Ruhl on Subtext. Click here to watch the full video.
—Sarah Ruhl: “I think our generation has to look at Sigmund Freud and Freud’s impact, and many of us say, Oh, maybe Freud didn’t have it right. Something that he was right about he got from literature: the Oedipal complex, from the Greeks. So maybe we ought to go back to the Greeks instead of back to Freud on the Greeks.” Click here to read the full BOMB Magazine interview.
—Sarah Ruhl and her plays remind us to be ten once more and play, to wonder if stones have thoughts as in Eurydice, if cell phones are portals to the afterlife as in Dead Man’s Cell Phone, and if jokes in other languages were funny enough to kill you as in The Clean House. To be childish, to be childlike — to be ten! Click here to read the full Breaking Character Magazine article.
—I grew up seeing pictures of my mother all over the house flying, in green tights. She played Peter Pan as a girl in Davenport, Iowa. I was also mesmerized by a photo taken by the local paper of my mother as a teenager standing next to Mary Martin (pictured here). My early love of the theatre was formed in the crucible of my mother’s flight, as it existed in memory. A year after writing For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday for my mother, I sat down with her in Evanston, Ill., where she lives, to ask her a little bit about her long life in Chicago theatre. Click here to continue reading an interview by Sarah Ruhl of her mother Kathleen.