The Clean House
by Sarah Ruhl
Full Length Play, Comedy / 1m, 4f
2003-2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize Winner, 2005 Pulitzer Prize in Drama Finalist. A romantic comedy about loss, love, change and redemption, The Clean House is both whimsical and touching. A serious career-oriented doctor, Lane, has hired a quirky Brazilian maid. The only problem is that the maid, Matilde, hates to clean. Instead, she longs to be a comedienne. Lane is deserted by her husband, Charles, who leaves her for his mistress, Ana, a passionate, older Brazilian woman upon whom he recently performed a mastectomy. Sarah Ruhl's enchanting play reminds us that there is humor and beauty to be find in life's most unlikely messes.
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
"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
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- Minimum Fee: $125 per performance
- Time Period: Present Day
- Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
- Setting: A metaphysical Connecticut.
- Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes
MATILDE - Lane’s cleaning lady, a woman in her late twenties. She wears black. She is Brazilian. She has a refined sense of deadpan.
VIRGINIA - Lane’s sister, a woman in her late fifties.
CHARLES - Lane’s husband, a man in his fifties. A compassionate surgeon. He is child like underneath his white coat. In the first Act, Charles plays Matilde’s father.
ANA - a woman who is older than Lane. She is Argentinean. She is impossibly charismatic. In the first Act she plays Matilde’s mother.
- Role(s) for Latino Actor(s)
Ana is named as sixty-seven within the dialogue. This number may be changed from production to production if need be.
The Clean House premiered at Yale Repertory Theatre on September 17, 2004.