This collection of mostly mini-essays is a great find for anyone interested in either writing or theatre. Ruhl, a Pulitzer Prize finalist for her play “In the Next Room,” displays her skills at language, views of playwriting, and her both playful and utterly serious response to the stage.
Several titles display her marvelous sense of humor: “Bad Plays and Original Sin,” “On Nakedness and Sight Lines,” and “Watching My Mother Die on Stage.” (Her mother is an actress.) Others are more philosophical: “God as Audience: A Non-syllogism,” “Is There an Ethics of Comedy, and Is It Bad When Comedies Make People Laugh?” “On Knowing,” and “On Lice.” Whoops, the last one isn’t philosophical, but very practical.
The smallest essay is three words not including the title. I quote in full from “An Essay in Praise of Smallness”: “I admire minimalism.” Read more »