The Oldest Boy : A Play in Three Ceremonies
by Sarah Ruhl
Full Length Play, Drama / 4m, 1f
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.
" 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
- Minimum Fee: $125 per performance
- 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
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
- Role(s) for Asian Actor(s)
- Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)
The Oldest Boy premiered in New York City at the Lincoln Center Theatre in December 2014 under the director of Rebecca Taichman.