What's a Stage Kiss and What's a Real Kiss? Sarah Ruhl Ponders in New Play

News   What's a Stage Kiss and What's a Real Kiss? Sarah Ruhl Ponders in New Play
Following her exploration of Victorian sexuality in the Tony Award-nominated Best Play In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), playwright Sarah Ruhl will tackle one of the more curious aspects of the actor's life with Stage Kiss, set for a world premiere at Chicago's Goodman Theatre in spring 2011.

Playwright Sarah Ruhl
Playwright Sarah Ruhl Photo by Joan Marcus

Ruhl recently told Playbill.com, "It's basically about the phenomenon of actors kissing on stage. [Having spent] the past 15 years working in theatre, I've always thought it so odd that this is people's job, that they have to come to work and kiss each other in front of other people, and I wanted to investigate that."

She explained, "It's basically about two ex-lovers who unwittingly get cast in a revival of a bad 1930s chestnut in New Haven, and they have to kiss each other, like, 13 times in the course of this play. So it's a little bit about what's reality and what's not reality, when there's this act of having to kiss someone onstage."

Director Jessica Thebus, a longtime Ruhl collaborator in Chicago, will helm the April 30-June 5, 2011, Goodman production. Ruhl hopes that the play will make its New York bow in fall 2011.

Ruhl's Orlando, an adaptation of the Virginia Woolf novel, is currently running through Oct. 17 in a production by Off-Broadway's Classic Stage Company. A Tony Award nominee for In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), Ruhl was also a Pulitzer Prize finalist for that play and for The Clean House, winning the Susan Smith Blackburn Prize for the latter. Her other plays include Passion Play, a cycle; Dead Man's Cell Phone; Melancholy Play; Demeter in the City; Eurydice; and Late: a cowboy song.

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