June 22-24, June 30 – July 1, 7:30 p.m., July 2, 2 p.m., Orcas Center OffCenter
— from Susannah Weaver for Orcas Center —
Beginning Jun. 22, Orcas Center will feature the Pulitzer prize nominated play “Dead Man’s Cell Phone,” OffCenter Stage with Robert Hall directing an all-island cast. This romantic comedy will run for six performances, Jun. 22-24 and Jun. 30-Jul. 1 at 7:30 p.m., as well as a matinee on Sunday, Jul. 2, 2:00 p.m.
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” explores the paradox of modern technology’s ability to both unite and isolate people in the digital age. The play, written by Sarah Ruhl, describes the fragmentation of conversations, voices and lives, moves irreverently among subjects like mortality and memory, the selling of body parts, obsession with stationary paper, lobster bisque, the afterlife, and, of course, the eponymous cell phone.
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opens as Jean is sitting quietly at a cafe when she becomes increasingly frustrated at the endlessly ringing cell phone on the table next to her. Its owner won’t answer it and Jean soon realizes it is because he’s dead. In her panic, she begins answering the insistent phone calls. As she attends the dead man’s funeral and learns of his acquaintances, she learns that “the machine in the pocket means that wherever you are present, you are potentially absent, too.”
The play was awarded a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play. Ruhl is fast making a name for herself as a writer of romantic comedies. Following “The Clean House,” which was a finalist for the 2005 Pulitzer Prize, and Ruhl’s designation as a MacArthur Fellow in 2006, “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” opened to generous enthusiasm.
Robert Hall directs an all-local cast starring Jessica Diamond, Luann Pamatian, Travis King, Susie Shipman, Michelle Cartier, and Kelly Toombs in Ruhl’s play opening Jun. 22. Experience this play in the intimate setting of the OffCenter Stage where both director and actors delve deeply into the craft of acting to convey a story that peels away the layers of the digital age and reveals the heart.
“Dead Man’s Cell Phone” will run for six performances, June 22-24 and Jun. 30-Jul. 2, 7:30 pm. We hope you will join us for the reception following the Opening Night production Jun. 22 in the Black Box. OffCenter productions sell out quickly so don’t wait to get your tickets.
Tickets for “Dead Man’s Cell Phone” are $17, $13 for students, $2 off for Orcas Center members, and may be purchased now at www.orcascenter.org or by calling 376-2281 ext. 1 or visiting the Orcas Center Box Office now open Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays from 12-3 pm. $5 subsidized tickets available at the Box Office. For more information about Orcas Center’s 2017 season visit www.orcascenter.org.