MacArthur Fellow Sarah Ruhl begins her Spotlight Residency with the world premiere adaptation of her 2018 epistolary book Letters from Max: A Poet, a Teacher, a Friendship, “a resonant and profound contribution from two fully formed artists to the literature of illness” (Slate). Ruhl, whose accomplished body of work includes Eurydice and Pulitzer Prize finalists In the Next Room (or The Vibrator Play) and The Clean House, here shares letters and poems passed between herself and her former student Max Ritvo, as he candidly discusses terminal illness and tests poetry's capacity to put to words what otherwise feels ineffable.
Sarah Ruhl is an award-winning American playwright, author, essayist, and professor. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the country, as well as internationally, and translated into fourteen languages. Originally from Chicago, Ms. Ruhl received her MFA from Brown University. She is the recipient of a Whiting Award, a Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award, and a Lilly Award. A member of 13P and New Dramatists, Ms. Ruhl won the MacArthur Fellowship in 2006. In addition to her work as a playwright, she is also an accomplished poet and prose writer. Her memoir Smile: The Story of a Face was released in 2021. She teaches at Yale School of Drama and lives in Brooklyn with her family.