Sarah Ruhl to appear as Keynote Speaker at Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium

PTRS 2015: “Rewriting Histories: Rewriting the Past and the Plays of Sarah Ruhl”  

Sarah Ruhl

VILLANOVA, PA – The Villanova University Theatre Department is thrilled to announce the 9th annual Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium, featuring a keynote address by internationally renowned playwright Sarah Ruhl. This year’s conference will be held on Wednesday, April 29th 2015 at Villanova University, and centers on the theme “Rewriting Histories: Rewriting the Past and the Plays of Sarah Ruhl.”

The Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium (PTRS) seeks to highlight the work of new scholars and performers while exploring how playwrights reveal the otherwise hidden histories that are often not included in dominant historical chronicles. This symposium offers the opportunity to present work in progress and to share ideas with other researchers. Presentations will engage a broad range of topics in theatre and drama studies including but not limited to the work of Sarah Ruhl, historical revisionism, gender and history, race and history, and mythology and contemporary playwriting. In addition to these scholarly explorations, Villanova is especially thrilled to offer the opportunity to hear from Sarah Ruhl herself. Ms. Ruhl is a distinguished American playwright, and we are pleased to welcome her to the symposium.

PTRS will take place from 12 pm to 10 pm on Wednesday, April 29, 2015 in Bartley 1011 and Villanova Theatre, Vasey Hall. There will be 15-minute breaks throughout the day and a 45-minute reception after the panels. Keynote speaker Sarah Ruhl will speak at 4 pm. Performances will take place in the evening. This event is free and open to the public.. For the most up-to-date information and to register, please visit the PTRS website at

ABOUT SARAH RUHL: Sarah Ruhl’s plays include: The Oldest Boy; In the Next Room, or the vibrator play; The Clean House; Passion Play; Dead Man’s Cell Phone; Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando; Late: a cowboy song; Dear Elizabeth and Stage Kiss.  She has been a two-time Pulitzer prize finalist and a Tony award nominee. Her plays have been produced on Broadway at the Lyceum by Lincoln Center Theater, off-Broadway at Playwrights’ Horizons, Second Stage, and at Lincoln Center’s Mitzi Newhouse Theater. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, often with premiers at Yale Repertory Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago. In 2014 she was the second most produced playwright in the country. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into over twelve languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her M.F.A. from Brown University where she studied with Paula Vogel. She has received the Susan Smith Blackburn award, the Whiting award, the Lily Award, a PEN award for mid-career playwrights, and the MacArthur "genius" award. You can read more about her work on Her book of essays 100 Essays I Don't Have Time to Write was published last fall. She teaches at the Yale School of Drama, and she lives in Brooklyn with her family.

ABOUT THE PHILADELPHIA THEATRE RESEARCH SYMPOSIUM: Now in its ninth year, the Philadelphia Theatre Research Symposium is an annual forum for scholars and practitioners from the Philadelphia region and beyond to share their research and enter into a dialogue about current trends in theatrical practice and scholarship. Past conference themes include “Woman in Theatre: Celebrating women's contributions to American theatre as artists, scholars, and leaders”; “Ethnicity, Identity, and Hybridity; The work of the Pan Asian Repertory Theatre, Asian and Asian-American Playwrights”; and “The Work of Elizabeth LeCompte, The Wooster Group, The Avant Garde, Textual Intervention, and Experimental Theatre Collectives.” PTRS has welcomed such varied and accomplished keynote speakers as Emily Mann, Elizabeth LeCompte, Anna Deveare Smith, and Richard Schechner.

ABOUT VILLANOVA THEATRE: Villanova Theatre is a community of artist-scholars committed to transforming hearts and minds through the visionary production of classical, modern, and contemporary dramatic literature. Our work is fueled by the imaginative striving common to Villanova’s accomplished faculty, versatile staff, and energetic graduate students. Together, we are devoted to creating a vibrant theatre enriched by and overflowing with the ideas explored in our classrooms. In all of our endeavors, we aim to share the dynamic experience of collaborative learning with our audiences in order to engage the intellect and stir the soul.  As a facet of Villanova University, Villanova Theatre serves the campus community as well as thousands of theatre-goers from the Main Line and the Greater Philadelphia area.

ABOUT VILLANOVA UNIVERSITY: Since 1842, Villanova University’s Augustinian Catholic intellectual tradition has been the cornerstone of an academic community in which students learn to think critically, act compassionately and succeed while serving others. There are more than 10,000 undergraduate, graduate and law students in the University's six colleges – the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Villanova School of Business, the College of Engineering, the College of Nursing, the College of Professional Studies and the Villanova University School of Law. As students grow intellectually, Villanova prepares them to become ethical leaders who create positive change everywhere life takes them.