ProudKate Theatre Project’s production of The Ruby Sunrise by Rinne Groff will be performed at The Second Stage at 3408 N. Sheffield Chicago, IL 60657. The preview performance will occur June 7th, and regular performances will run Thursday-Saturday evenings at 7:30pm and Sunday afternoons at 2:30pm between June 8-June 24. Thursday, June 7th is our preview night.
Ruby is a grease-stained tomboy who is currently living her aunt’s barn after fleeing from her abusive father. However, he has given her one good thing: an aptitude for science. This, combined with knowledge of electromagnetic radiation gleaned from Popular Mechanics, leads Ruby to create the first prototype of the television. Unfortunately, Ruby’s invention literally blows up, and the play flashes from her life in 1927 Indiana to her daughter Lulu’s life in 1952 New York City, the Golden Age of television. Lulu is a script coordinator who is putting her mother’s story into a teleplay; sadly, it’s rewritten to suit the standards of the day. The later scenes depict the (comedic) rehearsals and filming of the compromised, but ultimately approved, version of Ruby’s story. Overall, the play examines the dashed dreams and tarnished ideals of two generations of spirited Midwestern women.
The characters are complex, but easy to understand. Part of what makes this play so engaging is that the characters’ very strong needs are echoed by glancing looks at larger underlying themes: the country’s failure to harness advances in technology to socially progressive ends, the role of women in society, and what it means to be an artist. It gives each character a potent, topical resonance, while making the larger issues personal so that they don’t step into the realm of preaching.
Check out our gallery of images from the production:
The ProudKate Theatre Project (501 (c) 3) is comprised of a group of artists who focus on theatre that pairs theatrical events with women’s issues, promotes women’s role in society, and creates more work for female artists. Our productions focus on strong women in classical or stylized settings.