englishtheatertorino

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The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl

2009


Set in "Metaphysical Southern California" The Clean House is a witty look at the spirituality of everyday life, and the awareness of the clutter that is building up in your soul like the dust in your living room. 


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Cast

Lane…………......................……………Rhona Oliver

Virginia …….....................…..……. Colleen Sharkey

Matilda …………….................…… Maria Grimaldi

Charles …….......................…………Marco Ganzitti

Ana …………......…......…….Ruth Anne Henderson


Lane, a doctor, lives in a house as white and sterile as her workplace. She has hired a Brazilian housekeeper because, as she puts it, "I'm sorry, but I didn't go to medical school to clean my own house." Unfortunately her housekeeper Matilde seemingly suffers from depression as she lost both her parents when she was younger (her mother died laughing at one of her father’s jokes) and she doesn’t like to clean. Enter Virginia, Lane’s sister who offers to clean the house instead, without telling Lane, to help her forget she is a lonely woman in a benign marriage. Matilde (pronounced "Machu-gee") simply wants to create the perfect joke as a way to transcend her own personal grief.


Lane and Virginia are sisters who get along like a mongoose and cobra. Each eying the other warily, their sibling rivalry has never ebbed. Lane needs to constantly feel superior, while Virginia seethes inside from her own sense of inferiority.


Lane's surgeon husband Charles has recently begun to spend more and more time at the hospital and it soon becomes clear that he is spending just a little too much time with one patient in particular. Lane soon has to confront her new rival Ana, when Charles brings her to the house to meet her. Ana, flamboyant, exuberant with a love of life, soon learns that she is dying of breast cancer and finds solace from an unexpected quarter. When time finally runs out for Ana, she decides she wants to die laughing – can Matilde think up the perfect joke in time?


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