The Clean House

Written by Sarah Ruhl, Directed by Emmi Hilger

August 22–Sept. 1, 2014 at The Athenaeum

The lives of two doctors, a housewife, a comedian from Brazil, and a breast cancer patient converge and astonish. Theatrical and wildly funny, The Clean House is imbued with the philosophy that the messiness of life is as much a part of its beauty as love and chocolate ice cream.

Happily, director Emmi Hilger keeps this production very simple, allowing the charms of the cast and, most importantly, Ruhl’s script to transport the audience. The stark white set, by Tianyu Qiu, creates a sense of fragility, of a world so brittle that it could easily splinter and break, as Lane’s perfectly kempt life does over the course of the play, for the better. This production keeps “The Clean House’s” distinctive magic firmly intact.
— Alex Huntsberger, Centerstage Chicago
[The Clean House] has a couple of great performances under assured direction at its core… it has its moments of gentle humor and an eclectic voice I for one would like to see as the company continues to mature.
— Clint May, Chicago Theatre Beat

Production Team

Production Manager…... Danielle Whaley

Stage Manager……….... Garth Moritz

Assistant Stage Manager..... Maximo Gonzalez-Cadel

Scenic Designer…….…. Tianyu Qiu

Lighting Designer...….. Andrew Lehmkuhl

Costume Designer....… Sarah Jo White

Sound Designer........... Lawrence Trombone

Technical Director...… Brian Rohde

Dramaturg………....…... Kristi Szczepanek

Portuguese Coach....... Marcos Balter


Lane............... Susan Fay 

Matilde........... Cruz Gonzalez-Cadel

Virginia.......... Caron Buinis

Charles..........  James Munson

Ana.................  Julie Mitre

Denise Smolarek was the understudy for Lane and Virginia.

Reading Series

Image Credit: The Girl Who Circumnavigated the World in a Dream of Her Own Making by Paul Bond

Night of New Works: hosted by the festival, featuring short plays and selections from longer works:

  • The Death and Life of John Smith by Will Dunne
  • I Will Not Let You Go by Fiona Kyle
  • The Mating Habits of Frogs by Barb Lhota
  • Harmony by Randy Wyatt

20% Theatre Company: Fugue for Particle Accelerator by Kristin Idaszak, directed by Amy Buckler

UrbanTheater Company: Devil Land by Desi Moreno-Penson, directed by Hank Hilber

The Fine Print Theatre Company: Transients Welcome by Lisa Holmes, directed by Patrick Kenney 

Based in Chicago, IL, Something Marvelous is an exempt organization as described in Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.  Contributions for the charitable purposes of Something Marvelous are tax-deductible to the extent permitted by law.

Special thanks goes to Paul Bond–his painting On the Transmigration of Souls is our website and poster background. We have used his paintings The Releasing of Sorrows, The Girl Who Circumnavigated the World in a Dream of her Own Making and Mostly Sunny as inspirations for past festivals. Learn more about Paul's art at his website

The umbrella in our logo is adapted from an asset courtesy of the Vectorian Free Vector Pack, under a Creative Commons License.

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