California Repertory Company Presents Sara Ruhl’s The Clean House

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Sara Ruhl’s The Clean House is a smart, witty, and touching comedy of true love and the devastating power of the perfect joke. Director Joanne Gordon brings this love story to stage in CSULB Theatre Arts Department’s Cal Rep production.

Winner of the 2004 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize and 2005 Pulitzer Prize finalist, The Clean House premiered in 2004 at the Yale Repertory Theatre. It went on the have a West Coast premiere at South Coast Repertory in 2005 and had an extended run off-Broadway at the Lincoln Center. Lane is a middle-aged doctor who wants her house, and her life, to be as clean and sterile as the operating room where she works. Lane’s world is thrown into chaos when she discovers her maid Matilde is depressed by cleaning and spends her days trying to write the perfect joke, her sister Virginia, who finds fulfillment in cleanliness, takes over the maids’ chores behind Lane’s back, and her husband has found his soul mate in a patient fifteen year Lane’s senior.

Director Joanne Gordon is excited to share a story where love is not the clichéd sentimentality that is seen so often in television and film. Gordon says she is “charmed by the work of Sarah Ruhl” who writes “with wit, humor, subtlety and magic realism”. The Clean House takes the audience on a journey to a deeper truth with a new definition and respect for true love.

Former Theatre Arts Department Chair Joanne Gordon is an award-winning director whose accolades include five Drama- Logue Awards, a Los Angeles Critics Choice Award and being named “Best of the Year” by the Los Angeles Times. She served as a Board Member for the University Resident Theatre Association and as a panelist for the National Association of Theatres. Gordon directs and conducts workshops in both the U.S. and Europe. A native of South Africa, she completed undergraduate work in that country before earning a Ph.D. at UCLA.

Cal Rep performances are in the Royal Theater aboard the Queen Mary. The Clean House runs Tuesday through Saturday, February 13 – March 7. All performances begin at 8pm. There will be a preview performance on February 12th at 8pm. Tickets are $25 for general admission, $20 for students, military, and seniors (55 and older). Parking at the Queen Mary is $8 for patrons of Cal Rep performances, $6 for CSULB students and patrons who have dinner aboard the ship. Long Beach Public Transit also runs directly to the Queen Mary. For tickets and information please call (562) 985-5526 or visit

ABOUT THE QUEEN MARY- The Queen Mary is home to a 346-room Art Deco Hotel, where guests relive the excitement of cruising in the style of the 1930s without leaving port. She has played many roles during her illustrious career– from an elegant ocean liner to a World War II troopship. Now permanently docked, yet still afloat, her operation and preservation are entrusted to Evolution Hospitality, a leading independent management company. Located at 1126 Queens Highway in beautiful Long Beach, California, The Queen Mary is a must-see attraction. The historic ship offers a variety of historical, paranormal and educational tours, unique shops, meeting & banquet facilities, three award-winning ocean view restaurants and much more. For more information please visit or call (800) 437-2934.

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