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Dead Man's Cell Phone

Dead Man's Cell Phone
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Sarah Ruhl
Publisher: Samuel French
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 68
Pub. Date: 2009
ISBN-10: 0573663920
ISBN-13: 9780573663925
Cast Size: 4 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Dead Man's Cell Phone is a full-length dramatic comedy by Sarah Ruhl and Donna Jones. It all starts when Jean picks up a constantly ringing cellphone from the table beside her, only to find out that the cellphone's owner has recently expired. Dead Man's Cell Phone is equal parts social satire and traditional love story as we follow Jean through a complicated journey resulting from a well-intentioned stretching of the truth.

Dead Man's Cell Phone is a fast and witty dive into isolationism, mortality, and the vice grip that modern technology has on all of us. An incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. A stranger at the next table who has had enough. And a dead man – with a lot of loose ends. So begins Dead Man's Cell Phone, a wildly imaginative comedy in which a lonely woman finds herself the unwitting guardian of a stranger's memory. Gordon is dead, but his cell phone lives on. When Jean, an empathetic museum worker, answers his ringing phone beside her in a café, she is soon playing unwitting comforter and confessor to the man's grieving friends and family. Before she knows it, Jean's ensnarled in the underbelly of the dead man's bizarre life. Literally travelling to hell and back, this quirky and dark-edged love story crisscrosses life, death, isolation, connection, what's real, and what's not. Written by MacArthur "Genius" Grant recipient and Pulitzer Prize finalist, Sarah Ruhl, it reveals the lives of ordinary people through their cellphone conversations and explores the paradox of technology's ability to both unite and isolate people.

Dead Man's Cell Phone premiered in 2007 at Wooly Mammoth Theatre Company in Washington D.C. In 2008 it premiered Off Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in New York City and garnered kudos from audiences and critics alike, as well as receiving the Helen Hays Award for Outstanding New Play. The play has become a favourite scene study vehicle in acting classes and workshops and has been performed in regional repertory, fringe festival, high school, college, and community theatre productions.

Cast: 4 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Satire is her oxygen.... In her new oddball comedy, Dead Man's Cell Phone, Sarah Ruhl is forever vital in her lyrical and biting takes on how we behave." — The Washington Post

"Ruhl's zany probe of the razor-thin line between life and death delivers a fresh and humorous look at the times we live in." — Variety

"[Ruhl] tackles big ideas with a voice that entertains." — NPR

"…beguiling new comedy… Ms. Ruhl's work blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving." — The New York Times

About the Playwright:

Sarah Ruhl is an award-winning American playwright, author, essayist, and professor. Her plays include the Pulitzer Prize finalists The Clean House and In the Next Room (or the vibrator play), also nominated for a Tony Award. A MacArthur "Genius" Fellowship recipient, she is known for charting complex currents of desire and broaching weighty topics such as bereavement with a light, whimsical touch. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and across the US as well as internationally, and translated into fourteen languages.

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