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Sarah Ruhl is one of the most highly acclaimed and frequently produced American playwrights of the st century Author of eighteen plays and the essay collectionEssays I Don t Have Time to Write, she has won a MacArthur Genius Grant and the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, been nominated for a Tony Award for In the Next Room or the vibrator play and twice been a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize for The Clean House and In the Next Room Ruhl is a writer unafraid of the soul She writes not about this or that issue, but about being, creating plays that ask big questions about death, love, and how we should treat each other in this lifetime In this volume, Amy Muse situates Ruhl as an artist thinker and organizes her work around its artistic and ethical concerns Through a finely grained account of each play, readers are guided through Ruhl s early influences, the themes of intimacy, transcendence, and communion, and her inventive stagecraft to dramatize moments of being onstage Enriched by essays from scholars Jill Stevenson, Thomas Butler, and Christina Dokou, an interview with directors Sarah Rasmussen and Hayley Finn, and a chronology of Ruhl s life and work, this is a companionable guide for students of American drama and theatre studies Amy Muse specializes in dramatic literature and performance studies at the University of St Thomas in St Paul, Minnesota, where she is Associate Professor and Chair of the English Department She is the author of Sarah Ruhl s Sex Ed for Grownups Text Presentationand essays on Romantic drama, intimate theatre, female Hamlets, and travel in Romantic Circles, Romanticism The Journal of Romantic Culture Criticism, Frontiers, and other journals METHUEN DRAMA CRITICAL COMPANIONSSeries Editors Patrick Lonergan National University of Ireland, Galway and Kevin J Wet, Jr Loyola Marymount University, USA