Dead Man's Cell Phone

Dead Man’s Cell Phone

By Sarah Ruhl

March 1 - 9, 2013
Cell Phone
Principal People: 

Director KJ Sanchez

Event Attributes

Estimated Length: 
2 hours including intermission
Program Notes: 

Sarah Ruhl’s 2008 play finds comedy in the most unlikely of circumstances: a romance between a young woman and a dead man carried out via his still-active cell phone.

Mousy Jean becomes irate when her solitary lunch is interrupted by the insistent ringing of a nearby diner’s cell phone and in an uncharacteristic fit of boldness, she approaches him only to find that his ringing phone is the only spark of life he has left.

When the phone continues to ring, she flips it open and answers it. Thus begins her oddly intimate relationship with the man, unfolding solely through the people who knew him.

In the New York Times review of the play’s premiere, Charles Isherwood noted that the playwright “blends the mundane and the metaphysical, the blunt and the obscure, the patently bizarre and the bizarrely moving” to extraordinary effect.

Join the artists, cast and director for a Talk Back after the Friday, March 1 performance. On Thursday, March 7, join scholar panelists Kent Norman, Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology; Jason Farman, Assistant Professor in the Department of American Studies and a Distinguished Faculty Fellow in the Digital Cultures and Creativity Program; and Jarah Moesch, Doctoral Candidate in the Department of American Studies and affiliated with the Digital Cultures and Creativity Program, for a post-performance discussion.

Produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. New York City

Preview by The Gazette

“[The play is] very, very much like a 1940s film noir movie," [says director KJ Sanchez.] “That’s one part of it. But it also has a lot of charm and it’s a very, very sweet and funny play. So it’s one part ‘Rushmore,’ the Wes Anderson film, it’s one part film noir, it’s a little bit like an Edward Hopper painting and it’s very much about little, small lives — the moment people fall in love, the relationship between a man and a woman. So it’s about a lot of little, small things in our lives in the context in this really fun, film noir setting.”

– WILL C. FRANKLIN, The Gazette, Thursday, February 28, 2013