Thursday, October 2, 2008

The Sarah Ruhl Heroine

Sarah Ruhl's heroines are the conduit through which her voice speaks. They are usually the main character whose journey we follow. Like all of her plays, the role for the leading lady is very similar in aesthetic.

This character is always a young woman, but never by any means a girl, who has a childlike fascination with life. A person with a sort of wide-eyed gentle and trusting outlook on her world. She is alone in life looking for companionship. She explores her world as a child who doesn't quite understand the potential danger in other people. She would never understand why a person would want to harm someone. Her naivety sometimes plays almost as someone who is emotionally or mentally challenged, but if you look at it deeper, there is an openness we all had at one time but have lost trying to protect ourselves from being hurt and taken advantage of from those around us.

The effect is not sentimental or reminiscent of children's theatre. If done properly, this detachedness creates an emotionally engaging journey - functioning similarity to Brecht's Alienation Effect.
Eurydice - Eurydice
Melancholy Play - Tilly
The Clean House - Mathilde
Dead Man's Cell Phone - Jean

Ruhl's heroines are often played by her friend Polly Noonan. Slender and delicate, Noonan plays all of Ruhl's characters with a delicate touch and charm. Her small presence never detracts from the emotion she is able to bring to the role.

Happy Birthday: Avery Brooks

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