UW-WC Presents “Dead Man’s Cell Phone”

Imaginative Comedy Opens March 1st

UW-Washington County will present Dead Man’s Cell Phone on Friday and Saturday evenings, March 1-2 and 8-9 at 7:30pm in the campus theatre.  Written by Sarah Ruhl, the engaging and thought-provoking comedy is directed and designed by Brad Ford, UW-WC Communications and Theatre Professor. Dan Kaneiss is Assistant Director and Elizabeth Schroeder is Technical Director.

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 (played by Melissa Hammen, West Bend) has had enough of the unanswered ringing and finally explodes into full confrontation with the owner of the phone, Gordon Gottlieb (played by Ben Popies, Jackson). Jean soon discovers, however, that Gordon is not afflicted with rudeness, but that he is dead.  As the phone continues to ring incessantly, Jean finally answers it and soon finds herself enmeshed in his life and consoling several characters, including Mrs. Gottlieb, Gordon’s domineering and self-absorbed mother (played by Mary Buchel, Brookfield); Hermia, his emotionally disenchanted wife of ten years (played by Angela Emanuel, West Bend); his nice guy brother, Dwight (played by Kris Holly, West Bend); and even a mysterious mistress, Carlotta (played by Dinah-lee Torres, West Bend).

Also performing will be The Ensemble which includes Emi Geohegan, Hartford, and Kayla Kiser, Germantown.

Crew members include Tory Caswell, Garrett Finn, Monica Janczak and Ju’vonta Leach.  Costume Designers are Michelle Nobbe and Sandra Retzlaff.

The entertaining 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.

For ticket reservations, phone 262-335-5208 or email: wsh-tickets@uwc.edu  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. The theatre is located on the second floor of campus. Free parking is available.


Sue Bausch