The Northeastern Department of Theatre presents Dead Man’s Cell Phone, an offbeat, oddball, contemporary comedy by Sarah Ruhl. When a stranger’s cell phone won’t stop ringing, Jean answers it and falls down the rabbit hole of his peculiar private life. A darkly comic look at love, morality, and the need to connect in a technologically obsessed world, the New York Times describes the play as “a beguiling new comedy that blends…the bizarre and the bizarrely moving…exploring the paradoxical ability of the title device (and the people who use it) both to unite and isolate.”
This production, directed by Assistant Teaching Professor Jonathan Carr, will run from October 20-29 in the Studio Theatre. Professor Carr says, “The play is fascinating because it’s really about what it takes, in this disconnected world of tantalizingly unlimited potential connection, to experience something truly deep, personal, and meaningful.”
“The power of theatre is that it doesn’t tell audiences what to think, but rather asks critical questions about human behavior,” says Chair Scott Edmiston. “This fall, our plays explore questions that we confront on a daily basis. With Dead Man’s Cell Phone, we’re asking: has your personal technology begun to replace your physical identity?” Ruhl offers some surprising and hilarious insights into the way we live now.
Sarah Ruhl is widely regarded as one of America’s finest contemporary playwrights. Her plays include Stage Kiss, In the Next Room, or the vibrator play (Pulitzer Prize finalist, Tony Award nominee for best new play), The Clean House (Pulitzer Prize Finalist, 2005; The Susan Smith Blackburn Prize, 2004); Passion Play, (Pen American Award; ; Melancholy Play; Eurydice; Orlando, Demeter in the City (NAACP nomination), Late: a cowboy song, Three Sisters, Dear Elizabeth, and most recently, The Oldest Boy and For Peter Pan on her 70th Birthday. Her plays have been produced on Broadway and Off-Broadway at Playwrights’ Horizons, Second Stage, and Lincoln Center. Her plays have been produced regionally all over the country, with premieres often at Yale Repertory Theater, the Goodman Theater, Berkeley Repertory Theater, and the Piven Theatre Workshop in Chicago. Her plays have also been produced internationally and have been translated into over twelve languages. In September 2016, Ms. Ruhl won the Steinberg Distinguished Playwright Award. Dead Man’s Cell Phone premiered at the Woolly Mammoth Theatre Company, Washington, D.C., and was nominated for seven Helen Hayes Awards, winning for Outstanding New Play.
Jonathan Carr has directed in professional and academic settings across the Northeast including Boston, New York, and Philadelphia. He is known for pushing the audience into dark terrain while also making them laugh. His credits range from the world premieres of Billy Witch and The Death of May McAllister to classics like Calderón’s The Phantom Lady. At Northeastern, he has directed Company, The Last Five Years, Clybourne Park, The Marriage of Bette and Boo, and No. 11 (Blue and White). Professionally, he most recently directed the Pulitzer Prize-winning Proof and Rumors (People’s Choice Spotlight Award) for the Seacoast Repertory Theatre and the premiere of Chuck Roast Toast for the 2016 Boston Theatre Marathon.
Tickets are available at mytickets.northeastern.edu/online or by calling 617-373-4700.