The Clean House by Sarah Ruhl
Directed by Abigail Bower
The Clean House
A romantic comedy about love, loss, change and redemption, The Clean House takes place in what the author describes as “metaphysical Connecticut,” mostly in the home of a married couple who are both doctors. They have hired a housekeeper named Matilde, an aspiring comedian from Brazil who’s more interested in coming up with the perfect joke than in house-cleaning. Lane, the lady of the house, has an eccentric sister named Virginia who’s just nuts about house-cleaning. She and Matilde become fast friends, and Virginia takes over the cleaning while Matilde works on her jokes. Trouble comes when Lane’s husband Charles reveals that he has found his soul mate, or “bashert” in a cancer patient named Ana, on whom he has operated.
Matilde (lead) 20-38
Lane’s cleaning lady and aspiring comedian; a woman in her late 20s, Brazilian; accent required. She has a refined sense of deadpan. Ad libs jokes in Portuguese. ETHNICITY: Latino/Hispanic, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race. Must have familiarity with Portuguese.
Lane (lead) 40-60
A doctor, is married to Charles (a surgeon) who leaves her for one of his patients. ETHNICITY: Caucasian
Virginia (lead) 50-60
Lane’s sister, a woman in her late fifties, a long history of disconnect and tension with Lane. Looking for connection, but doesn’t know how. ETHNICITY: Caucasian
Ana (Supporting) 55+
An impossibly charismatic woman in her late sixties. Argentinian accent, some lines in very poor Brazilian Portuguese. Sensual and full of life.* Will also play Matilde’s mother in imagined scenes in first act. ETHNICITY: Latino/Hispanic, Ethnically Ambiguous / Mixed Race
Charles (Supporting) 55+
Lane’s husband, a man in his fifties, a compassionate surgeon. He is child-like underneath his white coat. In the first Act, Charles plays Matilde’s father. Movement and dance experience a plus.* Will also play Matilde’s father in imagined scenes in first act. ETHNICITY: All ethnicities