The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies

The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies

by  Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Drama  /  4m, 1f

The Oldest Boyis a richly emotional journey filled with music, dance, puppetry, ritual, and laughter — Sarah Ruhl at her imaginative best. A meditation on attachment and unconditional love, the play asks us to believe in a world in which sometimes the youngest children are also the oldest and wisest teachers.
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The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies

The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies

by  Sarah Ruhl

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The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 1f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

In this moving exploration of parenthood, an American mother and a Tibetan father have a three-year-old son believed to be the reincarnation of a Buddhist lama. When a Tibetan lama and a monk come to their home unexpectedly, asking to take their child away for a life of spiritual training in India, the parents must make a life-altering choice that will test their strength, their marriage, and their hearts.

The Oldest Boy is a richly emotional journey filled with music, dance, puppetry, ritual, and laughter — Sarah Ruhl at her imaginative best. A meditation on attachment and unconditional love, the play asks us to believe in a world in which sometimes the youngest children are also the oldest and wisest teachers.

Read more +

Reviews

REVIEWS 

" Ms. Ruhl's drama is among the most easily accesible from this poetic, venturesome playwright...yet it is marked by Ms. Ruhl’s inquisitive intelligence, clean-lined eloquence and spiky humor." - The New York Times, Read More 

"...gorgeous fluidity in the writing...Ruhl uses her beguiling storytelling skills, including a porous fourth wall and elements of ceremonial dance, music and singing, to make the mother's struggle a dramatically cogent one." - Hollywood Reporter, Read More 

"Sweet and spirit-filled...Ruhl uses the stage to explore unexpected places and ideas." - Star Tribune, Read More


Videos

  • The Oldest Boy at the Lincoln Center Theatre
  • The Oldest Boy at Marin Theatre Company
  • Scene from Unicorn Theatre's The Oldest Boy
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Professional Theatre

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $125 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: Any North American city with a large Tibetan community; for instance, New York, Boston, Minneapolis, Toronto, Chicago, Berkeley, or Seattle
  • Additional Features: Puppetry

Casting

4m, 1f
MOTHER - white, mid-thirties to mid-forties
A MONK - Tibetan, age immaterial
A LAMA - Tibetan, age immaterial
THE OLDEST BOY - older than the lama, speaks for and moves the puppet, Tibetan
FATHER - Tibetan mid-thirties to mid-forties
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Sarah Ruhl

Sarah Ruhl’s plays include How to Transcend a Happy Marriage, For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday, The Oldest Boy, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play, The Clean House, Orlando, Late: a cowboy song, Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss. She is a two-time Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee. Her plays have been ...

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The Oldest Boy premiered in New York City at the Lincoln Center Theatre in December 2014 under the director of Rebecca Taichman.

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