How to Transcend a Happy Marriage

How to Transcend a Happy Marriage

by  Sarah Ruhl

Full Length Play, Comedy  /  4m, 4f

"This new play is a subversive enchantment. It is part absurd domestic serio-comedy, part erotic magic realism, unflinching about taboos and about questioning that, just maybe, monogamy isn’t enough." - Newsday
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How to Transcend a Happy Marriage

by  Sarah Ruhl

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    4m, 4f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

At a dinner party in New Jersey, two couples discuss polyamory as brought up by the introduction of a new temp, Pip, in Jane’s office. When they invite Pip and her two male partners, discussion turns to action and the exploration of unexplored desire turns animalistic, and then Jane’s daughter sees it all. How to Transcend a Happy Marriage blurs the lines of monogamy and asks how deeply friends, lovers, and strangers connect.

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Reviews

"How to Transcend a Happy Marriage has a charming phantasmagorical finish that points out the conflict between our animal nature and the societal norms we create to control it." - BroadwayWorld, Read More 

"Audiences are receiving a comprehensive education in the polyamorous lifestyle in Sarah Ruhl’s whimsical and spiritual domestic drama, How to Transcend a Happy Marriage [...] for those willing to take the ride, the play is a provocative and poetic meditation on being caught between reasonably happy domesticity and untapped, unacknowledged desires." - AM New York, Read More 

"This new play is a subversive enchantment. It is part absurd domestic serio-comedy, part erotic magic realism, unflinching about taboos and about questioning that, just maybe, monogamy isn’t enough." - Newsday, Read More 

"[...] provocative and enlightening [...] How to Transcend a Happy Marriage abounds with situations that lead its characters to say the most quotable things, all of which should be experienced live in the theater and not in any critic’s review. They’re that memorable." - The Wrap, Read More 


Videos

  • Lincoln Center Theater montage of How to Transcend a Happy Marriage
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Alcohol Alcohol
  • Caution Drugs Drugs
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language
  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance
  • Mandatory Music/Media Fee: $15 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary, Present Day
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: A forest.
    A living/dining room.
    A jail-- empty space with a few bars.
  • Features / Contains: Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes

Casting

4m, 4f

JANE
MICHAEL
GEORGE (GEORGIA)
PAUL 

Four people in their late thirties or early forties. Race and ethnicity immaterial. 

PIP - A beautiful woman, named Deborah. Known to all as Pip. (She can dance and sing and slaughter animals and also play a teenager named Jenna.) 

DAVID (pronounced Dah-veed) and FREDDIE—Two men who Pip has a polyamorous relationship with. David is a mathematician. I don’t know what Freddie is but he doesn’t know either. 
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Cast Attributes

  • Non-Traditional casting
  • Cross gender casting
  • Multicultural casting

Casting Notes

I think that JANE and GEORGE are women and MICHAEL and PAUL are men but you could change their genders if you want.

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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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How to Transcend a Happy Marriage premiered at the Lincoln Center Theater in New York City in February 2017 under the direction of Rebecca Taichman.

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