'Talking Art' With Sarah Ruhl

Oct 10, 2017

Carolyn Martin talks with playwright Sarah Ruhl about the importance of involvement in local theatre, and how exposing our children to art forms at a young age can have a lasting impact.

Sarah Ruhl (left) with her mother, Kathleen Kehoe Ruhl and oldest daughter, photographed during the Chicago run of “For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday.”
Credit Courtesy of Sarah Ruhl

Ruhl’s parents were originally from Davenport. As a child, her mother, Kathleen Ruhl, played the role of Peter Pan with the Davenport Junior Theatre. As a gift to her mother, Sarah wrote “For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday,” which just completed an off Broadway run. Kathy recently played the part of Peter Pan (and consequently herself) during its run at the Shattered Globe Theatre in Chicago. 

Sarah Ruhl is the recipient of numerous awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. Two of her plays have been finalists for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, “The Clean House” in 2004, and “In the Next Room (or the Vibrator Play)” in 2010. She was nominated for a Tony Award for Best Play in 2010 for “In the Next Room.” She is currently a faculty member at the Yale School of Drama.

Related Events

  • Quad City Playwrights FestivalMay 12, 2018 at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center.  Showcase of 10-minute plays highlighting works by area writers, high school age and up.
  • In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play): Pulitzer prize finalist, and Tony award nominee (2010). Directed by Jennifer Popple at Augustana College's Brunner Theatre Center. January 26-27 and February 2-3, 2018.  This will be the first time for this Sarah Ruhl play to be performed in the Quad Cities.
  • Davenport Junior Theatre (Annie Wittenmyer Center complex): View the schedule of upcoming performances. Over 30 theatre and 30 dance classes are offered for children ages 3-18 this fall. 

Did you know? Susan Glaspell was born in Davenport in 1876. She was a journalist, author, and Pulitzer winning playwright. Glaspell often challenged gender roles and featured strong, well-written female characters in her plays. Playwriting trivia question: What is the Bechdel test?

Produced by Lacy Scarmana.