Theatre luminaries will gather at Lincoln Center on November 14 to honor award-winning playwright Sarah Ruhl with the 2016 Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Presented by The Harold and Mimi Steinberg Charitable Trust, the award honors the achievement of an American playwright whose body of work has made significant contributions to the American theatre. As a playwright, Ruhl has been a finalist twice for the Pulitzer Prize for Drama—The Clean House (2005) and In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) (2010), the latter also receiving a Tony nomination for Best Play.
Ruhl’s additional work includes Dead Man’s Cell Phone, The Oldest Boy, Stage Kiss, Passion Play, Melancholy Play, Demeter in the City, Eurydice, and the upcoming LCT production How to Transcend a Happy Marriage.
Before she accepts her Mimi Award, BroadwayBox caught up with Sarah Ruhl to find out which five plays she most wishes she could go back in time to see.
Waiting for Godot starring Bert Lahr (Golden Theatre, 1956)
I wish I could have seen the moment that the avant-garde met vaudeville met Broadway in the person of Bert Lahr in Beckett’s masterpiece.
The God of Vengeance by Sholom Ash (Provincetown Playhouse, 1922)
I became intrigued by this play by watching the brilliant play Indecent by Paula Vogel and directed by Rebecca Taichman, which itself is coming to Broadway this spring. How could I not want to see Broadway’s first censored lesbian kiss, with the leading lights of the Yiddish theater...
for colored girls who have considered suicide when the rainbow is enuf (Booth Theatre, 1976)
I think it’s extraordinary that a choreo-poem made it to Broadway. It gives me hope for all kinds of things.
Glass Menagerie (Playhouse Theatre, 1945)
I would love to have seen how Tennessee Williams’ emotional register first landed on a Broadway audience. I would also have liked to have been a fly on the wall when Tennessee Williams’ mother introduced herself to Laurette Taylor (who played Amanda) backstage.
Private Lives (Times Square Theatre, 1931)
It’s one of my favorites of Coward’s, and how I would have loved to have seen Noel Coward perform in his own play.