UW-WC Announces Auditions for “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”

Cast & Crew Needed for Spring Production

UW-Washington County will be holding auditions for the spring production of Dead Man’s Cell Phone on Wednesday, January 30 at 7pm in the campus theatre. The cast for this thoughtfully written comedy by Sarah Ruhl, includes three men and five women. Area residents, ages 18 and over, that are interested in performing are encouraged to audition. The engaging and thought-provoking two-act play will be directed and designed by Brad Ford, UW-WC Communications and Theatre Professor, who is also in need of volunteers for building the set as well as with technical and behind-the-scenes work. College credit can be earned for performing or doing crew work for the show.

Dead Man’s Cell Phone begins with an incessantly ringing cell phone in a quiet café. Jean, a restless young woman at the next table has had enough of the unanswered ringing and finally explodes into full confrontation with the owner of the phone, Gordon Gottlieb. Jean soon discovers, however, that the man is not afflicted with rudeness, but that he is dead.  

As the phone continues to ring and ring and ring, Jean finally answers it and then proceeds to take many messages for her new friend. She eventually finds herself enmeshed in his life and consoling several characters, including Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s domineering and self-absorbed mother; Hermia, his emotionally disenchanted wife of ten years; his nice guy brother, Dwight; and even a mysterious mistress, Carlotta.

The theme of this consistently amusing comedy explores many questions to be considered in this world of constant digital communication and fixation with wireless devices. While cell phone technology brings us together, it also winds up transforming the nature and quality of our most important connections with other human beings.  Author, Sarah Ruhl, also wrote The Clean House (2004) and In the Next Room (2009) and was twice a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. Ruhl tends to shuffle between the surreal and the mundane in her plays. Dead Man’s Cell Phone was first performed in June 2007 by the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company and premiered in March 2008 in New York via Playwrights Horizon.

Four performances of Dead Man’s Cell Phone are planned for Friday and Saturday evenings, March 1-2 and 8-9 at 7:30pm. All performances will be in the campus theatre, located on the second floor of the campus. For ticket reservations, phone 262-335-5208 or email: wsh-tickets@uwc.edu

Scripts are available for perusal from the University library. For more information about the auditions or working behind the scenes, contact Professor Ford at (262) 335-5222 or email: brad.ford@uwc.edu. For ticket sales, phone the main office at 262-335-5208 (Monday through Friday 8:00am-4:30pm).  Tickets are $13 adults and $10 for seniors (over 62) or youth (under 18). UW-Washington County is located at 400 University Drive in West Bend. Free parking is available.


Sue Bausch