Full Length Play
120 minutes (2 hours)
Time Period - Present Day
Settings Of Play - A metaphysical Connecticut.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
College Theatre / Student, Community Theatre, Professional Theatre
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
Pulitzer, From Off-Broadway
Winner! 2003-2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize
Finalist! 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama
Sarah Ruhl is the 2003 recipient of the Whiting Award for Drama
After its acclaimed run at Yale Repertory Theatre, this extraordinary play by an exciting voice in the American drama was was done to equal acclaim at several major theatres coast to coast before winding up Off-Broadway at Lincoln Center, where it had an extended run. The play takes place in what the author describes as "metaphysical Connecticut," mostly in the home of a married couple who are both doctors. They have hired a housekeeper named Matilde, an aspiring comedian from Brazil who's more interested in coming up with the perfect joke than in house-cleaning. Lane, the lady of the house, has an eccentric sister named Virginia who's just nuts about house-cleaning. She and Matilde become fast friends, and Virginia takes over the cleaning while Matilde works on her jokes. Trouble comes when Lane's husband Charles reveals that he has found his soul mate, or "bashert" in a cancer patient named Anna, on whom he has operated. The actors who play Charles and Anna also play Matilde's parents in a series of dream-like memories, as we learn the story about how they literally killed each other with laughter, giving new meaning to the phrase, "I almost died laughing." This theatrical and wildly funny play is a whimsical and poignant look at class, comedy and the true nature of love.
"Fresh, funny ... a memorable play, imbued with a melancholy but somehow comforting philosophy: that the messes and disappointments of life are as much a part of its beauty as romantic love and chocolate ice cream, and a perfect punch line can be as sublime as the most wrenchingly lovely aria." - The New York Times
"A rich work about big themes from a young playwright with an original and audacious voice." - Variety
"Casts a spell that had me hooked." - The New York Daily News
RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER
For The Clean House on Her 10th Brithday
by Derick Edgren
October 5, 2016
The Clean House premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre on September 17, 2004.